|Sarajevo Airport to expand facilities following record year|
Sarajevo Airport intends to open a dedicated terminal for low cost airlines next year and upgrade its infrastructure. The designated low cost terminal (pictured above) is presently being used by the airport’s management, which will move to its new headquarters in 2016. The no frills terminal (known as Terminal A), which was built in 1969, is located next to the current passenger building and will be connected to it. As a result, Sarajevo Airport hopes to attract new budget carries and boost passenger numbers, since services offered to airlines at the terminal will be cheaper than those presently provided. Pegasus Airlines is currently the only low cost airline operating flights to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s capital, while hybrids Norwegian Air Shuttle and Germanwings also serve Sarajevo. They will be joined by Flydubai from December 8.
In 2016, Sarajevo Airport will begin work on constructing rapid-exit taxiways in order to allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds. This provides aircraft with the opportunity to vacate the runway quicker, permitting another to land or depart in a shorter space of time. Furthermore, the apron should be expanded to allow a greater number of aircraft to park. In 2017, Sarajevo Airport will begin work on overhauling its runway as well as its taxiways. Ivica Veličan, the airport’s CEO, says the upgrades are necessary in order to accommodate growing passenger numbers and traffic. “Investments in infrastructure and the reconstruction of Terminal B will raise safety levels for passengers, aircraft, baggage and other goods”, Mr. Veličan says. He adds, “We are planning further investments through the purchase of modern airport equipment and the continuous education and training of our staff”.
Sarajevo Airport is set to record its busiest year on record. Over the past ten months, the airport handled 619.989 passengers, an increase of 6.1% compared to the same period last year. In October, Sarajevo welcomed 64.844 travellers through its doors, up 0.7% on 2013. The number of flights operating in and out of the city also increased, by 5% to 545. The airport estimates it will handle over 700.000 passengers by year’s end. With 665.638 passengers, Sarajevo Airport was the tenth busiest in the former Yugoslavia last year, behind Podgorica.