Two years after its construction started, a modern building now towers over the airport apron, and will soon provide a higher standard of service to passengers and other users. The aim of renewing and developing Ljubljana Airport is to create a modern and efficient regional entry point – a heart of possibilities for individuals, society, and a broader global community. The realised vision was presented by Fraport Slovenija at the new Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport terminal to all the guests gathered at today’s opening ceremony.
Dr Pierre Dominique Prümm, Member of the Fraport AG Executive Board and Executive Director of Aviation and Infrastructure emphasized that Ljubljana Airport’s new terminal is Slovenia’s gateway to the New Future: “Fraport AG is fully committed to Fraport Slovenija and our long-term partnership in Slovenia. Built on time and within budget, the ultra-modern terminal is truly a major achievement all Slovenians can be proud of. This customer-oriented terminal will significantly enhance the passenger experience at Ljubljana Airport. We are confident the new terminal will also strengthen the competitive position of the airport as well as Slovenia – in the region and internationally. Furthermore, this will stimulate growth opportunities at the airport, throughout Slovenia and the entire region."
Zmago Skobir, Managing Director of Fraport Slovenija, greeted this milestone in the airport’s development: “The vision of a new passenger terminal at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport goes back a long way. Unfortunately, the circumstances prevented the start of construction many times. But today we can say that our vision was good enough and our desire was strong enough to create a modern and efficient regional entry point – a heart of possibilities for individuals, society, and a broader global community. We made it happen in spite of times of great uncertainty. The epidemic has had an unprecedented impact on our business, but the world needs a running air passenger traffic and it will take off again. We decided to continue with the construction because we believe in Slovenia, which needs air connectivity due to its tourist, economic and market value. And last but not least, because we value our passengers, our employees and other airport users. They all deserve quality services and good working conditions. We are ready for the returning growth of traffic, with enough space and attractive offer for our passengers and business partners.”
Greater capacity and higher standards
The new structure offers greater capacity and higher standards for passengers, other users and employees. The existing terminal has gained 10,000 m² of new floor space, including a new departure hall, 14 check-in desks (there will be 22 in total, counting those in the existing terminal), five lanes for security screenings, two baggage claim carousels, a new baggage sorting area, a new business lounge and enhanced catering and retail amenities. Capacity has been increased from 500 to 1250 passengers per hour. The new terminal is functionally linked with the existing areas by a connecting corridor. There is new car parking, a coach terminus and a park right next to the terminal.
Modern, spacious and bright
The architecture of the new building was designed by Plan B as a modern, airy space with an abundance of glass surfaces, which afford lovely views of the runway and the Julian Alps on one side, and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps on the other. The new look is best summed up as a minimalist structure with a unique local touch which ties together exposed concrete, glass, metal and wood cladding.
The structure was built by GIC GRADNJE, which won the public contract that included construction, finishing jobs and installations, as well as preliminary and demolition work, the implementation of a new road grid and the reorganisation of some of the manoeuvring area.
Strategic investment for long-term development
The total value of investment in the new infrastructure is 21 million euros. Fraport Slovenija is opening the terminal at a time when the airline industry is spreading its wings again and Slovenia is on the threshold of its Presidency of the EU Council. Although the existing terminal would most likely be spacious enough given the current low levels of traffic, Fraport Slovenija’s leadership and parent company had made a clear decision – this project is a strategic investment crucial to the airport’s long-term development and future. The decrepit condition of the old passenger terminal building made it difficult to uphold contemporary standards for passenger arrivals and departures. The company also sees the new terminal as a long-term investment that will help it recover more quickly from the current situation.
Photos: Peter Irman