EX-YU airport development boom

Belgrade, Zagreb, Priština and Ljubljana plan big for the future
Airports across the former Yugoslavia are being renovated, expanded and overhauled. Some cities are planning for the future while some are already seeing cranes and trucks building new terminals. The four busiest airports of the former Yugoslavia all have impressive plans.

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is undergoing a major expansion project. The airport’s terminal one departure gates are being expanded, changing the exterior of the terminal building and modernising the interior after more than twenty years. It is to be followed by the expansion and refurbishment of the terminal two gates this autumn and will culminate with the construction of an additional new floor stretching over 4.900 square metres, to be built above the current terminal two building, in 2013. During next year a new control tower will be built and will be ready to use by 2014. The airport currently has the capacity to handle eight million passengers. The project’s price tag amounts 53 million euros (not including the control tower which is being treated as a separate project).

Zagreb Airport’s wait for a new terminal will be finally over in 2013 when construction on the much anticipated and delayed passenger building begins. New owners, Aéroports de Paris, plan for construction to begin in early 2013. This year, project and design plans will be finalised while construction will take a total of two years to be completed. The French will invest 236 million euros in the first phase of the project while the second will begin once the airport reaches capacity of five million passengers per year.

Priština Airport is looking forward to a brand new terminal which is currently under construction. Stretching over 45.000 square metres, the building will feature three air bridges and will be accompanied by a new apron, control tower and a car park with the ability to serve 1.750 vehicles. The investment, worth 120 million euros, is scheduled to open early next year.

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is also anticipating the construction of its new terminal building later this year. Stretching at 31.200 square metres, the new terminal will have the capacity to handle 1.800 passengers per hour and will be accompanied by a logistics and cargo centre. While the economic crisis may delay the project, valued at 70 million euros, it is currently expected for the new terminal to be opened in 2015. However, work is already ongoing at the airport as a new landing system is being installed to allow aircraft to land at reduced visibility. Furthermore, a five kilometre road is being built at the southern tip of the airport to be used by maintenance, security and other airport staff.

This year has also seen the completion of EX-YU’s newest international airport - Morava in Kraljevo. The 3.000 square metre terminal building is set to open within weeks. Expansions are either ongoing or have been completed in Zadar, Dubrovnik and Split as well. Last year saw the opening of the brand new passenger terminal in Skopje, which has given new life to the airport. Plans are also being made for the expansion of Tivat Airport in Montenegro.


  1. Anonymous09:10

    Any renders of the ATC tower in Belgrade?

  2. Anonymous09:10

    I travelled through Belgrade recently and I managed to see the renovated area. I must say it looks really nice and modern.
    Also, the exterior has nothing to do with the picture. It looks clean and modern in real life.

    What I like about BEG is that it will have a lot of light when the reconstruction is over.

  3. JU520 BEGLAX09:56

    In Ljubljana no news on the terminal yet.... not even the public tender is out... the way we know them, we probably wont see any contruction start before 2014/2015.... Slovenia is doing quite bad in terms of bigger projects... (another bad example is the railways station in LJU)

    1. Anonymous10:34

      One of the possible reasons for delaying the construction is because they are waiting to see what will become of Adria. The last thing an airport needs is to invest a lot of money and then to see its main client go belly up.

    2. JU520 BEGLAX17:20

      there is nothing to delay. LJU needs a new terminal with or without Adria. If Adria goes belly up, others will come back (LH,OS,SN,LX) and Wizz,TK,Easy,YM will increase flights (same happened in BUD when MA went belly up)
      an airport terminal is an investment for the future. Current facilities are too small even for the traffic they have now. And not only too small, there is almost no non aviation revenues to possible with that infrastracture. modern airports make up to 45% of the revenues with non aviation biz

  4. Anonymous11:08

    I have heard that the new expansions of the gates are for bigger planes for long-haul flights. I heard that AZAL (an Azerbaijani airliner) said they were willing to launch flights to the US via Belgrade once they get their planes. Is this true?

    1. Anonymous13:11

      I have heard that AZAL plans on launching Baku-Belgrade-NYC/Chicago flights as soon as they get their Boeing planes. My guess is that this is somewhat certain to happen since they are expanding the gates at BEG by a lot and are widening the parking space for long-haul aircraft. I give it 2-3 years before we finally see some connection to North America from Ex-Yu

    2. Anonymous16:42

      Belgrade airport expansion has nothing to do with possible AZAL flights. BEG can even today handle three long-haul planes at the same time.

    3. Anonymous01:13

      AZALs first new 787 will get delivered
      in 2015...
      so three years to wait,folks!

  5. Anonymous11:21

    Skopje already has the most modern airport on the Balkans, well ahead of it's time!

    2-3 years ago people on this blog were skeptical about this project, but as it seems all other countries on the Balkan are following what Skopje did?

    1. Anonymous11:47

      Has the roof leak been fixed on this modern object, or are there still buckets in the main hall?

  6. Anonymous11:41

    ZAG deserves to have a modern building ASAP. Seriously, the current terminal is a joke and does not correspond with the beautiful city. The Serbian government must try and attract low-cost airlines to Kraljevo.

  7. Anonymous11:52

    What about Kraljevo airport?

    1. Anonymous18:13

      Kraljevo will be lucky if they get 1 flight per day like Nis

    2. Anonymous18:15

      Kraljevo will be lucky if they fet one daily flight, the same as Nis...

  8. JU520 BEGLAX20:01


    Swiss will stop serving Thessaloniki as of Winter 2012.. they had daily departures with A320 during Winter and A321 during Summer Timetable

    1. Anonymous00:35

      Are u kidding me?.:O Thessaloniki!? If that happens, i predict that SX will use this route only on seasonal basis..!

    2. Anonymous09:31

      SWISS is getting even crappier in the hands of LH! The same goes to OS, whose service started deteriorating...


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