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Maribor Airport Launching EUR 15m Overhaul

Ljubljana, 27 January (STA) - The Transport Ministry is to launch an overhaul of infrastructure at the Edvard Rusjan Airport in Maribor, Slovenia's second largest airport. The EUR 15m project, funded with EUR 11.1m by the European Regional Development Fund, is expected to be concluded in 2013.

The head of the Civil Aviation Directorate, Mirko Komac, told the press in Ljubljana on Wednesday that the project was a logical follow-up to the modernisation of the airport infrastructure carried out in the 2004-2007 period.

The planned overhaul is aimed at improving the quality of services, contributing to the development of the region and boosting competitiveness of the airport, Komac said. He added that investments were a prerequisite for a strong, market-oriented presentation of the airport's international transport capacities.

The project includes extension and overhaul of the passenger terminal, drafting of the airport's master plan and refurbishment of the airport buildings, Damjan Horvat of the directorate explained.

The reconstruction of the terminal, which needs an overhaul because of new requirements for separation of passengers, will be carried out by construction company SCT and is expected to be concluded in 2011.

The master plan, which will provide a development concept through 2040, will be made by Airport Consulting Vienna and the Ljubljana Urban Planning Institute, is expected to be finished also in 2011.

The Transport Ministry has prepared documentation for a call for applications for a long-term lease of the Maribor airport. The documentation is expected to be published in January, the ministry said, adding that there was a lot of interest.

The call for applications was announced for the last year but was not realised, among other things because the infrastructure is partly owned by Aerodrom Maribor, the company operating the airport, which is in turn owned by the car seat cover maker Prevent.

The Ljubljana airport is meanwhile planning a new passenger terminal, which is expected to be finished in 2012, while the new control centre at Slovenia's main international airport is expected to be finished by April 2011.

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