|EU approves Dubrovnik Airport expansion funds|
The multi million euro expansion of Dubrovnik Airport is in full swing, with all construction work currently on schedule. This week, the European Investment Bank (EIB) approved a 32.5 million euro loan for the project. Under the terms of the deal, the EIB will initially provide seven million euros as a direct loan to Dubrovnik Airport and 10.5 million through Croatia's Development Bank (HBOR). The entire project, which will include the construction of a new passenger terminal, storage facilities, access roads, car park and the lengthening of the runway and taxiways, is valued at 274 million euros and will be co-financed through EU structural funds. According to the EIB, the loan was approved as the project will cater for future growth in traffic and improve safety and service standards.
Dubrovnik Airport's expansion project is scheduled for completion in 2019. The aim of the redevelopment is to increase the airport’s capacity and reduce congestion issues during the peak summer months. The new terminal will stretch over 36.500 square metres and have the capacity to handle 3.5 million passengers per year, according to the project outline. Furthermore, it will feature additional air bridges. The future building will be located next to the current terminal and will be connected to it. Long-term plans call for the construction of a commercial zone around the airport with a hotel and even a second runway. The first phase of Dubrovnik Airport’s expansion began in 2007 and was completed in 2010. It included the construction of Croatia's most modern passenger terminal stretching over 13.700 square metres. It has the capacity to handle two million passengers per year. In addition, the airport installed two air bridges at the beginning of 2015, becoming the first in Croatia to feature them.
Dubrovnik is preparing for an extremely busy summer next year with a handful of airlines already announcing new services to the city, among which are Volotea, Air Berlin, Niki and Transavia, while many carriers will boost frequencies on existing seasonal flights. During the first nine months of the year, Dubrovnik Airport handled 1.505.938 passengers, an increase of 6.6% compared to the same period in 2014.
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