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srijeda, 24. lipnja 2015.

New Zagreb Airport Terminal Construction Update (Photos+Video)

Well, this was going to be just a short post with a few update photos, but then I figured I might as well throw in some related information about similar airport expansions going on in Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar also. Not the most exciting news, but believe it or not, there a lot of forums, blogs and websites that revolve around the topics of planes and especially airports.

Anyway, construction on the new Zagreb Airport terminal (It's also called Pleso at times because that's the suburb of Zagreb where it's located) started up in December of 2013 and is actually ahead of schedule, which is good to know. There were some minor adjustments made to the original design, but which to me make sense. The whole airport complex was originally supposed to be completely all glass, but last year it was decided they would install a contoured reinforced steel roof over the piers and main terminal. For a variety of reasons this makes sense to me, but the building will still be predominantly glass walls and have the same elasticy shape and wavy effect inside and out.

Also, it was decided that they will build 8 passenger boarding bridges as part of phase 1, which will make the terminal fully operational for December 2016 and capable of accommadating 3.5 million passengers a year. Phase 2 will commence shortly afterwards sometime in 2017 and will make the new terminal then capable of processing 5 million passengers. the remaining section of piers and 8 more boarding bridges will then be added for the total of 16.

This is good news and something that was in the works for years, various design proposals, then plans were changed a few times to make the terminal larger and have 16 boarding bridges instead of 12, however it's becoming a reality now, finally a much deserved more state of the art, technologically advanced and modern airport for the city of Zagreb. Now, I've been to a few airports here and there, not all the ones I'd like to travel through, but including some of the larger ones. And I'll tell you, Zagreb Airport will never be or ever need to be on the scale of those airports like in Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid etc. Zagreb Airport is not a major international stopover so it will never have those kinds of passenger numbers, rather it's an international and largely regional European hub, so that means this new terminal should be fine for quite some time.

The current Zagreb "Pleso" airport will still be operational though, it is being upgraded again and will still be located on just the other side of the airport grounds to be used mainly just for low-fare flights, civilian planes etc. The new terminal will be strictly for all the larger national carriers and international flights. I don't know what stores and shops will be included when it's all finally finished next year. I don't know if they'll have a Hugo Boss store, but it wouldn't be a bad idea if they did. I recall Frankfurt Airport having one, actually yeah, I definitely think the new Zagreb terminal should have a Hugo Boss store when it's up and running. Probably a Guess, Mustang or Diesel jeans store and one of those shops with those good smelling soaps too.

I don't know exactly what their plans for security are either, besides the usual patrolling security staff and police that is. But I say get a few Croatian Special Forces soldiers do patrolling duties there too, at least 4 or 5. (with attack dogs preferably). You simply have to let passengers and the public know everything is under control, especially in this day and age. (televangelists, the muslim-rap cartel, various kinds of terrorists and other similar pointless irrational scum might try to complicate or intentionally change things, so they definitely gotta have attack dogs too). I'd put a couple at the boarding areas, 1 to 3 at baggage claims, half a dozen near the main front doors of the terminal, probably one at each of the washrooms and eating areas and of course one out in front of the Hugo Boss store. It's important to be prepared for any situation or monkey business. (I like what what they're doing in Israel, example, and some other places, it's all about the feeling of safety, but also about who's in charge and a reminder of which country you're in, like the saying goes you're not in Kansas anymore. (Try sneaking on a plane, burning flags or stealing soaps and other things there, you'll be filled with lead before you even reach the exit doors with your pockets filled with stolen soaps and unpaid for t-shirt or jeans, having a couple snipers overlooking the place might be a good idea too). They're also good to have around for tourists to pose with and take photos of, sort of like those London guards, so also a sort of tourist attraction.

So there you have it, after December of 2016 you will be landing at this brand spanking new Zagreb Airport. (If you don't land at one of the other ones that is, depending on your travelling itinerary) After that you'll be able to say to your kids neighbours or acquaintances..."Why heck, I remember back when we all had to land at the old Zagreb Airport". There's probably gonna be some good places to eat and have drinks in there too without a doubt, probably some good places to drink martinis, a hanging disco ball etc. It was also recently announced that a new 50 million euro Zagreb Tram line is planned to be constructed from the downtown to the airport. Also, just after doing this post it was announced by the Croatian  Minister of Maritime Affairs Transport and Infrastructure Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, that the official name of this new Zagreb Airport terminal will be named after Franjo Tuđman, the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Croatia in the modern era.

