Sarajevo Airport complexThe expansion of Sarajevo Airport’s passenger terminal is on hold due to unresolved land ownership issues around the airport, a problem most major hubs in the former Yugoslavia face today. The multi million Euro project involves the expansion of the terminal building, aprons and jet ways. On top of the existing 10.000 square meter terminal building, another 7.000 square metres will be added. The project is being financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to the tune of 32 million Euros. A Dutch firm has been awarded the assignment to develop a final design for the terminal expansion. While the airport is still functioning effectively, capacity constraints are starting to emerge with security and duty free facilities in need of expansion.
While the finances have been secured and the design plan completed, there are problems with getting necessary permits to expand onto nearby land plots. Construction has been waiting to start for almost a year, however, a slow bureaucratic process has stalled the entire project.
Sarajevo Airport continues to show strong passenger growth. In the first 5 months of 2011, the airport handled 211.736 passengers, with a 10% end of year growth rate expected. Last year, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s main hub handled 563.266 passengers. The airport’s CEO, Bakir Karahasanović, recently said, “The extension of the terminal building will not only solve future development necessities of Sarajevo International Airport, but will also enable provision of top quality services to passengers, while the airport, as a whole, will contribute to a better image of the country “.