EUR 12 million for the modernization of the Podgorica and Tivat airports

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing EUR 12 million for Airports of Montenegro Ltd., the state-owned company, to upgrade the infrastructure and equipment necessary to safely operate the Podgorica and Tivat airports.

The 20-year loan to Serbia and Montenegro will help finance the new passenger terminal building at Podgorica airport, the extension and repair of its aircraft movement areas and the rehabilitation of the terminal building. The loan will also help extend the terminal building at Tivat airport and support the purchase of fire-fighting, aviation security and ground-handling equipment at both airports.

Alongside is a EUR 11 million loan from the EBRD. The European Union and France have provided technical cooperation funding in support of this project. In addition, the European Agency for Reconstruction and USAID are offering technical assistance to strengthen the project management and to improve corporate capabilities.

This modernization project focuses on the highest priority needs. By upgrading the infrastructure according to international aviation standards, both airports will be able to attract international carriers as regular clients. This project will contribute to the future development of the country, benefiting tourists, businesspeople and local citizens. The airports of Podgorica and Tivat have suffered from a lack of proper maintenance and investment during years of economic isolation. As a consequence, their infrastructure and equipment are now in a rather poor condition.

"Airports of Montenegro is an independently managed company, whose shareholding is 100% in the hands of the Government of Montenegro. The latter took over the ownership and the operation of the airports of Podgorica and Tivat from Yugoslav Air Transport (JAT) in April 2003.

The EIB is progressively increasing its long-term lending in the Balkan countries. The EIB looks forward to a closer integration of the Balkans region and the European Union; it is now focusing on investments to improve human capital, municipal development and to stimulate the private sector, particularly SMEs. These investments will complement the traditional financial support given to upgrade and reconstruct infrastructure. In the late 90s, the EIB was invited to renew operations in the Western Balkan region, as part of the EUR 9.2 billion financial Mandate for the Central and Eastern European Countries for the years 2000-2007.