Pula Airport will close its doors during the winter for a planned 3.47 million euro overhaul of its runway following a record summer season. Work on the runway is expected to begin on February 1, 2017 and be completed by March 15. During this time, the airport will be closed for all traffic. However, a final decision on whether the overhaul will take place during February or will be pushed back until next autumn will be decided in the following weeks. The runway was built in 1954 and last upgraded in 1972. The approach lighting system is also expected to be extended from the current 400 metres to 900 metres. Pula Airport will finance the work from its own funds. During the winter season, Pula is served by Croatia Airlines from Zagreb and Zadar, as well as Trade Air, which maintains commuter domestic flights.
Pula Airport anticipates a record 2017 despite the planned closure after achieving its post-independence record this year by handling over 400.000 passengers during the week. A number of airlines have already confirmed new services to the city next year including Eurowings from Dusseldorf, Jet2 from London Stansted and Thomson Airways from Edinburgh. According to Managing Director Svemir Radmilo, a number of new routes are yet to be announced with the airport in talks with a further four carriers. Furthermore, Eurowings is expected to announce a new service from Stuttgart to Pula. As a result, the airport anticipates handling over 500.000 travellers next year.
Pula Airport plans to build a new passenger terminal in the near future as part of its new development masterplan. Mr Radmilo said the construction of a new 36.000 square metre facility is a key project which will fuel passenger growth. Pula Airport recently presented its master plan for the 2014 – 2039 period, including guidelines for the development of the airport's infrastructure and the business as a whole. Emphasis has been put on increasing scheduled and charter traffic, as well as attracting more budget carriers. The airport estimates handling some 1.5 million passengers by 2040. Its new masterplan was drafted by a consortium including the Zagreb-based IGH company and Airport Consulting Vienna. Pula Airport's existing passenger terminal was opened in 1989. It has the capacity to handle one million passengers per year.