Ercan Airport not given away, says minister

Negative rumours regarding the privatisation of Ercan airport were dispelled by Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ersan Saner, yesterday.

He stated that the government had acted under Article 19 of the Privatisation Act, as it was entitled to do. The operating rights to Ercan Airport have been transferred to a private consortium for the next 25 years. After that period, the contract would expire and it would be up to the airport directors and the government to review the situation. Mr Saner said that there were different privatisation models around the world and this was one of them.

Mr Saner went on to explain that the current airport occupies 22 thousand metres but that this would be expanded to 152 thousand metres and a completely new airport would emerge to meet the demands of the modern era.

A new terminal will be built 900 metres south of the existing one and there will be a second runway, parallel to the existing one. All arrangements had been made and the private company would start work on 1st January. This company would be responsible for allocating out sub contracts, such as for the running of restaurants.

In 2000 there were 700 thousand passengers using the airport and in 2012 this had risen to 3 million. Ercan airport was modernised in 2003, and included a planned capacity to deal with up to 1 million passengers, it was now falling behind. The new airport will have the capacity to deal with 8 million passengers.

The current car parking space of 400 metres will be expanded to over 1000 meters.

Mr Saner also pointed out that the new traffic control system would be one of the best in the world and even better than the South.

All these improvements are due to be completed in two years.

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