Friday, May 8, 2009

Zagreb’s new terminal project cancelled

Visualisation of Zagreb Airport’s new terminal
The much talked about, completely new, Zagreb Airport terminal stretching on 70.000 hectors of land with a capacity of handling 5 million passengers annually with 12 air bridges has been cancelled. The project has been abandoned due to the global financial crisis despite Croatian analysts believing that the country is better placed than others in the current world recession. The project, which would have cost a total of 285.9 million Euros, was supposed to make Zagreb Airport a regional leader. The ideal look of the new terminal was chosen last year. The airport is just one of some big scale infrastructure projects in the field of transportation which have been cancelled.

Zagreb Airport’s current terminal has a capacity of handling 1.5 million passengers annually although Zagreb Airport has handled over 2 million passengers during last year, therefore exceeding capacity. Critics of the new terminal project claimed that money would be more wisely spent if it were invested in expanding the current main terminal, allowing it to handle 3.5 million passengers. The current terminal is in need of an upgrade. It is unsure if any funds will be allocated to Zagreb Airport at all in order for it to improve facilities. Zagreb Airport also lacks air bridges, a rare sight in Europe these days, especially for airports handling over 2 million passengers annually. Meanwhile, Ljubljana Airport’s development is going to plan with major work expected to start during the peak of the summer.


  1. Disappointing.

    Possibly Europe's most inadequate capital city airport (unless others know of worse!) desperately needed this upgrade. Not only for the numerical reasons already pointed out (operating now at 33% over-capacity), but much of the interior is desperate for an overhaul - wood panelling and non-DDA compliant areas possibly untouched since the last major upgrade to the airport in mid-70's.

    Walking on or bussing the tarmac isn't that much of a problem when you consider the terminal capacity shortfalls and current overcrowding especially in the morning peak - set to get worse with flag-carrier OU adding two Qs in the coming months (frames 4258/9A-CQC & 4260/9A-CQD on final assembly - thanks to AirportWatchCanada) and other airlines (TAROM, Sun D'or, Iberia etc) signing up and growing the congestion at the airport.

    The finances falling through - the GFC, or corruption in the design choice and/or financial wranglings depending on who you talk to. Realistically, expanding the present terminal and updating the current facilities would have been the most adequate solution for the medium-term, and the costs and inconvenience would have been significantly less.

    A very sad day for ZAG - but given the constant delays in starting any construction, perhaps not unrealistic.

  2. Not just a sad day for Zagreb airport but all of Croatia will suffer. Zagreb Airport should be on the top of the list for infrastructure projects in Croatia. The new terminal will have had the opportunity to encourage other major carriers to fly to Zagreb Croatia and would have given Croatia Airlines or some other Airline an incentive to introduce Trans Atlantic or Asia services thus making Zagreb/Croatia more appealing to businesses to invest in Croatia.

    A new terminal is the only solution in my opinion. There is no room in the old terminal for an upgrade.

  3. That new terminal design was too much of a 'taj mahal' and €285m is a huge amount that could only be recovered through high airport charges, which would thus discourage airlines. Zagreb is never going to be a major market for longhaul services, and shorthaul passengers don't need air bridges.

  4. Sad for Zagreb , we are building in Dubai massive terminals and the existing terminals are empty .
    I was thinking to join the construction work there , keep in mind the new airport will extract tourist to Croatia and air bridges its needed 1st for safety view and 2nd to at least to treat Croatian people as other worldwide passengers

  5. The new design is still on, IGH will build the new terminal, and construction should commence with in next 6 months.

    Project was only delayed, this project is way to significant for Croatia not to get go-ahead, and HDZ government was under pressure to push this project through, 33% EU funding will help with the costs, rest of the funds are coming from City of Zagreb, Zagreb Airport and IGH suppose to raise third of the cost or around 100 million euros.


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