A list of Europe's airports reveals a common denominator among those leading the race as the most successful in the continent so far this 2017. With a former US Navy air base on the lead, it's easy to see that these airports have taken a part of the Cold War history.
Ahead of the race comes the Keflavik airport, Iceland's largest and main airport. Situated west of Keflavík and southwest of Reykjavík, the airport used to be a former US Navy air base formerly known as Naskef but is now home to main carriers Icelandair and WOW air. This Cold War airport has seen a spurt in passenger traffic as it links flights in the busy mid-Atlantic route and draws tourists who want to get a glimpse of the northern lights, according to Independent.
Borispol or Boryspil airport comes second-best as it picked up 30 percent more passengers just outside the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. The Soviet Air Force stationed at this airport during the final decades of the Cold War. The rest of the Cold War airports from the Eastern bloc also enjoyed passenger growth such as the Pulkovo airport in St. Petersburg at 28 percent, the Warsaw Chopin airport at 27 percent, Prague's Václav Havel airport at 18 percent, Berlin Schönefeld airport at 16 percent and Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport at 15 percent.
An escape from the winter season in February is believed to have contributed to the five percent growth of passenger traffic during the month, as reported by the airport operators' association ACI Europe. Not all of the Cold War airports, however, have survived the post-World War II geopolitical tension. A case in point is the RAF Upper Heyford airport in the UK, according to Skyscanner. The airport used to be a major airfield and another US Air Force airbase before it was abandoned with the end of the Cold War.