Located in the village of Balice, around 11 kilometres from the centre of Krakow, is the Saint John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice. It is Poland’s second busiest airport after Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport, with the capacity to handle up to eight million passengers every year and has direct connections to many major European cities.
John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice's single, newly-built terminal handles Schengen and non-Schengen international flights, together with domestic routes across Poland. All aircraft operate from its single runway which stretches 2,550 metres across the tarmac. There are eateries scattered throughout the terminal building, together with shops selling local souvenirs and handicrafts, as well as duty-free items, books and magazines. There are bank and currency exchange facilities available, together with ATMs and a post office. A paid business lounge with internet, satellite TV and refreshments is available to all passengers, as well as a private VIP lounge which can be booked for up to 15 guests and a chapel where Mass is held on Sundays. There are car rental agencies in the arrivals hall, together with tourist information desks.
The Balice Express train whisks passengers from the main railway station at Kraków Główny to the airport in around 20 minutes and accesses the terminal entrance directly. There are also public bus services from the city and surrounding suburbs, and taxis are available outside the arrivals hall.
Prior to opening up for civil aviation in the mid-1960s, the Balice Airport was used as a military base during World War II. A new terminal was opened in 1993, together with a reconstruction of the entire apron in 1995, in the same year that its name was changed from simply Kraków–Balice Airport to honour Pope John Paul II.