Bulgaria Offers Plovdiv Air Cargo Terminal, Ruse Airport on Concession

Business | March 2, 2011, Wednesday // 17:37|  views

The concession of the nearby airport in the Bulgarian Danube city of Ruse will turn it to an even more important transportation center in Europe. File photo

The Bulgarian government has started procedures for finding private operators of the cargo terminal of the southern Plovdiv Airport, and of the civilian airport Shtraklevo near the Danube city of Ruse.

The main purpose of the concession in Plovdiv is to increase the activity of the airport, to attract more air traffic and to develop competitive commercial activities regarding mostly cargo processing.

The second concession aims at restoring the activity of the Ruse Airport, at reaching certain levels of services, attracting air traffic and developing the commercial activities in the area of the airport.

The restoration of the activities of the Ruse Airport as a civil airport for public use is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Transport Ministry and is included in the Strategy for Development of Transport Infrastructure in Bulgaria until 2015.

The proposed term of the concession is 35 years and the concessionaires will be determined through an open procedure.

On February 9, the Bulgarian government also announced a concession procedure for terminal Iztok 2 of the port in the Black Sea city of Burgas.

While there was investor interest in the cargo terminal of the airport in the southern city of Plovdiv a couple of years ago, it remains unclear if the government's motion will generate any offers.

The Bulgarian state has already failed twice to find a concessionaire for the Ruse Airport "Shtraklevo".

While the passenger section of Plovdiv Airport itself is in operation with regular and chartered flights, especially used by tourists to reach Bulgaria's winter and mountain resorts, the Straklevo airport near Ruse has not been in operation for years.

The concession strategy of the Borisov government says that the two airports in question are not very attractive as they are not fit to meet the Schengen Area criteria, and their infrastructure is in a bad condition. With respect to the Ruse Airport it says that the Romanian airports are a very serious competition.

At the same time, Shtraklevo's proximity to Bucharest - only 60 km away - might make rather attractive as a reserve, or alternative airport for the Romanian capital.

The Bulgarian Transport Ministry has announced on its website that concessions are also prepared for the airport in Gorna Oryahovitza, the Central Railway Station in Sofia, Poduene Railway Station in Sofia, Central Railway Station in Plovdiv, parts of the ports in Varna, Ruse and Vidin, and a ferry complex in Varna.

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Tags: Transport Ministry, sofia, Ruse, Plovdiv, airports, airport, Plovdiv airport, cargo terminal, Ruse Airport, Shtraklevo Airport, Bucharest, concessions, concessionaire


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