Current state of Užice AirportUžice Airport has received a financial boost to convert itself from a military airbase into a commercial airport. Užice, located in Western Serbia, will become the country’s newest airport project after the construction of Morava Airport in Kraljevo is completed this year. The European Union recently donated 550.000 Euros to Užice Airport, known as Ponikve, which will be used for the development of the airport’s mastaerplan at the beginning of 2012. A step by step project development plan will also be made. “It is our goal to open the airport phase by phase. The first two phases will allow the airport to operate during the daytime in both summer and winter”, Saša Savić, the CEO of Užice Airport explains. He adds that the entire project will amount to 19 million Euros. At a donors conference, dedicated to the (re)construction of Užice Airport in Belgrade recently, the United States pledged 1.5 million Euros while China secured another 500.000 Euros.
Undetonated bombs from the 1999 conflict scattered around the airport site must also be removed. The Government of Serbia has provided 1.5 million Euros for the bomb deactivation. The airport currently has one runway which can handle aircraft with up to 200 passengers. The city’s mayor says that Užice can only attract cargo and charter airlines. The city has a population of just over 100.000 but also has a developed industry, a lot of which makes up Serbia’s exportable goods.
Užice is close to several major EX-YU cities. It is 117 kilometres from Sarajevo, 118 from Belgrade and 170 kilometres from Priština. During the 1996 summer season, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated a 2 weekly Belgrade - Užice - Tivat service.