Zagreb Airport's operators defend new terminal project
Zagreb Airport International Company (ZAIC), which runs Croatia’s busiest airport, has responded to recent statements made by the head of Zagreb’s City Assembly, Darinko Kosor, regarding the construction of its new passenger terminal, labelling the claims as “incomplete” and “unsubstantiated”. However, it fell short of clarifying whether the project will be scaled down. ZAIC said that prep work on the future site of the new terminal has been ongoing for several months now. “Workers have been on the site since December, construction equipment has been brought in, part of the area has been cleared with the demolition of existing military facilities while excavation work is ongoing”, the operator said in a press release. It added, “Everything is going to plan and according to schedule. In spring we will lay the foundations of the future terminal building”.
The operator also defended its recent decision to hike passenger taxes, explaining that security procedures at the airport have been improved as a result and that passenger taxes will no longer be paid by the Croatian taxpayers but only those actually travelling. On the other hand, ZAIC did not touch upon Mr. Kosor’s accusations that the operator was excreting pressure on Croatia Airlines at a time when the government is looking to find a strategic partner for the national carrier.
According to original plans, Zagreb Airport’s new terminal will have the capacity to handle five million passengers per year and is scheduled for completion in December 2016. It is to feature ten air bridges, one of which will have the capability to handle large aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, while others will cater for category C type jets such as the Airbus A320. The project involves a total investment of 331 million euros, 243 million of which is for the design and construction of the new terminal and 88 million for the maintenance of the airport infrastructure over the entire period of the thirty year concession. However, the final design of the terminal is yet to be revealed to the public. It is based on the winning design (pictured) by Branko Kincl, Velimir Neidhardt and Jure Radić, who won an international competition for the design of the new terminal in October 2008. The winning design featured twelve air bridges. In his claims earlier this week, Mr. Kosor said ZAIC has made substantial alterations to the original project.