Belgrade, Zagreb, Priština and Ljubljana plan big for the futureAirports across the former Yugoslavia are being renovated, expanded and overhauled. Some cities are planning for the future while some are already seeing cranes and trucks building new terminals. The four busiest airports of the former Yugoslavia all have impressive plans.
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is undergoing a major expansion project. The airport’s terminal one departure gates are being expanded, changing the exterior of the terminal building and modernising the interior after more than twenty years. It is to be followed by the expansion and refurbishment of the terminal two gates this autumn and will culminate with the construction of an additional new floor stretching over 4.900 square metres, to be built above the current terminal two building, in 2013. During next year a new control tower will be built and will be ready to use by 2014. The airport currently has the capacity to handle eight million passengers. The project’s price tag amounts 53 million euros (not including the control tower which is being treated as a separate project).
Zagreb Airport’s wait for a new terminal will be finally over in 2013 when construction on the much anticipated and delayed passenger building begins. New owners, Aéroports de Paris, plan for construction to begin in early 2013. This year, project and design plans will be finalised while construction will take a total of two years to be completed. The French will invest 236 million euros in the first phase of the project while the second will begin once the airport reaches capacity of five million passengers per year.
Priština Airport is looking forward to a brand new terminal which is currently under construction. Stretching over 45.000 square metres, the building will feature three air bridges and will be accompanied by a new apron, control tower and a car park with the ability to serve 1.750 vehicles. The investment, worth 120 million euros, is scheduled to open early next year.
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is also anticipating the construction of its new terminal building later this year. Stretching at 31.200 square metres, the new terminal will have the capacity to handle 1.800 passengers per hour and will be accompanied by a logistics and cargo centre. While the economic crisis may delay the project, valued at 70 million euros, it is currently expected for the new terminal to be opened in 2015. However, work is already ongoing at the airport as a new landing system is being installed to allow aircraft to land at reduced visibility. Furthermore, a five kilometre road is being built at the southern tip of the airport to be used by maintenance, security and other airport staff.
This year has also seen the completion of EX-YU’s newest international airport - Morava in Kraljevo. The 3.000 square metre terminal building is set to open within weeks. Expansions are either ongoing or have been completed in Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split as well. Last year saw the opening of the brand new passenger terminal in Skopje, which has given new life to the airport. Plans are also being made for the expansion of Tivat Airport in Montenegro.