Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport has announced the construction of a second terminal building at a press conference in the Slovenian capital today. The new facility, valued at sixteen million euros, will be opened to the public in time for the 2020 summer season, which begins on March 29 that year. The construction of the new structure will allow for the airport to handle 1.280 passengers per hour, up from the current 500, and will feature a total of 22 check-in desks, five security lanes, a large duty free shop, commercial space, as well as a new premium lounge. The building will stretch over an area of 8.700 square metres. A new 2.000 square metre baggage sorting facility will also be built. The existing terminal will remain partially in use and will be utilised by low cost and charter carriers. Ljubljana Airport's General Manager, Zmago Skobir, said this is part of the airport's efforts to provide product differentiation to allow further passenger growth.
The General Manager noted, "A modular solution is planned for the terminal. This means that construction can be carried out in phases that are effectively and efficiently adapted to traffic development needs. At the same time, a convenient and high-quality passenger experience will also be provided”. The current terminal building in use at Ljubljana Airport was built in 1973 but has since been reconstructed and refurbished. It stretches over an area of 13.000 square metres. The new facility will be built next to the existing one, towards Šenčur, and will be connected to it. The company running the airport, Aerodrom Ljubljana, which is 100%-owned by Germany's Fraport, also announced a change in its name to Fraport Slovenija, in order to increase its international visibility and appeal. “Airports are of course important to the local area but at the same time they operate in a highly competitive international business environment. We believe that the Fraport brand will bring added value to the international visibility, image and business status of our Slovenian subsidiary”, Christoph Nanke, Chairman of the Investor's Committee of Fraport Slovenija, said.
Ljubljana is facing increasing competition from nearby airports which are investing heavily in improving their infrastructure. "Fraport is development-oriented, but has a very cautious and conservative development policy. The fact is that we now have a strategic owner who has a great understanding of the development process", Mr Skobir, said. As a result, the overhaul of the existing terminal should begin this autumn and it should be fitted with new technology. Ljubljana was the only capital city airport in the former Yugoslavia to see its passenger numbers decline in 2016. It handled 1.404.831 travellers, down 2.3% on the year before. However, it is off to a strong start this year with 288.355 passengers welcomed during the first quarter, up 17.5%. The airport's management estimates that growth will average 3.1% on an annual basis in the coming years.