Plans to expand Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport received a boost this week after a contract was signed to relocate a 2.3 kilometre stretch of the main road to allow for the expansion of the airport's infrastructure north of the runway. The airport's long-term development plan involves the construction of a second terminal, a hotel, office space, commercial premises and a logistics services centre next to the airport, to be known as Aeropolis. The project will radically change the appearance of the airport and will involve the construction of a rail link to the city in subsequent phases. Ljubljana Airport's operator, Fraport, has endorsed the Aeropolis development project and believes work could be completed by 2035. The relocation of the road, valued at 2.5 million euros, will be completed next year.
Initially, construction of Ljubljana Airport's new multi million euro terminal was planned to begin in 2013. However, minority shareholders, which have since been squeezed out, rejected the plans citing unfavourable economic conditions. This is despite the European Union agreeing to grant 22% of all necessary funds. The new terminal was meant to cover an area of 31.200 square metres, with its opening planned for 2015. The original price tag for the project stood at 73 million euros but was reduced to 57 million. However, the General Manager of Jože Pučnik Airport, Zmago Skobir, says a brand new facility is still planned for the future. "Before we build a new terminal, we want to utilise and update the existing one. It will have the capacity to handle two million passengers per year. This should be sufficient over the next few years if traffic continues to grow gradually", he notes.
Ljubljana Airport has begun upgrading its terminal building with the refurbishment to be carried out in several phases, until its completion in 2018. Slovenia's busiest airport has already added an additional arrivals and departures gate and will expand commercial and retail areas. Furthermore, the airport will tackle "bottlenecks" at check-in and security with the aim of cutting down on queuing time. The brunt of the work will take place next year, when both the check-in area and baggage handling facilities will be expanded, while additional capacity will be added at baggage claim. Ljubljana Airport handled 598.271 passengers during the first half of the year, a decrease of 4.5% compared to the same period in 2015.
A full overview of the Aeropolis project can be found here (PDF document). Note that the dates listed in the document are no longer valid as the project has been delayed and the construction of a new terminal has been put on hold. The project is now set to be completed within the next twenty years instead of 2021.