I should also note that this recent new Zagreb Airport terminal is not the only international airport to land in when traveling to Croatia, even though it's all definitely good news as a whole and especially for the capital city, this may come as a shock but Zagreb Airport is not the only major airport in Croatia, it's true. Last year almost 8.2 millon airline passengers arrived in Croatia, but Zagreb was not the only airport destination. Split Airport (aka "Resnik" Airport after the name of the Split neighbourhood where it's located) and Dubrovnik Airport similarly recently also signed contracts and had work done to expand and construct new terminals. Dubrovnik just finished their new terminal because it's now getting over 2 million passenger arrivals annually, and Split Airport is around 2.5 million passenger arrivals, last year there were even a few months in the summer where there were more arrivals in Split than in Zagreb). Zadar Airport had over 520,000 passengers arrive last year and is also expanding facilities, and even Pula Airport is approaching 500,000 passengers annually. Because of the many low-fare carrier flights coming over the last year from closer European locations, Osijek Airport will also be doing some expansion, just not on the scale of these Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik projects. I read some articles about something in the works for Rijeka Airport which is at almost 200,000 annual passengers, but it's not as urgent or needed right now either. Just some bonus supplementary information that's good to know for travelers.

Previous posts: zagreb-pleso-airport-expansion-contract



*Updated photos from the official grand opening at photos-of-day-new-zagreb-airport

New Zagreb Airport terminal proceeding ahead of schedule, target date December 2016

Visualization of the new Zagreb Airport terminal scheduled to be completed for December 2016. *Update - just as in the case of Prague's Václav Havel Airport, it's been announced that it will officially be named the Franjo Tuđman Zagreb International Airport after Croatia's 1st modern era democratically elected President. (*UPDATE 2017 - photos-of-day-new-zagreb-airport-officially-opened)


April 25, 2015.

The construction of Croatia's Zagreb Airport’s new multi million euro terminal is moving forward and on schedule, with work on the 55.000 square meter roof currently in progress. The construction of the 1.400 ton steel roof structure is scheduled for completion by June 30, after which attention will shift to the terminal’s interior. Construction work has already been completed on the baggage sorting facilities, which will be located eight metres below the ground, as well as the apron. Meanwhile, work on the supporting columns for the eight air bridges is also in its final stages. Zagreb Airport has commissioned the Barcelona-based ADELTE boarding company to manufacture eight air bridges for the new terminal. The new generation electromechanical Apron Drive models, which are to be supplied to Zagreb, have two steel-sided sections and the most advanced docking technology, which includes 400Hz Ground Power Units.

Zagreb Airport says that by the end of the year it will purchase all necessary equipment and begin with the facility’s testing phase on December 1. It estimates that construction will be completed by December 2016, when it will apply for an operating license. The airport has officially set March 4, 2017 as the opening date of the new terminal building. The management notes it has boosted passenger numbers at the airport over the past year as a result of new arrivals such as KLM, Flydubai, Polish Eurolot (LOT), Japan Airlines, Korean Air, Spanish Air Nostrum and Air Europa, European Coastal Airlines, Air Croatia, Swiss International Air Lines and the most recently SkyGreece Airlines. During the first quarter, Croatia’s busiest airport handled 478.193 passengers, up 11.3% on the same period in 2014.

Zagreb Airport’s new terminal will have the capacity to handle 3.5 million passengers compared to the current 2.2 million, once the first phase of the project is completed in December 2016. Two hundred meter (200m) extensions to left and right piers will be added as part of phase 2, adding additional 8 passenger boarding bridges for total of 16. Construction of Phase 2 will commence once the terminal reaches 3.5 million passenger capacity, which is expected at the end of 2017. New passenger terminal once completed will provide around ~72,500 square meters of enclosed space.

The airport will later be expanded in subsequent phases to reach an annual capacity of 8-10 million passengers.The project involves a total investment of 331 million euros, 243 million of which will be spent on the construction of the new terminal and 88 million for the maintenance of airport infrastructure over the next 30 years.

*UPDATE 2017 - photos-of-day-new-zagreb-airport-officially-opened

What the new Zagreb Airport terminal will look like by December 2016 after phase one is completed.

As mentioned earlier, a new 50 million euro tram line will eventually be built that will connect downtown Zagreb with regular round-trip departures to the new Zagreb airport terminal.

This image is from the original plans, it will look the same but with the top portion being covered with a contoured structurally strong weather resistant steel. (it will save lots of money on Windex and squeegees)

Original interior views, again it will look the same except with the roof portion being covered.

Some more visuals of phase one after completion next year.

I came across this video and added it to the previous related post. Not all that airport related and the beginning is lacklustre because it was a foggy morning, but it's something I totally forgot about until seeing this video. Just after the 6 minute mark and in less than 1/2 an hour into the flight you will hit the Alps. I'm telling you, if you never get to ski on the Alps the next best thing is seeing them from 35,000 feet. It's almost worth the price of the plane ticket just for that, it's a really awesome view. 

Some images of the construction work currently going on. Images:,

Image: Mario Radaković.

*UPDATE 2017 - photos-of-day-new-zagreb-airport-officially-opened

Croatia announces the construction of a new multi million euro terminal at Split Airport

Visualization after completion.



