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Transportation Minister Visits Ljubljana Airport

Slovenia's new transportation minister, Janez Božič, visited Ljubljana Airport today. The minister spoke with Vinko Može, the airport's president, about various open issues between the state and the airport.

The conversation began by addressing the agreement on building rights and land purchase, which is still unsigned and the proposal for which was prepared at the airport and sent to the ministry under the previous government. The agreement is to define the management rights, building rights and compensation under which Ljubljana Airport manages and develops Slovenia's central airport. The property law code stipulates that the contractual relationship between the airport and the state must be regulated by 1 January 2006. Both the state and Ljubljana Airport have an interest in this regulation. In addition, the agreement is necessary for the continued development of the airport and for carrying out airport operations safely and without interruption.

Minister Božič and Vinko Može also spoke about the necessity of replacing the current road to the airport. This is an issue that the airport cannot resolve without the cooperation of the state. The road is particularly unsafe because it has remained practically unchanged since the very beginning of operations at the airport, although traffic on it has increased by more than tenfold since that time.

Ljubljana Airport also brought up the requirements of the Schengen Agreement. By the end of 2007 the technology for passenger arrivals and departures, luggage, aircraft and freight will have to be changed, separated into domestic (Schengen area) and international (non-Schengen area) traffic. The separation of passengers by destination, arrival and departure, and required security, customs and migration checks demand significantly more space than the airport would otherwise need to operate.

The discussion also drew attention to the necessity of adopting the executive regulations for the Aviation Act that apply to civil air traffic safety. Almost four years after the adoption of the Act, not one of the regulatory documents has been adopted, which is a particular inconvenience for the operations of the airport.

"Aviation is playing an increasingly important role in transportation. In Slovenia, Ljubljana Airport is one of the most important institutions in this area, and so I am very pleased that the new minister found time to meet with us so quickly. We have had good cooperation with this ministry so far, but there have remained a number of open issues between us. I am optimistic regarding the minister's response and convinced that our cooperation with the new government will be good, and will especially benefit air passengers," commented Vinko Može, the president of Ljubljana Airport, after the visit.

Brnik, 11 February 2005