April deadline unlikely to be met
Construction of Zagreb Airport’s much awaited new terminal is unlikely to begin by mid 2013 while rumours continue to spread that the airport operator, Aéroports de Paris, will back out from the project entirely. The operator still hasn’t gathered enough finances to fund the multi million euro terminal building. Furthermore, Aéroports de Paris still hasn’t secured ownership of the land surrounding the airport, applied for a building permit or come to an agreement with the military over the relocation of security infrastructure based in the area. The project is expected to total 236 million euros. According to the concession contract, signed with the Croatian government, the airport’s new operators are obliged to begin construction by April 11, 2013 at the latest. Aéroports de Paris insists that the original time frame outlined in the contract was “too optimistic”. While the Croatian government can sanction or even terminate their contract with Aéroports, local media report that such a move is highly unlikely as it could jeopardise the ratification of the country’s European Union accession agreement.
The Croatian government is not alarmed by the expected delays. It says it has its own expansion project ready if the French opt out. The tender, which saw Aéroports de Paris win the thirty year concession, was highly controversial itself and delayed several times. The recently appointed new CEO of Zagreb Airport, Miroslav Drljača, has voiced his opposition to the concession with the French.
Despite the delays, the architectural design of the new terminal has been finalised, though it is yet to be revealed to the public. Once construction starts, it must be completed within 1.095 days. Plans to build a new terminal at Zagreb Airport have been ongoing for years.