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>> Bulgaria >> Bulgaria airport development
Sofia Airport (SOF/LBSF), Bulgaria
Sofia Airport is located 5km east of Sofia, Bulgaria. Over the years the airport has been reconstructed and modernised many times. The last reconstruction took place in 1989.
Due to its limited capacity, the airport is not in a position to provide the necessary facilities for the increased flow of passengers and cargo. To meet this expected increase of traffic, the government of Bulgaria (the owners of the airport) felt that the airport infastructure was in need of massive modernisation. A decision was taken to reconstruct and refurbish the existing airport.
The Ministry of Transport accepted an updated master plan for the reconstruction and modernisation of Sofia Airport. The redevelopment is in three phases and will take place between 1997 and 2010.
PHASE 1 (1997–99)
The passenger terminal capacity will be increased to 2.5 million per annum (2,500 passengers per hour at peak hours), with a floor area of 26,000m², new aprons covering 38,000m² and road access and parking lots covering 18,000m². The current 2.8km runway will be extended to reach 3.4km to the east and will be completely resurfaced. Additional taxiways covering 20,000m² will be constructed and work on the initial phase of the new cargo terminal will also begin during this phase.
PHASE 2 (2000–04)
Phase 2 involves the development of the passenger terminal, building the capacity for 3.5 million passengers per year. It will involve second-phase construction of the cargo terminal and reconstruction and expansion of the existing runway, taxiway and apron system. The following elements will be included in the redevelopment:
The old frontage will be replaced by a modern fascia, providing increased shelter and light. A new mezzanine café/bar will cater for passengers. A centrally located duty-free and tax-free shop and a 'Spirit of Bulgaria' will exist, making available both leading international liquor brands as well as Bulgarian wines, brandies and rakees.
The check-in area will have 20 new desks, which have been designed to facilitate the easy installation of common user terminal equipment (CUTE) hardware, allowing Sofia Airport to maximise check-in desk allocation. It is an electronic gateway allowing access to any airline system on all new desks, and will automate the boarding process. After check-in, the customer has the option of entering the gate area via two customs and border-control corridors, to the right and left of the check-in facility.
PHASE 3 (2004–10)
Phase 3 involves the expansion of the terminal to handle 5 million passengers per year. It includes the construction of required aprons and supporting utilities.
In March 1998, the government of Bulgaria approved a financial agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for a loan of $114 million for the expansion of Sofia Airport, design and construction of a new passenger terminal building and extension of the existing runway. Technical assistance to be provided by the financial agreement includes completion of the airport master plan, planning and supervision of the project implementation and operation and financial management of the airport.
In August 1998, the government of Bulgaria approved a $40 million loan from the Kuwait development fund for additional financing for extension of the runway, construction of a new parallel runway and additional taxiways.