THE TRANSPORT Ministry lacks the money to operate regional airports in the cabinet-approved state budget for 2014, and is currently contemplating closing some of them, but hopes this will not be necessary, the SITA newswire wrote on October 14.
The draft state budget for next year allocates €1 million for the operation of regional airports. This year money allocated for support of air transport may amount to €7.1 million, while the original plan was €6 million. In 2012 the state supported air transport with €10.75 million and in 2011 it was €8.66 million.
“The Transport Ministry continues to look for ways to keep regional airports,” said Transport Ministry spokesperson Martin Kóňa. “This is why we requested to keep the subsidy … at last year’s level, at least, i.e. by €5 million higher than is proposed. Alas, we have not reached such an agreement with the Finance Ministry yet.”
Transport Minister Ján Počiatek had earlier indicated regional airports in Žilina and Sliač as the biggest candidates for closure. In spite of their efforts, they do not operate any scheduled routes, while Sliač runs charter flights during the summer to Turkish Antalya and Bulgarian Burgas.
21. Oct 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff