The Serbian government plans to invest several million euros into Užice’s Ponikve Airport, in the country’s west, in order to enable it for commercial use by the end of 2020. The airport, which boasts a new terminal building, was recently taken over by the state. Last month, a 3.735 metre perimeter fence was erected, however, a further 5.195 metres are required. In addition, the final 800 metres of the 3.200-metre long runway must be resurfaced, and a lighting system installed. “In the upcoming development phase, we need to overhaul the water supply system for the terminal building and fit in fire safety equipment. Some five million euros are necessary in order for the airport to be put into commercial use”, the Mayor of Užice, Tihomir Petković, said.
Užice Airport is used for private flights and has handled 200 domestic and eighty international services so far in 2019. The Užice region is home to some of Serbia’s most exported goods. On the other hand, it is also close to several major cities in the former Yugoslavia, with Sarajevo and Belgrade just 120 kilometres away. During the 1996 summer season, JAT Yugoslav Airlines operated a two weekly Belgrade – Užice – Tivat service. The airport was destroyed in 1999, however, the Serbian government and the European Union have jointly invested over one million euros into the creation of a project masterplan, while significant funds were put into the removal of undetonated bombs around the airport’s runway. Its control tower was reopened in 2013 following a major overhaul by the Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services Agency, while Belgrade Airport also donated funds.
Serbia opened its third commercial airport, in Kraljevo, earlier this summer which is yet to see any services. According to the airport’s operator, talks are underway with interested carriers and revenue flights are expected during the 2020 summer season. On the other hand, the country’s second busiest airport, Niš, has continued to record strong growth, benefiting from twelve new routes launched by Air Serbia this summer. In September, the airport welcomed 44.376 passengers through its doors, an improvement of 47.7% on last year. The number of aircraft movements stood at 476, up 82.4%. During the first three quarters, Niš Constantine the Great Airport handled 295.578 travellers, an increase of 10.7% on the same period in 2018. Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has also seen record figures this year, handling over 4.750.000 passengers up until October.
Source; EX-YU Aviation News