Best Airport with Under 2 Million Passengers per Year in Europe went to Skopje, Macedonia.
Skopje Alexander the Great Airport (IATA: SKP, ICAO: LWSK), the winner of ACI ASQ Best Airport in Europe Award for 2012 in the category of up to 2 million passengers, is the larger and busier of the two international airports in the Republic of Macedonia. It is located 17 km southeast of the national capital of Skopje.
TAV Airports holding is a success story in airport operations, written with know-how, experience and creativity. TAV Airports is now active at twelve airports in Turkey, Macedonia, Georgia, Tunisia, Latvia and Saudi Arabia. TAV Airports holding took over the operations of both Skopje Alexander the Great and Ohrid St. Paul the Apostle Airports on March 1st, 2010 within a Concession Agreement for modernization and reconstruction of the Macedonian airports with the Government of the Republic of Macedonia. The renovated airport of Ohrid was launched only a year later, in April 2011. The new, reconstructed and modernized Skopje Airport started operations on September 6, 2011. The construction works were completed in only 18 months, two months ahead of the planned schedule. The official opening ceremony for Skopje Alexander the Great Airport was held only days before the celebration of 20 years of the independence of the Republic of Macedonia.
The modernization project included the construction of a brand new terminal building of 40.000m2. The runway was extended by an additional 500m, and is now 2.950m long. Skopje Alexander the Great Airport now has six passenger boarding bridges while previously it had none. The number of check-in desks has increased by 15, now totaling 23, and the same goes for the passport control booths, previously there were only 8 and now we have 23, 13 on arrivals and 10 on departures. There are 5 bus gates, and 22 aircraft parking positions. Passengers with reduced mobility now have better access to the facilities with the 3 new elevators and ramps all around the facilities.
Skopje airport has a new Cargo terminal with a capacity of 40.000 tons/year, new Air Rescue and Firefighting facility, new interchange and access road. We gladly offer our modern CIP and VIP lounges and our duty free shops to our passengers. Our airport now has a sophisticated baggage handling EDX system with the capacity of 2.450 pieces per hour. Last but not least, the new and extended car park can welcome 1.200 vehicles. Better and improved taxi service, organized bus transportation connecting the airport with the city.
TAV Macedonia has acquired the professional operations standards by the International Organization for Standardization, and since September of 2012, Skopje Airport has become a certified airport. Our airport is aiming to be a green airport and has been certified by EMS (Environmental Management System) ISO 14001 in addition to the other ISO certificates QMS (Quality Management System) ISO 9001 and CMS (Complaint Management System) ISO 10002. With the implementation of the complex BMS (Building Management System) we achieve 20% energy saving per year.
Skopje Airport’s modern facilities make this airport a leader in the region in terms of the state-of-the-art airport technology and systems which it has implemented. The short distance between our neighboring countries and the convenient access to Skopje Alexander the Great Airport enables passengers from Serbia, Albania and Kosovo to benefit from the available flights at Skopje Alexander the Great. The most popular destinations for our passengers from the neighboring countries are Dubai, London, Basel, Munich, Eindhoven and the other available low cost destinations.
Our target is to turn Skopje airport into a regional hub, the main transport center in the Balkans as its annual capacity is to handle 4.3 million passengers. Another key factor in TAV’s considerations is the perspective of Republic of Macedonia’s integration in the EU as the country’s membership to the Union will undoubtedly have a very positive effect on the number of passengers, at the same time opening the gates of the EU market and further extending TAV’s borders.
In 2012 the total number of passengers was 906.871, and including the transit passengers the figure was 913.567. The number of passengers has increased by 14%, 15% and 9% respectively in 2010, 2011 and in 2012 while the average increase rate in Europe was only 4.2%, 7.3% and 1.8%, and our projections show an increase of around 10-12% targeting to reach and hopefully exceed one million passengers. For the first three months of 2013, January to March, passenger traffic with overall of 185.740 transported passengers in January-March period increased by 12.9%. TAV Macedonia and TAV Airports holding are fully dedicated to achieve the said target in 2013.