Financial crisis hinders Ljubljana Airport’s plans
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is seeking government backing for its planned new terminal even if it gets privatised during the year. The airport is one of fifteen assets that the Slovenian government has earmarked for sale in order to raise one billion euros to avoid an international bailout. After postponing a shareholder vote on a planned 32.000 square metre new terminal, the airport’s management is pressing the government to make its position clear. At a general meeting of the airport’s shareholders this week, a scheduled vote on replacing the airport terminal was put off in light of reports that the airport could be privatised.
Some of the smaller shareholders in the airport are now “sceptical” about investing to build a new terminal, an airport spokesperson said. He added, “The management board is now likely to seek confirmation from the government that it will back the investment, even if the state will be selling its stake in the company”. Earlier this year, Ljubljana Airport signed a contract to co-fund a 73 million euro new terminal to be in use by January 2015. The airport management team has since said the project could be completed for less than sixty million euros.
European Union regional development funds were expected to provide about 15 million euros of the original project figure. However, it is thought the European funding would be at risk if the project was not completed by the end of 2015. The terminal building currently in use was built in 1973 but has been expanded several times. The most extensive upgrades were carried out in 2007. The airport’s management says a new terminal is necessary as the current one was originally built to handle some 500.000 passengers. In 2012 Ljubljana Airport welcomed almost 1.2 million passengers through its doors.