The first to depart from the new terminal at 6 am were the charter passengers headed for Antalya, followed at 7 am by the charter flight for basketball fans to Lithuania and the first scheduled passenger flight by Lufthansa to Frankfurt. The first passengers received a warm welcome. After checking in for the flight and going through security control in the new premises, they were addressed in the waiting area by Fraport Slovenija’s Managing Director, Zmago Skobir. He expressed satisfaction that with the new infrastructure the airport was entering an exciting new period and that it brings users many advantages – better services for passengers, better working conditions for employees and a more attractive environment for business partners. Although the Covid-19 epidemic hit the airline industry very hard, the airport hustle and bustle of recent days shows that air traffic is getting back on its feet. Connections are returning to Ljubljana Airport, new carriers are arriving and with the easing of restrictions, exploring the world is again a wish that can be realised. He thanked passengers for choosing Ljubljana Airport as the point of departure of their travels. He added that with the new infrastructure Fraport Slovenija is materialising a vision - to create a modern and efficient regional entry point - a hub of opportunity for individuals, society and the broader global community.
The final transfer of airport operations from the old to the new terminal took place immediately after the departure of yesterday’s last aeroplane which departed for Zakynthos shortly before 6 pm. After the passengers had gone, it was necessary to move the remaining technical equipment, connect both terminals by removing barriers and shift the flow of passengers through the building, fill the commercial areas with fresh supplies for the first visitors and establish the new traffic order for accessing the airport’s passenger area.
Changed traffic order
It will now be possible to reach the terminals from the direction of Kranj and the motorway via the first roundabout (KA1), where there will in future be access to open-air car-parks, a pick up & drop off zone, bus station, parking spaces for vans and the multi-storey car-park. Traffic flow will be one-way - from the new terminal towards the exit road past the police station and Slovenian Air Traffic Control, indicated with appropriate traffic signs.
Greater capacity and higher standards
The new passenger terminal offers greater capacity and higher standards for passengers, other users and employees. The existing terminal has gained 10,000 m² of new floor space, including a new departure hall, 14 check-in desks (there will be 22 in total, counting those in the existing terminal), five lanes for security screenings, two baggage claim carousels, a new baggage sorting area, a new business lounge and enhanced catering and retail amenities. Capacity has been increased from 500 to 1250 passengers per hour. The new terminal is functionally linked with the existing areas by a connecting corridor. There is now car parking, a coach terminus and a park right next to the terminal.
Modern, spacious and bright
The architecture of the new building was designed by Plan B as a modern, airy space with an abundance of glass surfaces, which afford lovely views of the runway and the Julian Alps on one side, and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps on the other. The new look is best summed up as a minimalist structure with a unique local touch which ties together exposed concrete, glass, metal and wood cladding.
The structure was built by GIC GRADNJE, which won the public contract that included construction, finishing jobs and installations, as well as preliminary and demolition work, the implementation of a new internal road grid and the reorganisation of some of the manoeuvring area.
Strategic investment for long-term development
The building was constructed in record time, works were begun in July 2019 and they kept to the financial plan. The total value of investment in the new infrastructure is 21 million euros. Fraport Slovenija is opening the terminal at a time when the airline industry is spreading its wings again and as Slovenia is beginning its Presidency of the EU Council. Although the existing terminal would most likely be spacious enough given the current low levels of traffic, Fraport Slovenija’s leadership and parent company had made a clear decision – this project is a strategic investment crucial to the airport’s long-term development and future. The decrepit condition of the old passenger terminal building made it difficult to uphold contemporary standards for passenger arrivals and departures. The company also sees the new terminal as a long-term investment that will help it recover more quickly from the current situation.