Brnik, 30 December (STA) - For Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, 2019 will be a landmark year as construction of a new passenger terminal is slated to begin. The airport operator is currently in the midst of selecting a contractor and the terminal is expected to enter service in 2021.
The terminal has been in the making for well over a decade but the plan had been derailed by the economic and financial crisis, which led to a collapse in passenger numbers.
Now that the airport is growing briskly again, airport manager Fraport Slovenija decided to re-launch the project.
Fraport Slovenija director Zmago Skobir told the STA the new terminal would be connected to the existing terminal, which was built in 1973 and expanded in 2007, but it will be a separate unit.
At 10,000 m2, the terminal will house departures and security check facilities, which are currently cramped in a space that cannot be expanded. Additional retail and restaurant facilities are planned as well.
"All this will provide better service even as passenger numbers continue to grow, and it will eliminate the current bottleneck in departures," he said.
The airport registered 1.68 million passengers in 2017, with the figure expected to rise to 1.82 million this year, according to Skobir.
"We strongly feel this surge in traffic on a daily basis ... new infrastructure is needed," he said.
The company is currently selecting a contractor, six having submitted their bids by the end of November deadline. Talks with the three best bidders are ongoing.
Construction works are valued at EUR 16.2m, with the total price tag of the project at roughly EUR 20m.
"If there are no complications due to appeals or new information that would require the reworking of the entire plan, all procedures should be completed by the end of spring," Sobir said.
The terminal would enter service before the summer season 2021, just before Slovenia assumes the rotating presidency of the EU.