The construction of Bihać Airport's terminal building, in north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, is expected to begin soon, with the Federal government recently allocating some of the funds for the 13.2 million euro project. Last December, the municipal council in Bihać approved the creation of a public operator for the airport. Local authorities are in talks with Turkey's Çelebi Aviation Holding, a ground handling services company, to partake in the project's funding through a public private partnership. "There is also interest from a Saudi investment fund based in Dubai", Smail Toromanović, the advisor to the Mayor of Bihać, said. The aim is to develop the existing airfield into a commercial airport.
The Federal government of Bosnia and Herzegovina will provide just over one million euros for the airport on an annual basis. "After we receive the initial funding, we will issue a public call to obtain all necessary project documentation”, Mr Toromanović, said. He added, "This project is of great importance to the region for the development of both the local tourism industry and economy, even if the airport caters only for charter flights. The land around the airfield is owned by the city, so there should be no issues concerning possession rights". The Bihać-based Euroing company has completed the design of the future terminal building.
The Bihać Airport project will also encompass the construction of a new control tower and the lengthening of the runway from the current 1.200 metres to 2.000 metres. Authorities hope for the airport to handle both passenger and cargo flights. No firm timeframe has been given for the project's completion. Once built, it will become Bosnia and Herzegovina's fifth commercial airport, following Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar and Banja Luka, which handled a record 1.129.749 passengers in 2015. Bihać is located near the Croatian border and is the country's eighth largest city.