With just a month to go until Air Serbia launches services from Belgrade to New York, Nikola Tesla Airport is preparing to handle its first transatlantic flights in twelve years, with Uzbekistan Airways being the last to operate the route in 2004. The majority of the airport's preparations have cantered around improving security measures and technology, with a number of infrastructural upgrades to follow. Earlier this month the airport received eighteen explosive trace detectors (ETD) in line with standards prescribed by the United States Transportation Security Administration. Furthermore, the airport has upgraded its two existing explosive detectors, is in the process of purchasing new x-ray machines for hand luggage, body scanners and security cameras, while its staff have undergone additional training to deal with safety issues, handling firearms, as well as passenger screening.
The airport has completed tender procedures for the upgrade of its cargo storage facility, which it says is necessary due to the upcoming service to the States, as well as increased freight transport. Furthermore, it has completed tender procedures for the installation of a visual docking guidance system (VDGS) for the remaining four gates that do not feature the technology (A6 - A10). The VDGS is an electronic display system placed at the gate, allowing pilots to park their aircraft with greater precision and safety. In addition, the airport has recently begun using the Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS), which has become a critical function for airlines and airports following the September 11 attacks and ensures that no baggage is loaded on to a plane without a corresponding passenger. Additionally, it provides a number of functions to meet the demands of ground traffic control and airlines.
|Preparations to expand the Terminal 2 building are advancing|
Belgrade Airport's General Manager, Saša Vlaisavljević, has previously said, “We have a long tradition of handling long haul flights. In 1989, five wide-body aircraft were regularly handled during the rush hour period, heading to the United States and Australia. This is not a problem for Belgrade Airport or our logistics”. Despite this, the airport has begun work on overhauling its Terminal 1 building, with construction currently being carried out on expanding the check-in area. Furthermore, the airport plans to introduce a baggage claim area at Terminal1, which has up until now been housed only at Terminal 2. Plans to expand the Terminal 2 building by adding a further 11.000 square metres has advanced. With construction originally planned to begin in December 2015 and completed in August 2016, the airport now says the project is undergoing technical controls and work is expected to commence this year. The new sphere-shaped wing of the terminal will feature four passenger boarding bridges, primarily intended for larger, wide-body aircraft. The construction of a de-icing platform, to be located near the runway, is expected to start soon with all technical checks completed and a contractor selected. The new de-icing platform aims to reduce holdover time and speed up aircraft movement during winter. The platform will cover an area of 20.500 square metres.