RIGA - The development of the next stage of Riga International Airport’s reconstruction and infrastructure project will allow the aviation industry in Latvia to remain the most competitive in the Baltics, as well as compete with airports in Northern Europe, Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Union of Greens and Farmers) said on Aug. 9 during a presentation of the airport’s development project, reports Nozare.lv. Construction work will begin next spring, and is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2013.
The most expensive part of the project will be the reconstruction of two aprons, increasing the capacity of the airport’s second apron from eight to 13 planes, and the capacity of the third apron from 11 to 22 planes. The total cost of the reconstruction of the airport’s aprons is planned at 21 million lats (30 million euros), according to the airport’s chairman, Arnis Luhse.
The project also includes the strengthening of the airport’s runway safety, by improving the foundation of the grass area next to the runway.
The European Commission has given the go-ahead for this major Cohesion Fund project – “Development of Infrastructure at the International Airport Riga,” which includes re-paving the runway, modernizing lighting and constructing additional maneuvering arteries.
Total costs for the project are estimated at 66.9 million lats, with co-financing from the Cohesion Fund at 41.1 million lats. The airport will itself invest 26 million lats in the project.
The to-be renovated runway is 2.47 kilometers long and 45 meters wide. The new lighting is specifically meant for takeoff and landing in inclement weather, and emergency landings. Two special de-icing platforms are also to be built.