Belgrade Airport expansion gains pace

The first phase of Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport’s expansion is underway, which includes the increase and optimisation of handling capacities, segregation of arriving and departing passengers, a new commercial plaza and centralised security, as well as the construction of more than 30.000 square metres of additional terminal space. This will result in the addition of sixteen new gates. Furthermore, the first phase of work includes the construction of an inserted runway, the development of new taxiways and the expansion of the de-icing platform. All of the aforementioned work is planned for completion by 2023. The expansion of the C pier of the Terminal 2 building (pictured), which is currently underway, is estimated for completion in September of next year.

Commenting on the C pier expansion, Belgrade Airport’s General Manager, Francois Berisot, said, “This is a very critical step for us because it will help us increase capacity. It will significantly improve the comfort and experience of our passengers, but it will also improve airline operations, specifically of our close partner Air Serbia. We started this work at the beginning of this year, and everything is going smoothly. We have adjusted to the new situation and have implemented all the recommendations and pre-emptive measures under the guidelines of the authorities. This was a big challenge for us, but we are so happy to have found a way to move on and continue with construction”.

As EX-YU Aviation News learns, the airport has currently paused some work inside the terminal buildings, such as the expansion of the baggage hall, due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. However, work on the new bus gate in the A pier of the Terminal 1 building is ongoing. Work has begun on setting vertical pillars that will support future elevator and stairs, as well as the installation of the power supply, heating and ventilation. Land side construction currently taking place involves work on the remote car park which will be used as the future long-term car park and taxi parking, while a new roundabout is also under construction in the area. Elsewhere, preparation for the overhaul of the apron located next to general aviation has been completed. The preliminary design of the inserted runway has also been concluded and a building permit is expected to be issued soon. Preparatory work for the undertaking has been split into six phases, in an attempt to minimise any disruption to air traffic. The first phase, which involves the closure of certain taxiways, has already been implemented.

Mr Berisot noted, “Our goal is to modernise the airport and improve services in all segments. We want to increase capacity, improve the quality of the service and improve the passenger experience. We will gradually improve and implement all the best practices in the airport business. A big part of this journey is the renovation and expansion of the airport facilities. This will include expansion and renovation almost everywhere at the airport. It will involve the expansion of the terminal building, renovation of the existing building, new aprons, new carparks, new parking positions for aircraft and a new runway that we will build just beside the existing one. We expect for all the major works to be completed in the coming three years”.

Photos courtesy of Željko Veljković 


  1. Anonymous09:05

    Good to read something positive in these troubled times.

  2. Anonymous09:06

    Well done

  3. Anonymous09:12

    16 extra gates is impressive! I assume that will include bus gates too.

  4. Anonymous09:14

    So, no new terminal?

    1. Anonymous09:15

      The size of the expansion is bigger than Terminal 2.

    2. Anonymous09:21

      If that's all you could get out of the article anon 09.14 congratulations.

    3. Anonymous09:24

      It's the first phase of the project. Just with this 3 year expansion there will be 32 gates at the airport in total.

    4. Anonymous09:29

      How many jet bridges will be added?

    5. Anonymous09:35


    6. Anonymous09:39

      Actually there will be more than 32 gates:

      A - 10
      C - 16+6
      Bus gates: A4a, A4b and the new one on C.

      Total: 35

    7. Anonymous11:10

      Finally! I can't wait for this to be completed.

    8. Anonymous16:12

      BEG has 16 bridges right now and someone said they will add 11 more. They will add 16 more gates. Trying to figure out the number of gates/bus gates/jet bridges in this.

      If BEG has three bus gates (A4a, A4b and C7?), we know they are currently adding two more (A5a and A5b?) and will probably close C7? and instead build two more bus gates. The numbers will then look like this:

      Bus-only gates: 3+5=8
      Jet bridges: 16+11=27 (Out of those, dual jet bridge capable gates: 3+3=6)
      Total gates: 19+16=35

      Is this correct???

    9. Anonymous16:31

      Yes that is correct based on the information we have.

    10. Anonymous17:26

      Jet bridges currently at other EX-YU airports:

      LJU: 4
      ZAG: 8
      DBV: 4
      SJJ: 2
      SKP: 6
      PRN: 4
      tot: 28

      BEG will have just one less than all other combined?!?!?

