Rijeka Airport passenger terminal
After the Croatian Government announced its support of new air regulations, which are expected to be in force some time in the future (if the regulations, part of a wider law, are passed), lobbying by politicians, airports and other organisations has begun.

Rijeka airport’s CEO said to the “Novi List” newspapers that he is firmly against the new regulations which will see his airport unable to handle non-Schengen traffic. “As Croatia’s main port city, Rijeka is a place of business and thus needs an international airport”, he says. The county of Primorje-Gorski Kotar and the City of Rijeka, which hold a 50% stake in the airport (the other 50% belonging to the Croatian Government) also oppose the Government’s current proposal. Officials say that they will request for the regulations to be adjusted so as to include Rijeka with the other big 3 – Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. The officials from the county say that Rijeka has a port, highways, rail and economic zones and needs an airport which can handle traffic coming from non Schengen countries.

Istria county prefect Ivan Jakovčić said to the “Glas Istre” newspapers that he believes that no airport in Croatia will loose its status as an international airport and that meetings are being held with the Ministry of sea, transport and infrastructure to work out the current difficulties.

According to the Croatian Ministry of sea, transport and infrastructure, Croatia has a total of 10 international airports. The largest are Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split. This year Zadar marks the greatest improvement in passenger numbers while Pula reports the greatest decline. The Ministry is yet to comment about the proposed regulations.


  1. frequentflyer11:39

    Some obvious sensibility from the initial announcement of this news. No comments were made however about the benefits of this for EU/Schengen countries, if at all there were any.

    If it was a financial reason (ie no carina) then it could have some understanding - of which the simplest solution would be to only close a few airports not likely to have intl flights.

    And are there really 10 intl airports? ZAG, DBV, SPU, PUY, RJK, ZAD, OSI spring to mind (BWK could hardly be classified as intl) - but that still brings the list only to 8. There has to be more, of which perhaps this law could have benefit.

  2. Hmm...after many, many years doing STN-TRS (Ryanair's significantly cheaper flights than STN-PUY) this was the first year I flew directly to PUY from London. The ripp off of the rent-a-car companies was too much until this year and it never bothered me driving those two and half hours from Ronchi for double cheaper price (if not more).

    And I know a lot of people from UK (non-Schengen) who know their way pretty well around Istria!

    If Croatians do it, ah, well, at least I will be "made" to spend my money in Bled for one night!

  3. Anonymous20:29

    I flew to Pula this summer from the UK, and on arrivals list around 50 % of the flights were from non-Schengen countries (mainly from the UK -London(Gatwick and STN), Manchester, Birmingham, etc.... I do wonder who will get and who will loose with this decision!!!!! Zadar similar story! As Sparky has already said. people who really want to go Istra will fly to Slovenia or Italy and spend tone night in Bled or something similar on teh way to Istra!

    Some things will never change in Balkans :-(

    @ frequentflyer

    International airports in Croatia are : ZAG, DBV, SPU, RJK, ZAD, OSI, BWK(maybe is not used enough but it has international status - it has had more flights from out of Croatia than from ZAG-which is the only domestic flight to that airport), the last one(not currently used but it has international status is Lošinj Airport LSZ (was used in Ex Yu by Jat of course). This is total 9! As far as I know that is all! I think 10 was mistake or there is somewhere a hidden one :-)

    pozdrav svima

  4. Anonymous22:38

    Vrsar is airport #10

  5. Anonymous17:16

    Vrsar is where if I may know ;-)

  6. Wasn't there another Airport close to Knin, called Udbina or something? I am assuming that was for military purposes only?

  7. Anonymous17:51

    Croatia has many airports like Vrsar and Udbina, but none of them have IATA codes, 9 mentioned above have their IATA codes and they are registered as international.


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