Saving Banja Luka Airport

Banja Luka’s fight for survival begins
Banja Luka Airport has just over a month before it loses its international operating license. The airport has been ordered to fulfil several technical requirements including the lengthening of taxiways, purchase of new security equipment and the installation of a new security fence. If it fails to adhere to international standards it will lose its license, effectively forcing the airport to close. The airport’s management says it does not have the necessary funds to carry out the required improvements. A total of 460.100 euros is allocated to the airport on an annual basis, while the entity government has been forced to inject additional funds in the past few years.

However, Banja Luka could be given a lifeline by the government of the entity of Republika Srpska. Its Prime Minister, Aleksandar Džombić, says his cabinet won’t allow the airport to be shut down. He insists that local authorities will discuss possible ways to help the airport carry out the necessary improvements. “On an annual basis we allocate significant funds so the airport can continue to operate. From them we expect a clear financial analysis on how the airport can function. In such case, the government will help”, Džombić says.

International monitors will arrive at Banja Luka Airport in mid August to assess whether the airport has done enough to keep its operating license. Closing down Banja Luka Airport would prove as a disaster for the authorities ahead of local elections taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina on October 7. Banja Luka is currently served by B&H Airlines with flights to and from Zurich. In 2011 the airport welcomed 8.367 passengers.


  1. Anonymous13:51

    They’ll get saved for sure

  2. Anonymous14:13

    Nobody will close or suspend airport operator licence, for sure! This is just a little bit of spin to explain why they give the money to airport almost without any commercial transport. Look at the statistical data for BH airports:
    Giving such amount of money for few thousands of pax? No way. It is because Mr President&CO need to fly around with CJ1+, and without licence and some money it is not possible. And most of those few thousands pax per year to/from BNX are RS government officials. It would be better not to give the money for airport without pax; they should need to reconsider other possibilities to operate the airport.

  3. Anonymous15:22

    What a waste. This airport SHOULD lose its license, and should be converted to a sport/civil aviation airport. There's no business case for it to continue running as a commercial airport. Keep the politics out!

  4. Anonymous16:27

    Better to stick to SJJ only and have 1 airport just like Serbia with BEG only. It's more than enough.

  5. JU520 BEGLAX23:45

    nice take off of JAL B-777 in Ljubljana
    JAL operates currently also flights to Dubrovnik. Last one was last 14/15JUL ZRH-DBV-HND-NRT with a night stop in DBV


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