The construction of Split Airport’s much-delayed multi million euro passenger terminal is finally expected to begin at the end of October. According to General Manager, Lukša Novak, the expansion will increase Split’s annual capacity to 3.5 million passengers, while the facility should stretch over 34.500 square metres. The project is valued at 59.3 million euros and is estimated to take just over two years to complete. The state will exempt Split Airport from paying tax on profit, which will fund part of the investment (17.1 million euros) through its accumulated profits. The rest will be paid through a loan from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will not require state guarantees.
Plans to develop the new terminal come as the airport struggles to deal with capacity issues during the summer months. Split Airport has registered its busiest year on record by handling its two-millionth passenger this Monday. Therefore, it has overtaken its 2015 end-of-year result which stood at 1.955.400 travellers. Tatiana Kremen from Ukraine was the two-millionth passenger, arriving on a Croatia Airlines flight from Munich. “We anticipate handling some 2.250.000 travellers this year, which is an increase of 17% on 2015”, Mr Novak said. It becomes the second Croatian airport to welcome over two million passengers this year following Zagreb. So far this September, Split handled 285.580 travellers through its doors. Numbers are expected to continue growing during the winter with Croatia Airlines to boost services from the city to both Munich and Rome.
Split's existing airport was opened in November 1966, while the current passenger terminal was built in 1979 for the Mediterranean Games. It has the capacity to handle one million passengers per year. The terminal was overhauled and slightly expanded in 2005. The construction of the new terminal comes following a protracted tender procedure to select a contractor for the project. Three complaints have been filed by participating parties as to the way in which the tender was conducted. The Croatian State Commission for the Supervision of Public Procurement Procedures has dismissed two cases, while the third is still being investigated. The state has issued construction permits.