Serbia to get new airport

After Belgrade and Niš, Serbia is set to get a third airport for commercial flights. The military Ladjevci Airport in Kraljevo will be turned into a civilian one with work on its conversion set to begin this year. Kraljevo, located in central Serbia, has just over 82.000 residents while the entire municipality is home to some 121.700 people.

The Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Economy and Regional Development, Mladjan Dinkić, as well the Minister for the National Investment Plan, Verica Kalanović, announced the project yesterday. The project, which will cost 22 million Euros, will be partly financed by the Serbian Government, while the other half will be provided by Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. “All necessary documentation will be provided this year and work will begin in 2010. This year, we plan to begin with the overhaul of the runway, the construction of a control tower and the construction of a small terminal”, Verica Kalanović, the Minister for the National Investment Plan said.

Ladjevci Airport was heavily bombed during the 1999 NATO air raids with most of the runway and the control tower destroyed. Kraljevo is an industrial town. All industrial companies in Kraljevo have expressed their desire for the reconstruction of the airport as cargo flights would decrease the time and cost of transporting goods. In addition, the airport is also located near the mountain ski resort of Kopaonik.

Status of other airports in Serbia

Belgrade BatajnicaNew control tower built last year and 1 of 3 runways reconstructed. The airport is expected to handle cargo flights and low cost airlines once the entire project is complete
Novi SadLocated only some 60 kilometers North of Belgrade, the city authorities have recently begun the first of four phases of the airport Čenej’s redevelopment, but it will be some time before the airport is operational. Novi Sad Airport should become a low cost alternative for Belgrade and the main hub for Novi Sad
KragujevacLocated in central Serbia, a feasibility study is currently being carried out. Kragujevac is the home of the Zastava – Fiat auto maker but an airport in nearby Kraljevo would render it rather unnecessary
VršacLocated in Northern Serbia, Vršac has the status of an international airport however, it is only used as a sports airport and is the home of Jat’s Flight Academy. As the busiest recreational airport in Serbia, there are plans to lengthen and widen the runway. City authorities hope it could attract DHL for cargo flights


  1. Anonymous09:27

    What happened to the developments of Uzice ?

  2. frequentflyer10:19

    This is a military airport, and its what, 100-120km only from BEG? What impact will commercial flights have on the operations of the military? ZAG is a perfect example of why the two should be kept separate...

    The airport is also too far away to become BEGs LCC hub.

    If they're looking also at doing a feasibility study for Kragujevac (also close by), and nearby Uzice is unused and in much better condition, then this is purely another futile exercise. But we keep seeing it again and again - just look at Trebinje!

    Paving Čenej and opening up Novi Sad (which has much higher business and financial potential) seems a better option, and probably less costly too.

    Finally, it's not like the national carrier would be able to operate decent shuttles due to the short distances, and neither is it in a position to really reform!

  3. Yeah, wasn't the Ponikve airport suppose to be reconstructed? What's going on with that?
    It would be awful if that new airport would become useless, just like the Konstantin the Great airport is now...only served with two airlines...but maybe it would attract at least some charter airlines.

  4. Anonymous10:36

    I support this if the airport would handle cargo flights. Roads in Serbia are very bad, so maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea to reduce the flow of cargo to Belgrade from the South.
    If they open Novi Sad (pointless in my opinion), then I could see Ryanair maybe opening the route, or some other LCC's. Bt then again I don't know how close is Osijek for it to become a reality...
    I am sure once the LCC's make Belgrade work, their next target will be Nis.
    No matter how much the countryside people in Serbia hate the fact that Belgrade is favourised and prioritised, the fact is that until it happens in Belgrade it ain't gonna happen out of it.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Kraljevo airport will have a lot of usage. Here are some examples:
    First, there's Kragujevac, that is becoming leading city in Šumadija, with good road connection with the airport (cca. 46 km) and solid rail connection with Kraljevo.
    Second, Kopaonik is way closer to the KVO than it is to INI, so we may expect new interest of foreign tourists for Kopaonik (providing that owners of the hotels on Kopaonik reduce their prices to normal for such hotels).
    Third, it will have great cargo usage. It will be easier for lot of exporters in that area to transport their good to the airport, than to transport them by road and rail. Especially future automotive industry in Kragujevac.
    And yes, it cannot be used as an LCC alternative to BEG. It's just too far. BJY or QND (if reconstructed) are LCC alternatives for BEG. KVO, INI and UZC are regional airports, and as such should be developed.

