Bulgaria Govt to Discuss Granting Concession on Plovdiv Airport Wednesday
Bulgaria’s government will discuss on Wednesday the process of granting concession on the airport in Plovdiv, the country’s second largest city, Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has said.
A decision to kickstart a procedure for granting concession on Sofia international airport is expected to be made by the cabinet in two week’s time, BNR public radio quoted Moskovski as saying at a transport infrastructure conference in Sofia on Tuesday.
Bulgaria can grant concessions on its airports for maximum 35 years under the country’s existing legislation but the term can be extended up to 99 years after the adoption of a new Concession Act drafted in line with a respective EU directive that will take effect from April 15, Moskovski said, according to BNR. The new Concession Act is expected to be submitted to Parliament soon, Moskovski added. According to mediapool.bg.
The passenger airport in Plovdiv, some 150 km. southeast of Sofia, is used as an alternative to Sofia Airport in adverse weather conditions, usually in winter months. It also serves charter flights bringing visitors to the Bulgarian ski resorts of Pamporovo and Borovets.
Bulgaria's Pamporovo AD, a hotel owner and operator of the infrastructure in the ski report of the same name, has shown interest in becoming concessionaire of Plovdiv Airport. Potential investors from China and Turkey have also expressed interest, Moskovski said.
The future concessionaire of Plovdiv airport will be granted the right to build and operate a cargo terminal. The government also plans to grant concession on the construction of an intermodal transport terminal near Plovdiv that will make the airport a hub for cargo traffic between Western Europe and the Middle East.
Several foreign companies have expressed interest in being granted concession on Sofia Airport, according to Bulgarian news daily Standart.
They are Munich Airport, Spain’s Ferrovial and an unnamed South Korean company, the daily reported on Monday.
The starting price at the future tender for concession on Sofia Airport is expected to be in the range of BGN 500 M to BGN 580 M paid upfront as concession fee, Moskovski said earlier this year. The government will use the proceeds to repay some BGN 460 M in outstanding debt of the struggling Bulgarian Railways Company (BDZ).
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