SLOVAKIA plans to lease Letisko M. R. Štefánika – Bratislava Airport – to a concessionaire for a period of 30 years, Transport Minister Ján Figeľ said after a government session on March 16. The minister stated that the process – choosing a suitable consultant with international experience and preparing a tender to seek the concessionaire – should be completed by June 2012, the TASR newswire wrote.
Figeľ is expected to submit a comprehensive plan to the government before the end of April.
The Transport Ministry originally suggested that the airport should be leased for a maximum of 30 years but the Finance Ministry subsequently argued for a period of 40 to 50 years, saying a shorter lease period would reduce an investor's motivation to invest in the airport's development.
A recent analysis stated that Bratislava Airport's unavoidable investment needs are expected to reach at least €350 million. These investments include an overall reconstruction and extension of the existing runway, increasing the amount of space for planes at the terminals, and other necessary upgrades.
Bratislava Airport served 74,600 passengers in February 2011, down 17 percent from the same month in 2010. In the first two months of 2011 the number of passengers checking in dropped by 15 percent from the same period last year.
Letisko M. R. Štefánika is fully-owned by the state: Slovakia’s National Property Fund holds 50.3 percent of the shares and the Transport Ministry holds 49.7 percent.
4. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff