Albania signed on Tuesday the agreement for the construction of the third airport in the country, which will be located in the coastal southern city of Vlora.
The consortium, consisting of businessman Behgjet Pacolli’s Mabetex Group and Turkish company Yda Group, will build the airport through a 104m-euro investment.
“Our ambition to give a new impetus to tourism does not stop with this project,” Prime Minister Edi Rama says. “We also start the procedures for the construction of for Saranda airport; a 99 million euro investment will expand Rinas airport (Tirana International), sportive airports in Korça and Gjirokastra,” Rama says.
The construction will start within 14 months. Vlora International Airport will enable transoceanic flights, as its runway will be over 3 kilometers. An Academy of Civil Aviation will also be in the coastal city.
The airport will follow European criteria of construction, minister of Infrastructure Belinda Balluku says. An archaeological study is due, then in the next eight months preliminary conditions and submitting the master plan will follow. At least six more months are planned for obtaining the construction permits.
The first phase of the project includes the construction of the terminal and the start of the operations. Meanwhile the second phase will consist on the expansion of the passenger terminal. This will complete after the fourth year of operations.
Vlora airport, after Kukes International opened
The news comes as Albania opened its second international airport in Kukes on Sunday.
Arriving from London, UK, the passenger flight of Air Albania initially landed in Tirana International Airport (TIA). Therefore, it picked up Prime Minister Edi Rama to inaugurate the new international airport. It bears the name Kukes International Airport – Zayed, Flatrat e Veriut (North Wings).
The Kukes airport, with a total investment of $28.7m, is on a former refugee campsite, found 90 miles north-east of Albania’s capital.