    11. Anonymous17:41

      Interesting that SKP has almost the same size as ZAG. What about bus gates at the two?

    12. Anonymous18:01

      Actually BEG will have more gates than Budapest and Bucharest. They are really going big which is fantastic.

    13. Anonymous18:29

      Centralized security check will return, smart! As long as they put enough scanners and x-ray machines in parallel and flex the number of operators to match the demand during peak waves, lines should not be too long.

      I wonder what will happen with that tiny border check upstairs at renovated Terminal 1? Doesn't seem to fit the centralized approach.

    14. Anonymous20:49

      Maybe they will close it down and turn that area into air side shopping zone.

    15. Anonymous22:13

      But why Belgrade have so many jet bridges compared to other airports?

    16. Anonymous22:26

      Better planning? Also Belgrade has such a layout that passengers can board even without it.

    17. Anonymous00:14

      It's good to have many airbridges, but will they be filled and used? After all, there is a slightly higher percentage of smaller aircraft compared to A320 or A738 for example.
      YM, LO, JU, A3, evening MUC and FRA, VIE, B2 mainly send smaller aircraft that are unlikely to be served by the airbridges.

    18. JATBEGMEL01:32

      @ 16,12

      I think C7 will become a jet bridge gate.

      @ 18,29

      It will be interesting to see what happens there as there doesnt seem to be room to add security screening. Perhaps a dedicated staff/crew security point?

      @ 00,14

      JU has 15 ac that could use the gates at this moment, with potential to increase. Almost every airline serving BEG are using the air bridges. There are periods when space is tight. Add to this, gates A7-A10 need to be renovated and that will take capacity for a while.

    19. Anonymous06:53

      Anon 00.14

      Aegean exclusively sends the A320 to Belgrade, the Q400 has not been dispatched to BEG in years now.
      In summer all five daily Lufthansa flights to Belgrade are on A320/321. Even this winter it was not uncommon to get the A319/320 on the afternoon flight to Munich (departure at 17.00). Funny you mentioned B2, before corona their plan was to start sending the E75 to BEG in stead of the much smaller CRJ200.

      Embraers normally go to airbridge, you can see that at various airports starting with Warsaw.

  5. Anonymous09:23

    Stupid inserted runway.

    1. Anonymous09:26

      And where should they have built a new runway? They don't have control over the land on the other side of the terminals where original projects from the 80s foresee a new runway. So do you expect them to bulldoze the terminals to build a new runway?

    2. Anonymous09:38

      They do, government transferred them the rights.

    3. Anonymous09:38

      So what happened to that land and how to get control over it?

    4. Anonymous09:39

      You realize this solution is only temporary?

    5. Anonymous09:39

      No they did not. It belongs to the government which plans to develop a commercial zone there.

    6. Anonymous09:42

      What f**king commercial zone?

    7. Anonymous09:45

      Actually in the future they will use that area to develop and probably build a new runway

    8. Anonymous09:57

      Why wait for the end of concession to build a new runway out of their own pockets?

    9. Anonymous10:15

      Because an airport that handles around 5 million passengers or so doesn't need two runways. It's a waste of valuable ressources. I mean this year BEG will have around 2 million passengers due to corona and next year that number will be around 3 million. There is no reason to rush things just because you think they are currently important.

    10. Anonymous11:02

      +1 Anon 10.15

    11. Anonymous11:24

      they're now building a second one?

    12. Anonymous11:24

      Please tell that to constructors of BUD and OTP who have built their second runway when traffic was way below BEG. In order not to have to build a useles inserted runway 50 years later.

    13. Anonymous11:30

      Those were different times, Communism was around, money was spent on vanity projects without any commercial consideration.

    14. Anonymous14:50

      Well, please try to find a single capital airport since the 1930's that was projected with a single runway 🤦.

    15. Anonymous15:10

      Interesting point but that does not change the fact that Belgrade doesn't need it and it would be a waste of ressources. Better to invest in new toilets.

    16. Anonymous18:40

      Belgrade is getting one right now.

      So it'll be a two runway airport without the ability to use both simultaneously.

    17. Anonymous20:22

      All that while bearing the expense.

  6. The concession seems to be paying off for Serbia very well from the looks of it.

    Does anyone know how much Montenegro paid JAT for TGD and TIV airports?

