Sarajevo Airport has announced a twenty million euro expansion of its terminal building, which will boost capacity and increase passenger comfort. The facility will stretch over 9.000 square metres, boast two levels and will also feature an underground floor. "Keeping in mind the continued passenger growth, it has become evident that the existing infrastructure will be unable to support this amount of traffic. The expanded area will be combined with the existing terminal to form a single architectural and technological unit", Sarajevo Airport's spokeswoman, Sanja Bagarić Arnaut, said. She added, "This is a very complex and challenging project, especially since construction work must be carried out so as not to affect other traffic or cause delays and disruptions".
Work on the terminal expansion is expected to begin later this year and should be completed by the end of 2018. It comes five years after the airport's former management cancelled expansion plans drafted in 2010, despite securing a 25 million euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to do so. According to then-General Manager, Ivica Veličan, the expansion was unjustified as the existing terminal was yet to reach its maximum operating capacity of one million passengers per year. At the time, the project involved the construction of an additional 7.000 square metres of space, a new apron and the overhaul of existing jetways. The final price tag of the project was estimated at 32 million euros.
Sarajevo Airport is currently in the process of overhauling part of its apron ahead of planned work on its runway. The reconstruction of 3.500 square metres of the apron will ensure its durability over the next twenty years. The first phase of the overhaul was completed in 2014, when work was undertaken on an area of 1.600 square metres. The investment is valued at almost 409.200 euros and is scheduled for completion later this month. The upcoming runway reconstruction, expected in October, has been described as an "extremely challenging project", valued at 10.2 million euros, which is likely to result in the airport's temporary closure.
Sarajevo Airport handled a record 838.966 passengers in 2016. Numbers have continued to grow this year with a total of 221.476 travellers welcomed over the past four months, representing an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2016. In April alone, the airport handled 79.796 passengers, up an impressive 17.6%, while aircraft movement stood at 1.084, an increase of 12.6%. Initially, the airport forecast it would handle a million passengers by year's end but has now adjusted its estimate to 900.000. So far this year, new arrivals into Sarajevo have included Wizz Air from Budapest and TUIfly Belgium from Charleroi, while Atlasglobal will launch services from Istanbul Ataturk on June 19. It will be followed by Nesma Airlines' new Saudi Arabian unit, which will commence seasonal flights from Riyadh on June 24. Qatar Airways, which has announced plans to introduce operations to Sarajevo this year, is yet to schedule its service.