Trebinje ahead of schedule

As reported earlier, Trebinje is set to become Bosnia and Herzegovina’s fifth international airport. Previously, it was reported the airport would be operational by 2011 however, now, the Prime Minister of the entity of Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik, believes aircraft will be arriving and departing from Trebinje by the end of 2010.

Dodik says that if a concessionaire is not found, the government of the Republic of Srpska would finance the airport’s construction out of its own funds. He says that 2 feasibility studies have been carried out and both show that an airport in this area, despite its close proximity to Tivat and Dubrovnik, would be a success. The Prime Minister also says that construction should begin in April of 2010 and that the first phase of the project should be completed by December that same year. The first phase of the project will cost approximately 30 million Euros.

The airport’s CEO, Zoran Okilj says that Trebinje would have intense traffic 10 months per year. “We are looking to attract tourists from Eastern Europe, Serbia and business passengers at first”, he says. He also states that the entire project will take 3 years to be complete and that the airport will have 400 employees.

The airport’s CEO says that despite the likes of Dubrovnik and Tivat being so close, Trebinje will have passengers because, “Unlike Dubrovnik we don’t have strong winds coming from the sea and our airspace is not as busy. Tivat on the other hand can not expand due to its geographical location. Also, we do not have snow and the climate is perfect”, Okilj says.


  1. Anonymous10:38

    30 MILLION EUROS :O these people are not normal! to be spending that much on a fifth airport really is total nonsense. This has to be a joke. That money could be spent much better on other projects.

  2. Zrak13:20

    Considering Mr. Dodik's history of announcing (and failing) numerous other grandiose projects it is going to be really interesting to see what happens here.

    Remember 3-4 years ago great plans for BNX that ended up in government of RS paying heavy subsidies and penalties to austrian carrier for Salzburg - BNX line. Now I guess that everything that could be promised for BNX has been promised so it is a time to move to Trebinje :(

    Greatest strength of this future airport is it's location according to its CEO. This is fine but let's take a look at OMO. It has exactly the same geographical characteristics as future Trebinje airport.

    OMO has also advantage that Mostar in itself is turistic destination (Old City Mostar, Medjugorje, Blagaj).

    Mostar has also considerable higher population in its uptake area (approx. 500k).

    Mr. Okilj is also mentioning business passangers. I would like to ask him what business passangers? Let's again compare to Mostar. Mostar is a seat of several bosnian ministries as well as being seat of several larger companies (Hypo Alpe Bank, Eronet...) Trebinje isn't seat of anything.

    Now lets look closer at this comparision. Mostar has approximately same geographical features and has as well higher population, more business and is destination in itself. Despite all of these Mostar doesn't have any regular flights and is struggling with charter flights.

    Trebinje has also one more huge drawback. Political situation in the region is and will continue to hamper this future airport greatly. Relationships between Trebinje municipality and Dubrovnik municipality (where I guess the most tourist will go) are at the lowest possible level. Relationship between Trebinje municipality and its Montenegrin counterparts are quite low level also following claims by Trebinje officials that part of adriatic that used to be in Bosnia prior to 1945 should be returned back by Montenegrins. (Communist gave away chunk of Bosnian coast to Montenegro as a gift). Imagine now how easy it is to hold group of tourist at the border for few hours and how this impacts choice of charter companies where to fly.

    This whole project is another example of how lesser Bosnian entity is using it's taxpayers money to finance megalomaniac plans of few individuals as a mean of getting better exposure in media. And now when elections are getting closer I expect few more of these :(

    Anyway 2010 is not that far away lets see :)

  3. ANONYMOUS13:35

    "Lesser Bosnian entity"? I'm not sure about that...

    Trebinje and Mostar are not comparable - Trebinje's reason to exist is for one thing only: to capture some of the growth in travel to the coastal regions that Dubrovnik and Tivat airports won't be able to handle due to the significant physical constraints that prevent any growth.

  4. Dubrovnik will open the largest terminal in Croatia in about a years time with a capacity of 5 million pax. Further expansion is planned for the future.
    Dubrovnik has a good track record of attracting low cost carriers so Trebinje will have to have some special deals to steal the likes of Easy jet from Dubrovnik.

    Also, stating 'high winds' as a reason why airlines will choose to shun Dubrovnik demonstrates a lack or understanding of the aviation industry on Okilj's behalf.

  5. Zrak14:17

    @Anonymous nr.2:

    All the growth that is catchable by Trebinje is also catchable by OMO. OMO is even further away from other airports (Dubrovnik, Split) and yet they are not able to profit on this.

    On Tivat and Dubrovnik not able to handle the traffic. This is simple not truth.

    Dubrovnik is heavily expanding. I'll just quote article from this site in August:

    "Currently Dobrovnik Airport is in the midst of an expansion. A new 36.500 square meter terminal and four jet bridges are under construction. The new terminal will have a projected annual capacity of 3.5 million passengers. Further expansion is planned after 2011, with more floor space and 4 additional jetways. This will increase the capacity further to 5.5 million passengers per year. The terminal at Dubrovnik Airport, once completed, will be the largest in Croatia."

    But as I said 2010 is not that far away so let's see what is happening.

  6. Anonymous17:45

    I just think that in country where economy is SO LOW building 5th airport(where only 1 is basicly active and used!!) is absolutely MAD! I am coming from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the entity where Trebinje ism but objectivly this is the stupidest idea that one goverment could do!!!! BNX is rotting and they are doing NOTHING to atrract airlines! OMO and TZL too! Sad and stupid!

  7. 3 airports within 50 km range??? Come on folks, let's be realistic. This is not NYC or Tokyo and like frequentflyer said it's just another white elephant project. BiH is the country with fewest kilometers of highways in Europe and as usual politicians of this country seem to be to be focusing on anything else but the real issues such as corruption, poor health and education system. Instead of wasting money on this ridiculous project, it would have more sense to use it for constructing better roads and improving the railway system which the country desperately needs.

  8. Anonymous06:37

    Well dont forget that a lot of people in RS have Serbian citizenship and so can travel to the \EU with no visa soon.
    And just because OMO didn't manage to attract passengers what makes you so sure Trebinje won't?
    Let's wait and see

  9. frequentflyer10:41

    Surely there's no point opening this airport early (during the middle of winter!) if there isn't going to be any flights to it??

    I still can't see the logic for this project, nor any destination outside BEG for direct flights... and even then they'd be in competition with JATs flights to DBV and TIV!

  10. ANONYMOUS20:00

    @ frequentflyer:

    That's because you (and 99% of the other people who post on here) don't work in the industry - as your user name suggests, you are a *PASSENGER*.

    If any of you bothered to read the article carefully, you will see that it won't (and can't) open for at least 3 years. For a starting point, in order to clear the approach and departure paths to the runway, they will need to DYNAMITE the top of two mountains nearby (literally blowing the tops of the mountain tops off) - this won't happen overnight as if reconstructing a small hole in the road...


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