Athens International Airport (Greek: Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών, DiethnÃs AerolimÃ©nas AthinÃ³n) known as "ElefthÃ©rios VenizÃ©los", Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος) (IATA: ATH, ICAO: LGAV), which began operation on 29 March 2001, is the civilian airport that serves the city of Athens and the region of Attica. The airport is the major hub and base of Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air. The airport serves more than 15 million travellers annually and was named after the distinguished Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos. The airport has become increasingly popular as a gateway to Asia and the Middle East.
It is also known for its continuous investment in pioneering technology, and is Airbus A380 ready, having been certified as such by the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Federal Aviation Administration. On the 13th April 2011, an Emirates Airbus A380 from Dubai en route to Manchester, had to make an emergency landing at Athens as one of the passengers, a 49 year old woman on-board the flight suffered a heart attack in-flight over Turkey. Many people, such as aviation enthusiasts gathered to see the first ever A380 landing at Athens Airport.