Bratislava’s borough of Rača has rejected a development plan drawn up by Bratislava’s M.R. Štefánik Airport that would mean that its two runways would be oriented exclusively in its direction. The project concerns the reconstruction of the current main runway and the building of a new one. Bratislava airport, located only nine kilometres from the city centre, was put into operation in 1951. Its 100-percent shareholder is the Ministry of Transport and Construction.
“Aside from the existing runway oriented in the direction of Rača, the airport is proposing constructing a parallel runway, meaning that all flights landing at or taking off from Bratislava international airport would use a runway pointing in the direction of Rača, a plan to which we vehemently object, of course,” said Rača Mayor Peter Pilinský as cited by the TASR newswire.
Pilinský pointed out that the negative impact of having an airport in the vicinity of Rača is already being felt by the inhabitants there.
“The submitted plan would make the situation even worse, with adverse effects on the quality of life and environment ratcheting up to an extreme extent,” said Pilinský, adding that the plan is not in accord with the master plan of both the Bratislava city council and the Bratislava Self-governing Region (BSK).
“We are all the more surprised that this plan has already garnered support from the Transport and Construction Ministry,” said the Rača mayor, who's seeking support among local councillors, regional deputies and BSK governor candidates running in this year’s election.
Plans for the airport
Bratislava M. R. Štefánik Airport approached Bratislava’s borough of Rača in February, requesting its stance on a planned investment to reconstruct runway (VPD) 13-31 in the direction of Rača. As the reconstruction work at the airport would necessitate operational restrictions spanning several months, the airport is considering building a new runway what would enable it to keep its current capacity.
Airport spokesperson Veronika Ševčíková explained that the airport drafted a study analysing the location of a parallel runway next to the existing 13-31 runway, taking into account the expected growth in the number of flights, the lifetime of existing runway surfaces and restrictions on developing transport infrastructure on the airport’s premises.
”The originally proposed location of the parallel runway with an axial distance of 1,500 metres, in line with the master plan, is currently unfeasible due to the construction of the D4 highway – as the highway directly extends into land reserved for the construction of the parallel runway,” said Ševčíková, adding that the current plan for the parallel runway, to locate it 400 metres from VPD 13-31, was recommended by a study as the best alternative. The airport also would like gradually cease operation on the runaway in the direction of Ivanka pri Dunaja, which is perpendicular to the VPD 13-31 runway.
Ševčíková pointed out that both runways in use were extended to their current sizes in the 1990s and that a complex reconstruction of the main runway 13-31 is necessary. Without a new runway, the airport would have to shut down for several months, which is unacceptable from both business and operational standpoints.
The airport spokesperson claimed that the airport is planning the processes needed to amend the master plan in order to carry out its intentions in line with land-planning documents. She also pointed out that airport stakeholder, the Transport and Construction Ministry, has approved the plan and committed Bratislava airport to its development.
30. Mar 2017 at 22:51 | Compiled by Spectator staff