Belgrade Airport to begin construction of inserted runway

Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport is to begin with the construction of a so-called inserted runway, after which its main runway will be closed and overhauled. Tender procedures have begun for the supervision and oversight of the project, with the deadline for the submission of bids set for May 8. The development, which will take a total of two years (or 44 months) to complete, will be located between the main “A” taxiway and the main runway. It will also include the construction of new taxiways. The inserted runway will be 3.500 metres long and sixty metres wide. It will be able to cater for the airport’s overall demand. The inserted runway will be 190 metres apart from the existing runway.

The overhaul of the existing runway will commence in 2023. Once it is completed, the inserted version will be used as a taxiway which will be linked to the runway through a new system of taxiways, including four rapid exit taxiways (RETs). The RETs allow aircraft to leave the runway at higher speeds. This in turn enables aircraft to vacate the runway quicker, permitting another to land or take off in a shorter interval of time. This is usually accomplished by making the exiting taxiway longer, thus giving the aircraft more space in which to slow down. Once the reconstruction of the main runway is completed, the inserted runway will also be used as an alternative, should the main one be incapacitated to handle aircraft for whatever reason.

The French industrial company Lafarge announced this week it would carry out work on the airport’s new taxiways for which it will use a new premium range of ready-mix concrete which is more durable. Belgrade Airport’s existing runway was built in 1962. It was extended by an additional 400 metres to 3.400 metres in 1978. It has been determined that the runway’s weight baring capacity is no longer sufficient. Airport operator VINCI is currently in the process of expanding Belgrade Airport’s Terminal 2 building, while the country’s air navigation service provider SMATSA has commenced work on the construction of the airport’s new control tower.


  1. Anonymous09:01

    BEG keeps on winning and thriving even during Corona. Imagine what will come after!

    1. Anonymous09:04

      Well Belgrade was supposed to have it's best ever year.

    2. Anonymous09:10

      BEG will be most affeceted After Corona, because of its hub function

    3. Anonymous09:15

      So it will be more affected than airports that rely on tourism? Somehow I doubt that.

    4. Well, what is this? If you look at the other side of the coin, the French company that has concision of this airport and draining the Government is putting this on bit process for another company to do it. That is an smart way to wash money. No one knows anything! If they wanted to do it clean then this would happen from Serbia from the intellectual part of it.

    5. Anonymous18:00

      You can't spell concession, you said no one knows anything but you want us to beleive your fake news and conspiracy theories? Is every airport concession in the world just a money laundering scheme? Pathetic.

    6. Anonymous02:05

      In this country it is.

  2. Anonymous09:03

    Interesting approach. Has this been done elsewhere,?

    1. Anonymous09:04

      From what I know this inserted runway won't be kept later on, it will be turned into s taxiway.

    2. Anonymous09:05

      ^ umm just read the article.

    3. Anonymous09:06

      @9.03 yes they did the same in Thessaloniki.

    4. Anonymous10:29

      The most stupid thing in Serbian aviation in a long time.

    5. Anonymous10:36

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Anonymous10:47

      Can someone find a single example when this was done before?

      Thessaloniki has two runways.

    7. Anonymous10:48

      Thessaloniki, as somebody said before. Both main runways were closed at one point and taxiway was changed into temporary runway in East-West direction.

    8. Anonymous10:53

      Where else?

    9. Anonymous13:10

      Which proves it's more a (costly) exception than the rule.

    10. Anonymous13:15

      Bahrain even more than Thessaloniki is surrounded by both city and the sea.

      Meaning this measure wasn't employed anywhere in an in-land airport like BEG.

      Wonder what's so perfect about it than no other airport in the world with space for expansion has done anything similar.

    11. Anonymous17:32

      Are you seriously comparing Bahrain and Belgrade? One is a major global player and a business and oil hub. The other is not.

    12. Anonymous18:15

      Well, we're just telling you that no one besides them went for that cheap ludicrous 'inserted runway' project.

      Bahrain has over 8 million pax, while BEG has amost 7.

      Not a big difference.

    13. Anonymous18:22

      They went because of their geographical situation which is incomparable to that of Belgrade.

    14. Anonymous19:07

      BEG almost 7? In what universe?

    15. Anonymous20:54

      BEG was about to reach 7 million this year.

      Regardless, 6.2 vs. 8 doesn't make it a great difference.

    16. Anonymous21:40

      Belgrade was much closer to six million than seven, wouldn't you agree? In ex YU terms it might be relevant but outside of it it's pretty tiny.

    17. Anonymous22:16

      It's irrelevant whether it's six or seven.

      Belgrade had 15% growth during the slowest months of the year, so yeah, most likely it would have been seven.

      Again, it's totally irrelevant for the subject at hand.

      Get over it.

    18. Anonymous00:15

      Serbia being compared to Bahrain. No need. Lets first reach and pass the Hungarians.

    19. Anonymous04:21

      BUD could instead try to reach VIE. VIE could try to catch FRA, FRA to catch ATL. BEG doesn't care about BUD or any other airport. They have construction in progress to get more gates, terminal expansion, second runway and new ATC tower. When pandemic is over BEG will be in a good spot to continue the growth.

    20. Anonymous07:19

      There is not much to compare between BEG and Bahrain airport since they have similar numbers.

    21. Anonymous08:00

      Guys, friends, for the first time ever Serbian aviation is in a good position to actually grow after the crisis. We will get an expanded terminal with more gates. New and improved infrastructure and more importantly an airline that's in expansion mode right now. Furthermore, seems like demand in Serbia will remain high even after this as barely any airlines moved or suspended their operations. Seems like they have extremely high confidence in the potential of Serbia.

      Ok, 2020 won't be as exciting as we hoped it would be but I think it won't be as bad as some hoped it would be.

    22. Anonymous15:58

      Anon 08:00 +1000!

  3. Anonymous09:04

    Before people start writing how they should build a proper second runway, it's planned in the masterplan up to 2040

    1. Anonymous09:08

      Exactly plus as Belgrade gets closer and closer to Vinci's target of 12 million passengers the one runway won't be enough especially with growing private aviation and cargo flights.

    2. Anonymous10:41

      Gatwick can do 46m pax with one runway...

    3. Anonymous10:50

      LGW has one active runway because it's forced to have it like that, it's not by choice. So it's not a natural situation. Look at many other airports around the world. How many passengers does MUC have when they are pushing for the construction of a third runway? What bout ATH or VIE? How about BUD, OTP or SKG?

      So please spare us this argument about LGW because their situation is unnatural. All other airports build extra runways as long-term planning.

      I think you just don't want to see BEG get a second runway.

    4. Anonymous11:04

      This French plan is idiotic.

      Basically they want to save costs on a taxiway they would need to refurbish anyway and make this inserted runway sh*t so they don't have to build a second one.

      Lack of long-term planning or simply they plan to milk the state to build a second runway at the end of concession.

      The real question is, why a second runway wasn't built right from the start when BEG was handling more than VIE/BUD/OTP?

    5. Anonymous11:22

      And what's the runway utilisation at BUD or OTP?

      According to Wikipedia, BUD had 122.814 movements (takeoffs/landings) in 2019. That's 336 per day or 14 per hour. With one runway, it would mean takeoff or landing every 4.3 minutes. With two, well, runways are collecting dust.

      Is it nice to have to runways? Sure. Is it economically justifiable in this case? I doubt it.

    6. Anonymous11:32

      You are only partially showing facts. Why are you looking at 2019 alone. Why don't you look at movements at BUD over the past five years so that we can see what trend there is. Maybe you don't want to show that are more and more movements which give a good reason for the second runway.

      Another issue with your logic is that you assume arrivals and departures are spread out during the 24 hour period, they are not. They mostly occur between 06.00 and 00.00, so during the 18 hour period.

      So when you look at this like that, you realize that the second runway is not so dusty after all. ;)

    7. Anonymous11:34

      I guess they were all stupid and should have built inserted runway instead 🤦.

    8. Anonymous11:43

      The main problem here is that money will be wasted without a long-term solution.

      The same problem will appear again in no time.

      The reality is the departures/arrivals are even less spread in a hub system like BEG.

      Meaning 90% or so of those arrive within 3 banks of six hours.

      Already now during the midday wave there are queues at landing at BEG and aircraft are circling.

    9. Anonymous11:44

      That's less of a problem at BUD which doesn't have a hub carriers and movements are more spread-out.

    10. Anonymous11:53

      Exactly which means that a second runway makes more sense in BEG than it does in BUD which has almost all point to point traffic. Flights can be moved around by a few minutes to accomodate everyone.

      In Belgrade this is not possible. Like someone mentioned traffic congestion is already an issue around noon when you have, in addition to JU, airlines like Wizz Air (x2 A320), Lufthansa x2, Aeroflot, Alitalia on some days and so on... so it's not just Air Serbia as is the case with midnight departures.

      Like BUD, LGW is predominantly a point to point airport meaning airlines can move around their flights when there are no slots available.

      Serbian aviation is not showing any signs of slowing down. This capacity restriction will only become a bigger issues especially now when terminal is being expanded and when more flights can be added during the rush hour.

    11. Anonymous14:40

      -proper second runway, it's planned in the masterplan up to 2040

      Novi PDR je definisao Zonu V za PSS2 ali ne pre 2043. Pročitajte pre komentarisanja.

    12. Anonymous15:23

      So that the French can get again the money to build it?

    13. JATBEGMEL15:36

      I think the inserted runway is enough for now. BEG currently doesn't have the traffic to justify having 2 runways and wont for another decade.

      @ anon 11,43

      BEG lacks other infrastructure that can improve handling ac, such as the planned rapid exit taxiways, which would lower holding times while increasing runway utilisation.

      Considerarion needs to be made into the fact that BEG is prone to dense fog during the winter, and that further investments would need to be made to make the runway usable during this period ie CAT IIIB.

      In the mean time, BEG experiences shortages of gates during the JU waves and widebodies dont help. No point in building runways when the terminal cant accomodate additional traffic.

      Basically, money could be better spent on necessary projects that BEG currently needs.

    14. Anonymous15:36

      By 2043 it might be late, Belgrade will have between 15 and 20 million.

    15. Anonymous15:55

      Concession ends in 2043 and airport goes back to the government to be managed. If there is a need for a second runway after 2043, government will have to build it then.

    16. Anonymous16:10

      BEG already has CATIII and it has rapid exit taxiways.

    17. JATBEGMEL17:24

      BEG has CATIII but no rapid exit taxiways. A new runway would as well require CATIII.

      @ anon 15,36

      BEG was supposed to have around 7 million pax this year. Projections change, and there is no point today investing in something that may be needed in 10-15 years, when there are other developments BEG needs today. BEG today needs to expand the terminals, add additional gates including widebody capable gates, overhaul of the remainder of the A concourse with new jetbridges, new cargo centre, englarged arrivals hall, more smart gates, more food and retail outlets, an overhaul of the runway and aprons, amongst others and not a second runway.

    18. Anonymous17:34

      Check again, BEG does have rapid exit runways at both ends of the runway. It does not have it in the middle.

      Also you are forgetting that it's not only passenger planes that are using the runway. General aviation and cargo are booming in BEG.

    19. Anonymous17:57

      The new runway will be only CAT II as listed in the project.

    20. Anonymous18:07

      The point here is that the 'inserted runway' will anyway cost almost as a new secondary runway, without delivering half the function i.e at much worse value.

    21. Anonymous20:08

      Concession process that defined inserted runway was completed long time ago. What makes you think you can change their mind at this point?

    22. JATBEGMEL21:21

      @ anon 17,34

      BEG doesnt have rapid exit taxiways. The taxiways at the ends of the runway are not rapid exit taxiways.

      General Aviation and cargo ops are growing, I wouldnt say booming. Regarding cargo ops, BEG could do with a new, larger cargo centre to support further growth. Current runway doesn't restrict any of these operations, if anything, parking positions are the biggest problem for these operations.

    23. Anonymous08:01

      You can literally open the picture on Google Map and see that from four exit taxiways, three are rapid ones.

    24. Anonymous16:01

      Truth be told, it would be faster if they just built a new passenger airport at Batjanica - it already has two runways! :) The new place could be done in less than 3 years and have a train line!

    25. Aэrologic17:10

      Yeah, i've been talking about that for a long time.

    26. Anonymous20:04

      According to ICAO Annex 14 etc., none og BEGs taxiways are classified as RET.
      A long curving section doesn't make it RET. It must be a straight portion to allow aircraft reduce speed.
      At the current (B, D and E) they need to vacate at slower speed not to skid off.
      Taxiway C leading directly to the main apron (A)requires almost a full stop on the runway.
      Newer German runways are good example of efficient runway systems and RET.
      In general building the inserted runway is temporary waste if money vs building a southern parallel runway allowing full parallel ops.
      And currently BEG doesn't require 2 parallel taxiways, which the inserted runway will become...

