The main airports in Romania as well as critical air infrastructure projects benefit from important investments, worth almost 1 billion euros, on grounds of the increasing passengers transit in Romania on air routes, but also as a result of strategic decisions to strengthen NATO bases in Romania, in the context of recent geo-political developments, an ONV LAW analysis highlights. Some of the projects are underway since 2022, with most of the investments are to be absorbed by 2024.
Financing comes from local funds or from the state budget, but also the European funds accessed by the authorities have a significant weight in the development of the local air infrastructure. Some modernization projects were started last year and others will start in 2023.
Thus, among the biggest beneficiaries of the investments announced for Romanian airports are Henri Coandă International Airport, Brașov Airport, the airports of Craiova, Iași, Cluj-Napoca or Constanța. According to the data analyzed by ONV LAW, the list of investments is dominated by the Henri Coandă airport, which benefits from an investment of 163 million euros. Here we present the 8 biggest investments:
- Henri Coandă International Airport, 163 million euros for the modernization of the taxiways and the expansion of the aircraft parking platform; the works started in stages, in 2022, and the completion period is 2 years;
- Brașov International Airport, 130 million euros; it will become operational from June 15, 2023;
- Craiova International Airport, 100 million euros for the construction of a new terminal; the deadline for completing the works is the end of 2024;
- Iasi International Airport, 61 million euros for the expansion of the existing terminals; the estimated term of completion of the works is the end of 2023;
- Tulcea “Delta Danube” Airport, 27 million euros for the modernization and expansion of the passenger terminal and the modernization of the boarding-disembarkation platform and the Alfa taxiway (built in 1973);
- “Avram Iancu” Cluj-Napoca International Airport, 46 million euros for the expansion of the departures terminal; term of execution of the works: 11 months;
- “Mihail Kogalniceanu” Constanța International Airport, 37 million euros; investments in a new terminal, control tower, parking lot; the project is being tendered, and the term of execution of the works is 7 months;
- Timișoara International Airport Traian Vuia SA, 17 million euros investment for a new terminal departures foreign flights; design and execution term: 20 months.
Also, in the critical air infrastructure, major investments of over EUR 400 million will soon be made, in the NATO bases at Câmpia Turzii and Mihail Kogălniceanu, taking into account the latest geo-political developments.
In 2022, the ONV LAW law firm assisted such major infrastructure projects, with an investment volume totaling over EUR 50 million. The main challenges of projects of this type consist of shorter execution times than those recommended in the feasibility studies due to the late launch of tenders, according to ONV LAW specialists. Financing contracts have precise deadlines (those concluded on POIM have a deadline of: December 2023), and the contracting authorities provide in the documentation that the execution deadline be completed by the end of December 2023 in order not to deviate from the financier’s provisions. These situations make it difficult for economic operators to participate in the tender due to the imposed execution deadlines, which are too short for such large-scale works.
“Romania is an important hub both for business trips, but also for medical and even general, seasonal tourism. In the recent regional context and geo-political strategic decisions, we expect an increasingly high volume of investments in critical air infrastructure“, says Alina Bilan, ONV LAW Partner and public procurement specialist.
The flow of passengers at the country’s airports has returned close to the values recorded before the pandemic. If in 2019 the number of passengers exceeded 23 million, in 2020 the annual flow was just over 7 million, with a slight increase recorded in 2021 (11 million). In 2022, there was an 87% increase compared to the previous year, with a volume of over 21 million travelers at Romanian airports. For 2023, estimates show that this year will record a record number of passengers, 24 million. By 2040, the number of passengers who will choose to travel by air could reach the threshold of 50 million travelers ( according to public data present on the authorities official communication platforms. Association of Romanian Airports)