EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg (IATA: BSL, MLH, EAP, ICAO: LFSB) is an international airport 6 km (3.7 mi) northwest of Basel (Switzerland), 22 km (14 mi) southeast of Mulhouse (France), and near Freiburg (Germany). It is located in France, on the administrative territory of the commune of Saint-Louis near the Swiss and German borders. It handled 4,270,000 passengers in 2007.
Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg is one of the few airports in the world operated jointly by two countries, France and Switzerland. The headquarters of operations are located in Blotzheim, France. The airport is located completely on French soil, but is operated on an agreement established in 1946 where both Switzerland and France are granted access to the airport without any customs or other border restrictions. The airport’s board has 8 members from each country.
The airport building was originally split into two separate sections. However, with Switzerland joining the Schengen Treaty in March 2009, the separate Swiss and French halves have been united.
Due to its unique international status, EuroAirport has three IATA airport codes: BSL (Basel) is the Swiss code, MLH (Mulhouse) is the French code and EAP (EuroAirport) is the international code. The ICAO airport code is LFSB.
Plans for the construction of a joint Swiss-French airport started in the 1930s, but were stopped by the Second World War.
In 1946, talks were re-opened and it was agreed that an airport would be built at Blotzheim, 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of the city. France would provide the land, and Switzerland (Kanton Basel-City) would provide the construction costs. The Basel “Grosser Rat” (state Parliament) agreed to pay the costs for a provisional airport even before the international treaty was signed (which was not until 1949). Construction began on 8 March, 1946 and a provisional airport with a 1,200-metre (3,900 ft) runway was officially opened on 8 May in the same year.
Between autumn 1951 and spring 1953, the east-west runway was extended to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) and the “Zollfreistrasse” (sealed road) was constructed allowing access from Basel to the departure terminal without passing through French border controls.
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Estimated road travel time in France - Saint-Louis: 5 minutes, Mulhouse: 30 minutes, Colmar: 50 minutes, Belfort: 60 minutes, Montbeliard: 75 minutes, Strasbourg: 75 minutes
To Switzerland: Basel: 5 minutes, Berne: 60 minutes, Lucerne: 60 minutes, Zurich: 55 minutes
To Germany: Freiburg: 50 minutes
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