    27. Anonymous21:39

      The overall runway layout is extremely primitive even by 60's standards.

      If to take a look at all the other regional airports (outside Ex-yu) it's a totally different picture.

      Wonder who were the geniuses in the former Yugoslavia who designed all those airports and the main capital airport without a secondary runway right from the start.

    28. Anonymous21:56

      For more movements BEG should have radar facility for TWR. Spacing that ATC uses now is too much. LTN with one RWY (which is 1000+ m shorter, no RETs has double traffic than BEG now.

      I would love new RWY. This one is very bumpy and god knows what lies below...

      All the best to construction workers to do it in time. It's possible for sure. I've saw MMX RWY being completely re pawed in just over a week with being closed only for 48 hrs.

    29. What airports with some 10-15m yearly pax have a good design of taxiways and runways?
      Any in the wider region?

    30. Anonymous23:06

      ATH is pretty good but then the whole airport was built from scratch so they did a good job. IST is a mess and so is OTP.
      Actually OTP has one of the more stupid taxiway layouts and congestion becomes quite bad because of it. VIE isn't great either. ZAG is pretty fantastic.

    31. Anonymous10:41

      ZAG is pretty simple. Not a single RET despite being recently reconstructed. Design is worse than BEG. I think it's the only one that's worse. SKP is a copy of BEG. PRN is building RET that BEG doesn't have till this date. BUD and KBP have good runway designs, especially KBP. Warsaw has intersecting runways what limits the throughput. IEV has an interesting circular design with no taxiways. PRG has very straightforward design with short taxiing times no matter from where you land.

    32. Thanks for that info.

  4. Anonymous09:08

    Great news

  5. Anonymous09:09

    Nice to see that many airlines have not reduced Belgrade after Corona. It really says a lot about the potential of the Serbian market.

  6. Anonymous09:20

    I read on that both the Swiss and Austrian governments are willing to I best into LX and OS but under the condition of share transfer. In other words governments want control back from LH. If that happens then it will be fantastic news for JU and BEG.

    1. Anonymous09:23


      Typo, sorry.

    2. Anonymous09:29

      Makes sense, LH is refusing to invest in them until they start making money. Lady year they had a pre-tax profit of €19 million which means they were in the red after taxes.

      SN on the other hand lost €40 million BEFORE taxes.

      LH Group is sinking and the Austrian government wants to protect their own.

    3. Anonymous10:51

      SN is dead, I give them two years.

  7. Anonymous09:52

    I can't wait for the terminal expansion. Facilities were getting extremely tight.

  8. Anonymous10:39

    That Etihad bird looks lonely! Hopefully more birds join them soon.

    1. Anonymous13:26

      They might be a messy disaster of an airline but they have a nice livery.

  9. Anonymous14:42

    Essentially, BEG will stay a one runway airport. As article says, inserted runway will serve as temporary solution while main is overhauled. Once that happens it will be turned to taxiway. It will be used as backup in case that something goes wrong with a main one. Both runways will be too close for parallel operation (minimum distance between runways for SOIA approach is 750 ft, PRM is out of discussion), and having in mind that inserted runway will have to be equipped with appropriate landing system, approach lighting, supporting infrastructure (otherwise, I can't see how it will replace the main one while overhauled or out of service), BEG will get fancy, super expensive taxivway (but probably cheaper than proper second runway, what is Vinci's goal).

    1. Anonymous14:57


    2. Anonymous15:01

      In a further drive to save money, the French might simply disassemble the existing runway equipment and place it on the other one (taxiway). Then again reassemble it on the existing runway🤦.

      How come it is not possible to 'reconstruct' the old one 50m meters further apart in order to allow for simultaneous operations?

    3. Anonymous16:08

      Anon @15:01 Try getting informed at least about some basic facts before making absurd comments. Proposed inserted runway will be BETWEEN current RWY12/30 and current TWY A. Where can you get additional 50m further apart???

      Vinci might not simply disassemble the existing runway equipment and place it on the other one! Did you not read that both runways could be used as a quick backup in case one is unusable, such as disabled aircraft on a runway? Both runways will have equipment at the same time to allow for a quick switch.