June 22, 2015.

The Croatian government has announced the construction of a new multi million euro terminal at Split Airport, which will stretch over 35.000 square metres and increase the airport’s capacity to 3.5 million passengers per year. Furthermore, the car park and bus area will also be expanded. Work on the 60 million euro phase one expansion project is expected to begin in autumn or early winter. It is estimated to take just over two years to complete the investment. The new terminal will improve the quality of passenger services and will enforce European Union standards for international border crossings in line with the Schengen Agreement.

The Croatian Minister for Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, Siniša Hajdaš Dončić, said the airport’s management had worked on the project documentation for two and a half years, adding that he hoped for a construction permit to be obtained in July. "The funding has been secured from our own sources to the amount of 17.1 million euros, and the rest will be financed from loans, which will be granted by development banks without government guarantees. There is no reason why this project should not be completed in two and a half years, resulting in a revamped airport that will have a capacity of more than two million passengers annually, a figure expected to be achieved in 2017/2018", Mr Hajdaš Dončić said.

Split Airport is the second busiest in Croatia after Zagreb, handling a record 1.7 million passengers last year, and with over 2 million passengers expected the coming year. Plans to build a new terminal at Split Airport were first announced in 2013. It’s Managing Director, Lukša Novak, said, “During 2015 we expect to increase passenger numbers by 6%. As a result, we will handle some 1.860.000 passengers. We also plan to continue to invest in airport equipment which will ensure the best aircraft handling and services”. Mr Novak added that the airport will hit the over two million passenger mark in 2017.

During the first five months of the year, Split Airport welcomed 338.563 passengers through its doors, an increase of 6.8% compared to the same period in 2014. Just this weekend, Split Airport will handle 22.000 passengers on 105 different flights. Split becomes the third airport in Croatia which will build a new passenger terminal over the next three years, joining Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

Expansion of Split Airport has been happening in 3 phases.

Phase One, 2009–2011 - Expansion of the apron by 35,000 m². Purchase of the nearby land needed for construction of the new terminal and parking space

Phase Two, 2014–2016 - Construction of the new airport terminal, connecting it to the old one. Adding a new taxiway, parallel to the runway. Repaving and adding concrete "shoulders" to the runway.

Phase Three (when needed) - Further expansion of the terminal and addition of four jetways. Further expansion of the apron, to accommodate new terminal.

A few updated pics after the delays and construction eventually started in 2016 after agreements with Croatian construction firms Viaduct, Kamgrad and KFK Tehnika. The new Split airport is expected to be completed and fully operational in early 2019.

Current views of Split Airport. Image:


This Split Airport expansion is great news because it will distract visitors from the usual drugged out prostitutes, stabbings and gang wars prevalent in the downtown area and all around the airport. The city of Split has a higher murder rate than Kingston Jamaica, and because of the many favelas, shanty towns, gang violence and daily murder news, Split is also called the "Rio of the Adriatic".

Plane spotting in Split.


Dubrovnik Airport  signs major terminal expansion contract 

Visualization of new terminal expansion at Dubrovnik Airport. 


May 23, 2015

A contract for the award of a grant in the amount of HRK 1.1 billion for the Dubrovnik Airport 2020 reconstruction and development project was signed on Friday by the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Sinisa Hajdas Doncic, and the airport's CEO, Roko Tolic.

The government decided in April to finance the Dubrovnik Airport project, worth around 250 million euros. Under a European Commission decision, the project can be co-financed with 145 million euros of public money, which is slightly more than 1.1 billion kuna. The remaining 75 million euros is to be provided by the airport itself, which it will do by using its own funds and by applying for funding under a European Commission investment scheme known as the Juncker Plan.

CEO Tolic also signed a HRK 476 million contract with construction companies KFK Tehnika and KFK Tehnika-Kamgrad for the construction of an airport terminal building, which is to be completed by the autumn of 2016. Tolic said that the project would solve the problems of Dubrovnik Airport in the long term so it could provide strong support to the local tourist industry.

Current views of Dubrovnik Airport. Image:

One of the rare times when not busy. (They were probably all at the Jelena Rozga concert). Image:

Interior views after completion. (You'll notice the one brunette is in 2 of the images walking all around the airport. I thinks she's being stalked by that guy on the cell phone (he seems to be suspiciously lurking all around the airport grounds), or she lost her cell phone somewhere, thus the confusion about where and when the next shoe sale). Images:

Random views of Dubrovnik Airport in 2012. (Notice all the Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc tourists at the start. Like I've posted about before, they've been arriving in droves over the past few years and to the Croatian coast especially. That's the main reason why there's usually a shortage of camera SD cards and souvenir hats in Dubrovnik)

And as mentioned near the beginning, Osijek Airport will also be doing expansion work soon, just not on the scale of these larger Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik projects, for now anyway.

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