First flight to Kraljevo at the end of OctoberConstruction work on Kraljevo’s Morava Airport is coming to an end with the first promotional flight to take place next month. It is expected that a Jat Airways ATR72 will operate the promotional service at the end of October carrying government officials and others which have participated in the financing of Serbia’s newest international airport. However, scheduled and charter traffic won’t take off until March next year. Currently, the airport can facilitate smaller aircraft up to 100 seats. Work on the lengthening of the airport’s runway should be carried out over the winter months so Morava can handle larger aircraft come summer 2012. The government insists that the project is worthwhile and that the airport will be able to attract flights to Turkey and Germany. Working in the airport’s favour is its central location. Morava Airport lies between three larger cities - Kraljevo, Kragujevac and Čačak, all of which are industrial towns. Furthermore, the airport is also located close to communities which have strong links with Turkey. According to a feasibility study, the airport has a catchment area of 2 million people.
A total of 32 million Euros has been invested in the project which has seen the construction of a new control tower, terminal, apron and runway lengthening. The Government of Turkey invested 10 million into the project while the rest has been financed by the Serbian government and Belgrade Airport which will also be providing necessary equipment.
In most former Yugoslav states, airports outside of the capital city have had little success. This is particularly true for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. This is not to say that they do not have potential. The airport in Kraljevo is a military base and part of it will continue to be used for military purposes. The airport was badly damaged in 1999.