    1. Around 10 mil€ only...

    2. Anonymous22:11

      I am not sure, but there was involved some quid pro quo. Also, some debts written off?

  7. Anonymous09:37

    By the way, BEG will have more gates than Athens!

  8. Anonymous09:50

    Kudos for all the good work. But I have a friendly advice for Mr Berisot:

    If you want to "improve the passenger experience", please fix the toilets first. They are a disgrace for a modern 21st century airport. And it's such a small investment, yet very important for the overall experience.

    Oh, and also, maybe you should Google some sandwich recipes that are not from the Second World War, and give those to the restaurants at your airport to make and sell.

    With these two basically free improvements, you will make a big difference for passenger experience already.

    1. Anonymous10:13

      Talking of toilets, they closed off those around A8-A9 some months ago so they are currently being renovated.

    2. Anonymous10:29

      Those were indeed the worst. But the others are not much better. For example, the one at the baggage belts, yikes.

      Also, it's not just about renovating, but using the right materials when you do renovate. The new toilets next to Hleb&kifle looked good at first, but they used materials which are very flimsy and get dirty easily, and it already looks quite bad. You need to build it with strong stuff that can take all the wear and tear of an airport toilet and still look decent in 5 or more years.

    3. Anonymous10:39

      Those toilets by C1-C2 are nicely designed but when I used them only one urinal and one cubicle were functional during the whole morning rush hour. Wonderful... not.

  9. Anonymous10:12

    I noticed something rather interesting. The terminal expansion in picture 3 seems to be behind the current C area meaning that the size of space in the back will more than double. This is not surprising as there is enough space around the area where taxi parking is right now. If they are really going to add 11 airbridges then I suppose 6 will be in front and 5 in the back. I suppose this will become one of the biggest terminals in the Balkans.

  10. Anonymous10:15

    Anyone know why there were two MS B77W in BEG this morning?

  11. Anonymous10:21

    I noticed Vinci chose 1PAX as their partners for this expansion. From the company's Instagram page you can read the following: 1PAX (one passenger) is an architecture practice searching for a responsible and human-centric approach to the design of the architecture of movement.

    Whatever that means. They have some pictures of their designs and they are quite nice. They seem to have worked with Vinci at LYS, in Guadaloupe, NCE terminal extension, they participated at the Almaty terminal design competition with a really nice design, they made the masterplan for Mashhad... and so on.

    Let's see what they do in BEG.

  12. Anonymous10:30

    I think once you land and are going out in Belgrade you will go from C gates into a tunnel that takes you to where the luggage is today. All in all this is a nice and much needed expansion. No wonder JU is not slowing down their expansion mode, BEG will make it possible... finally.

  13. Anonymous10:39

    What about A6 to A10?

  14. With these 16 added gates, BEG have to bring new airlines, TAP Portugal, Iberia, Brussels Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, KLM ( instead of Transavia ), Aer Lingus, airBaltic, British, Luxair, El Al, American Airlines ( ORD service for example ), AC Rouge to YYZ, etc...

    1. Anonymous11:03

      Well there was a rumor of Transat looking at BEG. Also don't forget that BEG right now would suffer from space constraints so Vinci took the last train before total collapse.

      Would be nice for TK to finally get more flights or to at least allow them to send widebodies to BEG especially once tourist arrivals from Turkey start growing.

    2. LOL AC rouge is gone. They disposed all their aircrafts as they were total garbage and fuel inefficient.

    3. Anonymous17:24

      Rouge is shutting down?

    4. From what I’ve seen, they are removing their B767 from the fleet, so Air Transat and Air Canada are the only possibilities, unless AirSERBIA launch it but I honestly doubt.

    5. Anonymous18:02

      So what will happen with Rouge European destinations that were operated with the 767?

    6. Anonymous18:04

      Nobody can tell you because there is no decision. It may get older Air Canada jets, it may merge with Air Transat. At this point nobody knows.

    7. Given that Air Canada is also removing their old planes (A330-343, B767 not for the moment but in the future), the only way to establish European routes again is by sending B787-8/B787-9.
      Anyway, we’ll know more information soon.
      When this stupid Corona will be done, fingers are crossed for this new YYZ-BEG route.

    8. Anonymous20:51

      I think Air Canada can make three weekly YYZ-BEG work on the B788. Toronto is perfectly positioned to cover all of Midwest and west USA as well as all of Canada. It also doesn't hurt there is quite a bit of O&D to help out. Nonstop flights will also help stimulate demand.

    9. WestJet is an option too. They are a good brand since they acquired B787-9, cabin looks pretty good for an Economy Class, Business class too. They have a hub in YYZ so. But the only issue is Air Canada isn’t as cheap as we think, take CDG for example to YYZ, return flights costs about 600 EUR, too expensive for people living in Serbia.

    10. Anonymous21:47

      Belgrade-New York on Air Serbia is €700 in summer and they manage to fill their A330 without a problem. Also a big chunk of passengers will be from the US and Canada so there won't be any problem. That's why feed is key here.

    11. When summer comes, people are ready to pay a lot no matter the price, they just want to go on holiday, but flying to Canada in the middle of January and paying almost 600€ wouldn’t attract people, Canadian (maybe a bit more because they are "rich" but not Serbians for sure).
      Also, 600€ is such a big price, knowing that it is the average of a salary in Serbia, let’s see...

    12. Anonymous06:55

      Well if Qatar can fill a daily A321 to BEG with transfers to sunny and warm Asian destinations then I am sure Air Canada could fill a Dreamliner which is not much bigger. Also, AC could rely on its North American feed, California alone is enough to sell half the plane. Los Angeles is one of the more popular US destinations out of Belgrade.

  15. Anonymous11:03

    Maybe after this expansion there will be enough bus gates for Wizz Air to be moved to remote stands.

  16. Anonymous11:11

    Looking at the render gate C7 should be a widebody gate.

  17. BA88812:08

    Can anyone help me understand delusions of grandeur of some people here?

    Two runways? What for? LGW (which is about to have huge decrease in capacity for forseable future) has only one. And manages pretty well.

    Arrvials of new companies where most of them struggle to even exist and are laying off or sacking thousands of staff?

    Increase in trafic where the whole globe is heading for economic depression for many years to come?

    I agree, its great to have positive idea for the future and some level of investment and change at BEG is needed... but for the rest huge reality check will happen one way or another.

    1. Anonymous12:24

      LGW doesn't have one runway by choice. ;)

    2. Anonymous12:30

      Other airlines' operations in Serbia depends on the situation here and the economy. Forecasts predict a drop of 4% which is not thta bad compared to some others meaning drop in demand for air travel will not collapse. Also this terminal won't be opened until next winter so there is more than enough time for demand to recover.

    3. BA88812:31

      And whats your answer got to do with my statement about LGW?

    4. Anonymous13:13


  18. BA88813:25

    @anon 12.24+13.13

    Go on mate, shine your valued opinion!

    What has approval of adding second runway got to do with my statement that LGW (and so many other single runway airports) are coping OK with much higher passenger numbers ?

    1. Anonymous13:28

      Just because an airport has a single runway doesn't mean it doesn't want a second one or that it doesn't need one. Lgw would love to expand but it can't due to politics.

    2. Anonymous16:19

      BA888, discussion about second vs inserted runway on this site and other places happened around 2014/2015. You have been around at that time and could have made a comment. Decision (good or bad) has been made by the former BEG management, then put into RFQ/tender and it's all history from there. Do you really expect today's comments can reverese the process now?

    3. Anonymous16:33

      I guess this can't be reversed which is a true shame.

    4. Anonymous17:22

      It's just tilting at windmills at this point. All we can do is remember who and when made the decision about inserted runway, and hope traffic grows by leaps and bounds to require 2nd runway before 2043.

    5. Anonymous17:24

      I don't see why that wouldn't happen though.

  19. Anonymous15:32

    Guys aren't these very exciting times?!

  20. Anonymous18:11

    Looking at the pictures and how fast they are progressing I have a feeling it will be ready before September 21.

  21. Anonymous18:26

    According to AF's website, they are reinstating daily flights to BEG starting from 01.06.

    1. Anonymous18:28

      None of it is updated. Most airlines are only now drafting their schedules for June. Don't read much into it.

    2. Anonymous20:52

      Ok, I'll check it out later. It's just that there were no flights in May so I assumed they are starting in June.

  22. Anonymous07:57

    Thank God in about a week flights resume from BEG. This has been a disgusting period for aviation.

  23. Anonymous08:59

    Amazing job, BEG!


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