|Sarajevo Airport to expand capacity|
Sarajevo Airport has begun upgrading its terminal building in a bid to increase capacity and improve services. "These upgrades are aimed at boosting capacity at check-in, passport control and the departure gate", the airport's spokeswoman, Belma Čureković, said. The airport also plans to add extra carousels in the baggage claim area. "With this expansion we will be able to handle an even greater volume of passengers", Ms Čureković adds. Over the past three months, Sarajevo Airport has begun tender procedures for the purchase of new check-in desks and passport booths, a Departure Control System (DCS), which automates airport management operation processing for airlines, as well as new LED lighting equipment for its runway and taxiways. As a result, the airport expects to minimise power consumption and lower maintenance costs. The upgrade includes a complete exchange of all existing halogen lights for taxiways Alpha, Bravo and Charlie to LED lights. Furthermore, the Category II system should be fully replaced. Despite the installation costs of LED airfield lighting, which tends to be higher than halogen, the advantages make the investment worthwhile. Sarajevo Airport expects to benefit from fewer field inspections, expansive lamp fixture durability, and higher winter operations efficiency, which are key factors for its performance and long-term goals.
During the year, Sarajevo Airport will also begin work on the construction of a rapid-exit taxiway in order to allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds, permitting another to land or depart in a shorter space of time. Furthermore, the apron should be expanded to allow for a greater number of aircraft to park. In 2017, Sarajevo Airport plans to begin work on upgrading its runway as well as its taxiways. Some two years ago, the airport intended to overhaul its old terminal (A) building, currently used for administrative purposes, and turn it into a low cost terminal. Work was scheduled to begin last year and was to be completed in 2016. However, the project has been delayed, although Ms Čureković notes that upgrades are currently taking place inside the building, without going into further details.
In 2012, Sarajevo Airport cancelled plans to expand its passenger terminal, despite receiving a 25 million euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to do so. According to then General Manager, Ivica Veličan, there was no need to expand the terminal since it is yet to reach its maximum operating capacity of one million passengers per year. The project involved expanding the building by 7.000 square metres, the construction of a new apron and the overhaul of existing jetways. The final price tag of the project was estimated at 32 million euros. Sarajevo Airport welcomed a record 772.904 passengers last year.