Trebinje awaits airportTrebinje, located in Republika Srpska in southern Bosnia and Herzegovina received the all clear from the government on Thursday for the construction of a new airport, which will be the second, after Banja Luka, in the entity and the fifth international airport in the country.
On Thursday the Government of Republika Srpska approved funds and allocated 1.6 million Convertible Bosnian Marks (820.000 Euros) for the Trebinje Airport project documentation. The airport is expected to be operational by 2011. The Prime Minister, Milorad Dodik, said that building an airport in Trebinje is one of the strategic projects of his government. He expects the construction of a 2.6 kilometre runway to begin in the spring of 2010. The Government plans to seek a strategic partner for the project.
A future concession holder will be expected to build the runway and accompanying facilities, and create conditions for normal operation. Trebinje Airport CEO Zoran Okilj said the airport will initially have a capacity of 250.000 passengers on an annual basis, while the number will grow to 1 million by the time the project is completely finalized. Trebinje will welcome all low cost operators, he says.
Earlier this year the Austrian based consulting firm “Airport Consulting Vienna” carried out a feasibility study regarding the economic viability of Trebinje Airport which is being built so close to Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia and Tivat Airport in Montenegro. The results of the study show that Trebinje could become a major rival to the other two well established airports. The report states that Trebinje should strive to attract low cost carriers. The report also states that while the airport might not be able to turn a profit in the first few years of operation it could become an extremely competitive airport within Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due to its natural beauty, Trebinje could attract sizeable amounts of tourists. Bosnia and Herzegovina currently has a total of 4 international airports – Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla and Banja Luka.