For a nationally significant infrastructure project fifteen to twenty million euros doesn’t buy you very much nowadays, especially not in the aviation sector. Nevertheless, perhaps bearing in mind that in relative terms such an amount of money is far from insubstantial to bijou Slovenia, it should be noted that nowhere in the world do airport terminals come cheap. Such an amount of money would not buy very much at Manchester’s Ringway, for example, although as with any scheme, either personal or in the public sector, embellishments and the message intended to be portrayed to the wider world can soon see visions fall into the vanity project category; worse still, as could be argued with Ashgabat’s new $2 billion falcon-shaped terminal: a white elephant AND a Potemkin project all under one chandelier-dominated roof.
Anyone who has journeyed through Ljubljana’s Brnik Airport will acknowledge its faults which can be self-evident immediately on entering the terminal – especially if several flights are simultaneously checking-in passengers. The check in area is cramped and not somewhere to otherwise dwell once the formalities have been discharged. The flight side experience is though pleasant, especially if one happens to be travelling early morning on the Wednesday flight back to Manchester. I have though never seen the departure side overly busy; similar to Innsbruck’s Kranebitten Airport, I can imagine a busy Brnik is not the most comfortable place to while away 2-3 hours.
Details of Fraport’s expansion plans of Brnik are to be fleshed out on April 20th, although I presume a straightforward extension to the current construct, and perhaps improved business class facilities will encapsulate the project’s raison d’etre. It is though unclear how, if at all, this standalone scheme will dovetail with the larger, much vaunted “Aeropolis” concept slated to transform Brnik’s immediate area into a commercial hub comprising office space, logistical capabilities that eclipse the airport’s current offering, and a hotel. Although both projects share few characteristics, it will only come clear when Fraport formally announce their intentions to improve Brnik’s terminal if there is to be any overlap with or watering down of the original, albeit ambitious Aeropolis plans.
Source material and further information:
Aeropolis website: http://www.aeropolis.si/eng/