Croatian Airports Get A Facelift

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Largest Croatian Airports Currently Under Construction

With the further development of the business travel industry in Croatia and with larger international investments in conference facilities, accommodations and in the hospitality sector in general, many private and governmental companies and institutions are working hard to improve accessibility to the destination, especially in the shoulder and off seasons.

One of major obstacles for this expansion and modernization of the hospitality sector is tied to the insufficiency of flights due to limitations of major Croatian airports. As a result of globalization, modernization and expansion, almost all Croatian airports are currently under construction.

One of the biggest and most important Croatian airports is Zagreb International airport. In the past years, the Croatian government, an owner of the airport, obtain several master plans for reconstruction and development of the Zagreb airport. Finally in 2012 the airport was given under the 30-year concession to Aeroports de Paris. For this purpose the French consortium established a new company called Zagreb Airport International Company (ZAIC). ZAIC today operates the entire airport, including the runways, the current passenger terminal, the new terminal, the cargo terminal, car parks and future property developments.

The concession contract involves a total investment of €324m (£259m): €236 million for the design and construction of the new terminal and €88 million for operation of all airport infrastructures for the entire period of the concession. Construction on the new terminal officially started on 18 December 2013 and should be completed by mid to late 2016. According to revised architectural plans, the main terminal building will be 144x133m with the roof having a slightly larger footprint of 155x165m, with piers extending to some 320m width with 8 passenger boarding bridges as part of phase 1. Two hundred meter (200m) extensions to left and right piers will be added as part of phase 2, adding additional 8 passenger boarding bridges for total of 16. Construction of Phase 2 will commence once terminal reaches 3.5 million passenger capacity, which is expected at the end of 2017.

Airport Dubrovnik

The Dubrovnik airport started with expansion and modernization two years ago, and serious improvements have been made to date. During the past year a third and final terminal has been built with four sky bridges installed. Two previous terminals have been reconstructed and renovated completely, today those are modernized and up to international standards. Dubrovnik airport is owned by the government and has not been given under the concession as of yet. The project of airport development is supported by EU funds and is expected to be finalized by mid-2016. In 2014 Dubrovnik airport handled 1.200.000 passengers, while once reconstruction is completed the airport will be able to accommodate approximately 2 million passengers annually.

Other Croatian Airports

Split airport has undergone a major face lift and smaller expansion during the period from 2009 to 2013. Due to demand during this period the airport was reconstructed in two phases, culminating with the extension of the terminal along with 4 air bridges being added. In 2014 Airport Split handled 1,7 million passenger. Additional investments and development plans are planned in the near future once the investment is merited by annual traffic.

The remaining Croatian airports of Zadar, Osijek, Varazdin, Pula and Rijeka are currently working with existing infrastructure. Here there are no current plans for serious investments or developments in the near future.

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