Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has begun the overhaul of its Terminal 1 (T1) building, marking the first major upgrade of the facility in 34 years. Valued at almost half a million euros, work includes expanding the building's capacity and adding new commercial space. Plans have also been made to reopen the observation deck which has been closed for decades. Previously, the airport completed the renovation of the hall connecting its two terminal buildings, as well as an overhaul of T1's passport control area. As part of the overhaul which began on Monday, the airport will also upgrade the baggage sorting facility located at the terminal. T1 is used exclusively by low cost airlines, Air Serbia's dedicated charter brand Aviolet, as well as other leisure carriers for check-in purposes and immigration. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 share a joint departures lounge and gates.
Terminal 1 opened on April 28, 1962. In early 2013, Jat Airways requested for the facility to be handed over to them in order for it to become a dedicated terminal used exclusively by the national carrier. The request was denied at the time. However, according to the Transaction Framework Agreement between Etihad Airways and the Government of Serbia (GoS) in mid-2013, in which Air Serbia is still referred to as Jat, “The GoS shall ensure that either Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 of Belgrade Airport, as the Parties may agree, is allocated to Jat for its exclusive use by no later than 1 January 2014. The GoS shall fund a portion of the costs of the refurbishment of Terminal 1 or Terminal 2, as the case may be, to a standard acceptable to Jat within 2 years of the date hereof, that is proportionate to the size of its shareholding in Jat after the completion of Etihad's acquisition of Jat shares”. The Framework Agreement also states, “The GoS shall ensure that space for a Jat lounge is allocated to Jat in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 as the case may be, with sufficient capacity to meet its actual and projected business passenger requirements”. While the parties did not stick to the January 1, 2014 deadline, the carrier's lounge has since opened.
|Terminal 1 interior|
As part of its efforts to add capacity, Belgrade Airport launched a multi million euro expansion project in 2014. This year, it completed the overhaul of the hall connecting the two terminal buildings and built a de-icing platform. However, the planned expansion of its second terminal, valued at fifteen million euros, has been delayed until further notice. Initially, construction was due to commence last year. On the other hand, the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency has announced the construction of a new control tower at the airport next year. The Agency is in the process of obtaining necessary land and construction permits. The investment in Belgrade Airport's infrastructure comes months ahead of a planned concession. On Monday, the Serbian Prime Minister said the country expects to raise 400 million euros in the privatisation. "We could even get 600 million euros if we give it through a concession for a longer period", the PM added.