Smaller Airports to Join FLY Croatia Network

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Rijeka Airport has launched a project which will bring together smaller airports and airfields in Croatia.

The Rijeka Airport has launched a project which will bring together smaller airports and airfields in the FLY Croatia network. The first members of the network are the Rijeka Airport, aero-clubs from Sinj, Osijek and Otočac, and the Fly company from Opatija, reports on November 25, 2016.

The goals of the project, which was presented at the County Chamber of Economy in Rijeka, are to create links between small airports and airfield, offer their services to the European and global general aviation markets, improve resources, cooperate on the projects which can be financed from the EU funds, and join the FLY Europe network.

The project should result in “FLY Croatia – Croatian program of general aviation tourism”, which would be similar to the ACI system of nautical tourism. The goal is to increase the number of arrivals of private planes to 10,000 and the number of passengers to 30,000 in the next few years, which would be about 10 percent of the potential of the European aviation market. In the second phase of the project, which seeks to create a new tourism product and possibly new infrastructure for Croatian air transport system, it is planned to obtain permits and certificates which will ultimately bring together more than 20 smaller airfields in Croatia.

Director of the Rijeka Airport Tomislav Palalić said that it was a multidisciplinary project, and stressed that its implementation would not be possible without the support of the Croatian Chamber of Economy and local authorities in whose areas potential airports are located. Now it is a crucial to have a support of the government, since FLY Croatia goes beyond local communities, Tourism Ministry and Transport Ministry, and would include almost all counties, said Palalić.

It is planned that the project would increase tourism and passenger traffic in the more isolated areas of the country, so that, for example, passengers are transported from large airports to their destinations using smaller aircraft, which would not require major investments in airport infrastructure. In areas where construction of large airports is not feasible, grass runways between 800 and 900 metres long would be constructed.

The project would also increase the possibility for using money from EU funds for the construction and equipping of airport infrastructure. The project has already been applied to the EU Interreg ADRION program, together with partners from Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Slovenia and Greece.

The Rijeka Airport believes that the project could lead to a significant increase in the number of employed people, especially on the islands, thanks to various forms of production which are not feasible without airport infrastructure.


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