Pau Airport (PUF)
Pau Airport is located approximately 10km, or 6.2 miles from the city of Pau, and serves the third largest economic hub in south-western France. It is officially referred to as the Pau-Pyrénées, due to its location in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department of the country, and has been allocated the IATA code of PUF. The ICAO code is listed as LFBP. Although not a very large establishment, it is considered to be an important gateway to the many wonderful tourist attractions in the vicinity, and for business passengers as well. It is well equipped with all essential facilities expected from an airport of its size, and is served by several important airline companies.
The airport is found in Uzein, which is a commune of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department, and to the northwest of Pau. It is also particularly nearby the small areas of Montardon, Serres-Castet, Sauvagnon and Poey-de-Lescar. The main access road is the D716, which is also nearby to the A64 Autoroute, the largest motorway in the vicinity. The drive to the airport from Pau will take just fifteen minutes by car, or a little longer by the bus services which are available from the railway station. Taxis are available as well from all areas in the near location. The A64 heads slightly south-east to the nearby cities of Tarbes and Lourdes, and north-west towards the western coast, and the cities of Orthez, Bayonne, Biarritz and Anglet. The stretch of coast in this area is known as the Basque area, and consists of the last of the major French seaside resorts before the border of Spain. On the other side of the city, the sanctuary of Lourdes receives millions of visitors every year, the majority of which are pilgrims visiting the sites where the apparitions of the Virgin Mary were encountered by a young girl in 1858. Pau Airport provides access to the nearby ski resorts of the Pyrénées mountains, to the Pyrenean National Park and to Gers, just inland of Pau. Further north of the airport is Bordeaux, an important city of France, and to the south is Spain’s city of Jaca.
In 2010, Pau Airport handled approximately 673,000 passengers, and is therefore not a busy destination, but nonetheless one of reasonable size. In the most recent years many of the airports in France have experienced a decrease in passengers. The busiest year for Pau was 2008, with almost 820,000 passengers, but since then traffic has been recorded at under 700,000 per annum. 2006 and 2007 were years achieving high traffic results as well, both with around 763,000 passengers. Perhaps 2011 and future years will produce higher figures. The majority of the airport’s passengers fly nationally, while a smaller percentage travel on international flights. In 2010, under a hundred thousand passengers were recorded as international.
From Pau, scheduled and holiday flights are available to a variety of destinations, and by a few airline companies. As a general guideline, three flights per week are offered to London City by CityJet, and nine flights a week are available to Marseille by Twinjet. Air France is one of the major airline companies at Pau Airport, with six flights per day to Paris-Orly Airport, three flights per day to Paris-Charles de Gaulle and three flights per day to Lyon. Ryanair may offer a couple of other European routes, to destinations which include London, Brussels-South Charleroi and Paris Beauvais. Many holiday flights are available from Pau as well, to destinations which include Marrakech, Athens, Ajaccio, Corfu, Rome, Funchal, Edinburgh and Prague.
Pau is known as being the birthplace of aviation in the Aquitaine region of France, and the famous Wright brothers moved in and took the first flight on the ‘Flyer’ on 3 February 1909. The brothers had decided to initiate their flights from Pau due to its milder climate and weather, which was more stable than was experienced in Le Mans. The flight on 3 February was also the first for the region of Béarn. The flying school founded by the Wright brothers was then entrusted to Tissandier for some time, and later, another famous aviator, Louis Blériot, also opened his own flying school in the city. Other important French manufacturers began business in here, and in later years, the French Army brought military aviation to the area. Military pilots were trained at the new military training school, and during the First World War, it become one of the largest flying schools in the country. Many other aeronautical companies arrived in the Adour Basin, and after the Second World War, established worldwide reputations and continued to maintain the region’s importance in aviation.
Today, Pau Airport has a single terminal building capable of handling up to a million passengers per annum, and with a total area of about 10,000 square metres. It has one runway of reasonable length to handle aircraft of the larger variety. Its dimensions are 2,500 x 45 metres, and is a coated runway with the latest lighting and landing aids. The airport handles cargo as well, and is equipped with a terminal of around 1,000 square metres for its freight movements. There are also still military installations on the south side of the airport grounds, which include the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment, the French Army’s paratrooper’s training and the 5th Combat Helicopter Regiment.
The passenger terminal is well equipped will all amenities required, and is able to accommodate disabled travellers. In the building, there is a restaurant and snack-bar, a few shops, travel agencies, a post box, payphones, WiFi connections, a VIP lounge and business services for corporate passengers, which include meeting rooms ideal for work or conferences. There are information desks available as well, from where all details regarding the airport’s operations can be acquired. Pau Airport can be contacted at +33 (0) 5 59 33 33 00.
Visitor Information - Pau Airport
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Airports within a 100km of Pau Airport
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