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Sofia Airport Opens New Passenger Terminal

Date: 28.12.2006

The keenly - awaited new terminal of Sofia Airport was officially inaugurated December 27, a year and a half behind schedule and despite ongoing construction works.

Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev and Transport Minister Petar Mutafchiev spearheaded the opening ceremony, just a few days ahead of Bulgaria's accession to the European Union.

The new terminal is meant to service about 2.6 million people per year. It could take up to 2,000 passengers in the rush hours and its yearly cargo capacity is 26,000 tons.

The first to land at Terminal 2 was a flight from Brussels.

All the facilities in the building of the new Sofia Airport terminal are fully operational, the airport's head Plamen Stanchev told Darik News.

"Everything needed for the functioning of an airport building is 100% ready and in order," Stanchev said.

The state construction inspectorate has already issued permits for the new terminal's main building, parking lot, access ways, but such are missing for other parts of the new facility, including the new taxiways.

At the end of November the Directorate for National Construction Control allowed the new passengers' terminal at Sofia airport to be put into exploitation. The green light was given for the runway system and the adjacent facilities. The whole modernized complex will be put into operations at the end of January.

Its net costs stand at some EUR 110 M for nearly two years.

Flag carrier Bulgaria Air, Hemus Air, Air Malta and Romania's Tarom will be the first to take off from the new passenger terminal starting December 28.

The old terminal will serve only low-cost airlines and charter flights.

The airliners, flying to and from Sofia airport, and their offices will be gradually re-directed from the old to the new terminal, he added.

Baggage conveyors and check-in counters will start working the moment the first airline company takes off.

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