  7. Anonymous16:48

    I agree with Nikola.
    If INI wants to get more carriers then it can advertize itself as an alternative to Sofia, isn't the distance about 60km?
    Plus I am sure that Kraljevo isn't that far from Kosovo, so they can get some passengers from there as well.
    Plus they can always invite Ryanair or Wizzaor to start some flights from there...

    I was thinking could they maybe get an Emraer 120 and operate let's say two to three flights a day to Belgrade? Could it work?

  8. Anonymous17:02

    The way we are heading in that region, every city will be its own independent country. Each of these countries (cities) will have at least two airports.

  9. Anonymous21:14

    by chelica2

    BEG is at least 2 hours of manic speed drive from any of the following cities (Kraljevo, Cacak, Uzice). Now that visas are abolished, this still remains an issue for people in central Serbia (that and the money)

    Kraljevo has the best location (central), compared to Kragujevac or Uzice, to serve the population of central and south Serbia, including Sandzak (alternative to Prishtina). Local politicians from Sandzak even expressed interest. All in all up to 1.5 million could have a real alternative to BEG.

    In addition to below mentioned uses, here are some more:

    Charter flights during summer as people will outgrow 30 hours bus drive to Turkey, Bulgaria or Greece.

    There are many gastarbeiter(s) from this region ,according to some estimates between 50,000-100,000, concentrated in typical diaspora spots (Munich, Stuttgart,Vienna, Zurich, London, Milan). If each of them and their closest relatives in Serbia made just one trip per year that would justify the airport.

  10. Anonymous04:44

    Little correction:

    Serbia already has a third airport, its located in Pristina and handles just over one million passengers per year.

    So, this will be Serbia's fourth civilian airport.

  11. Anonymous12:13

    I thought that Uzice would be the first to open as International Airport, or Zrenjanin after, or Novi Sad would be so cool, as there is so much potential. Two main problems in the Balkans, AGAIN, are MONEY, with average salaries as they are and "flying culture" no way it is going to work as it should and could. people still think(at least majority of them) that flying is reserved for people with money. people have to be "bombed" with information about hoe to book cheap tickets, what LCC are etc.

    I have just found return ticket with Wizzair, in the middle of August!!, LTN-ZAG for £40, that is almost as return coach ticket, just example Belgrade-Zagreb!!!!

    And on another side, all destinations in the Balkans, Sarajevo, Mostar, Belgrade, Nis, Ohrid, Skopje, Osijek, Banjaluka, Tivat, Podgorica should be properly advertised for the tourists to come and visit! I didn't mention Croatian coastal cities as they are getting there. BTW, good Wizzair started flying to DBV and SPU from London to lower those ridicilous prices which Easyjet has had!!!! RJK could do better and PUY of course, obviously ZAD doesn't need anything else while Ryanair exists :-)


  12. Anonymous22:48

    Given the fact that Batajnica is a spectacular airport with 3 runways and is an easy 40 minute drive from Novi Sad, can someone explain to me the rationale for building yet another airport - for Novi Sad? Is Serbia reall that wealthy a country?

  13. Anonymous23:01


  14. ANONYMOUS01:51

    The ONLY airline who has a snowballs chance in hell of using any of these small airports in Wizz. And once they get to 120+ aircraft (they're at 34 now), they may operate to these points if there's any market at all.

    Novi Sad has decent potential, Kraljevo has none - NONE. Mark my words. This is a vote getting excerise by a rather desperate Mr. Dinkic in advance of next years elections.


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