    4. Anonymous16:12

      That's if the things are done right.

    5. Anonymous16:15

      Well almost, one thing needs to be cleared first of all. It's not a French idea to build an inserted RWY, that genius idea is solely coming from the Serbian Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, nobody else. This idea was included in the technical part part for the concession tender, after that it's too late to change anything otherwise you have to re-do the entire tender.
      For the inserted RWY it's stipulated in the MTR (minimal technical requirement) that it has to be a CATII RWY while in use as a RWY, which means that it has to have an ILS and AGL according to that.
      All the MTR is coming from Airport Nikola Tesla and the Ministry, the French is just building it.

    6. Anonymous16:33

      That makes it even worse.

    7. Anonymous16:52

      I think the inserted runway is quite good and a visionary idea. Some people can't understand it yet but they will.

    8. Anonymous17:01

      I guess no other airport in the world saw it either.

    9. Aэrologic17:08

      For what sake any sane state would defer the largest investment project there is i.e building the runway to a period once the concession ends??

      The truth is, with things developing as they are, Serbia/BEG could have easily built a fu**ing 'inserted runway' on their own, refurbished or enlarged the terminal building and built some apron space. That's not like building a cosmodrome.

      The concession is precisely there for those big undertakings for which they don't have either the money or the experience.

      Which is here:

      - Either a proper runway

      - A new terminal

      - Attract new airlines (bonus)

      Guess what?

      Vinci ain't doing any of the three while French will keep sucking money out of an ALREADY profitable airport.

      Good luck with that vision.

    10. Anonymous17:11

      The point asked here is in regards to those developments, was a concession needed at all?

    11. Anonymous20:00

      Anon at 16:15. Was the idea of inserted runway really created by the Ministry? First public mention of inserted runway maps was in April 2015 when former ANT management (now managing Akcionarsko Drustvo ANT) presented maps with inserted runway. Looks like Ministry got the idea from them.

    12. Anonymous20:46

      Ask yourself how old will you be in 2043 when concession ends and when real second runway starts construction. Former manager Vlaisavljevic will be 75.

    13. Anonymous08:03

      I just think Aerologic can't stand BEG getting a second runway. ;)

    14. Anonymous11:50

      Anon 20:00; I can even tell you the name of the mastermind that came up with the idea...
      The problem from the beginning is that nobody in Serbia believed that you could re-construct the the main RWY without shutting down the airport, of course it could be done, this is where this crazy idea originates from.
      As somebody wrote above, it's going to be a very expensive TXW, the future usage will be extremely limited, but as it is in the concession agreement, there's noting to discuss anymore. It has to be done regardless of all the problems and delays it brings with it in the construction.

      There's a lot of speculation above if this has ben done somewhere else, yes = Venice Airport. Completely different circumstances, but they have an inserted RWY as well.

    15. Anonymous17:13

      Venice & Bahrain, sounds very similar. Two insular states surrounded by sea and very limited space.

    16. Anonymous17:52

      Anon at 11:50; Who is that mastermind? We know who originally proposed Prokop and people behind other questionable transportation ideas so why not know mastermind behind inserted runway?

    17. Anonymous19:50

      Prokop is not such a big issue i.e that it was meant to be part of a larger metro-rail system, only with which it would make perfect sense and functionality. Phase one of that system is the Beovoz urban rail and underground tunnels.

      The fact that Yugoslavia collapsed and all other adjacent projects didn't materialize isn't exactly engineer's fault, such projects are built between 40 to 60 years.

      It is also not his fault that idiots in power have halved or reduced by 70% the number of Beovoz departures (never enabled any feed from the bus network) and didn't provide the new railway station with any transportation links.

      Line #72 to the airport runs more frequently than the bus 34 going to the railway station from Slavija@

  10. Anonymous16:28

    Well let's pray it all turns out alright in the end.

    1. Anonymous01:32

      Don't tink dats gonna help much, but give it a try, let us knows what will happens.

    2. Anonymous08:03

      I have faith in God, you should too. After all, we all prayed for Serbian aviation and look where it took us. Can't complain. :)

    3. Anonymous19:25


    4. Anonymous06:44

      Yeah, of course. I am not talking about the current glitch but about the overall situation and state.


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