Concessionaire to take over Zagreb Airport on Thursday

ZAGREB, 04.12.2013.
The French ZAIC consortium, which was granted a 30-year concession in April 2012 to construct a new passenger terminal at Zagreb Airport and manage the current airport facilities, is officially taking over the airport in the Croatian capital on Thursday after it paid the first two million euros as a prerequisite for that move, Croatian Transport and Infrastructure Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic said on Wednesday at a news conference he held together with Christophe Petit, a senior executive of Bouygues Batiment International, a member of the concern.

The minister, the French executive, and the chairman of the board of the Croatian construction company "Viadukt", Josko Mikulic, said that the works on organising the future construction site at the airport would start next week.

Petit said that Zagreb would get a a new airport on Christmas in three year's time, given that the construction of the new terminal and other facilities would take 36 months.

Pointing out that the concession agreement with ZAIC was the best agreement of this kind signed in Croatia, Minister Hajdas Doncic said that for the first time Croatia would receive funds from concession fees in the next 30 years regarding this project.

He said that the concession treaty would soon be made available to the public as it would be published by his ministry and the Public-Private Partnership Agency.

The minister said that the revenues from the concession fee would be distributed to the government, to the City of Zagreb and the town of Velika Gorica, where the airport is located, as well as to Zagreb County.

Pursuant to the concession contract, the next installment of EUR 2.3 million is to be paid on 1 January, according to the minister.

Under the concession contract, the concession-holder is expected to invest EUR 190 million during the first stage of the job and build a new terminal to be able to cater for 3.8 million passengers annually.

Minister Hajdas Doncic recalled that the investment would rise to some 300 million euros, which would be one of the biggest jobs in Croatia since its independence.

The French businessman Petit said that this project would pave the way to another foreign investments in Croatia, and thanked the Croatian government for patience and for partnership given that there had been some postponements in the launch of the project. Originally, the construction of the new airport was due to have started in September.

Petit also reassured the employees at Zagreb Airport that they should not fear for their jobs and that the concession agreement provided for protection of workers.

Upon being granted the concession, ZAIC registered in Croatia the stock company called "Medjunarodna Zracna Luka Zagreb (MZLZ)" consisting of Aeroports de Paris Management, Bouygues Batiment International, Viadukt, Margarite Fund, the International Finance Corporation IFC and TAV, which is officially in charge of managing the airport.