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New airport for Bulgaria's capital

Date: 29.10.2007

On October 25 the Initiative Committee for Protection of the Population from the Sofia Airport Activities (ICPPSAA) gave a news conference at BTA. It was called a “civil session” and a protest was staged outside the BTA building, while posters "New airport – guarantee for a calm and safe life" and "Sofia's renovation starts from the new airport" were hanged at the press center.

ICPPSAA said its representatives met Sofia chief architect Petur Dikov and Transport and Communications Minister Patur Moutafchiev. The committee said Moutafchief “is convinced that now and in the near future, the current airport can not provide the ever-increasing safety and comfort requirements of the passengers.”

During the meeting with ICPPSAA, Moutafchiev said he was convinced that whatever measures were undertaken, the safety of citizens cannot be guaranteed. The committee further said, “The Minister is convinced that even if a lot of money were put into the new airport, it can not make it safer and more effective. Therefore an immediate survey on a new airport was necessary and he (Moutafchev) was ready to start procedures on the construction of a new airport with the immediate involvement of Sofia municipality.”

According to ICPPSAA a new airport could be build within the next two to three years, and it could be located in the north-western direction of the current airport. The committee believes that through public-private partnership it would be possible to realise an investment of 200-300 million euro.

During the news conference and the protests a local bagpipe player was playing, as according to the old Bulgarian tradition, when a new construction is to be started, on the first day a bagpipe player performs for the strength and stability of the new building.

ICPPSAA said that, after the meeting with Moutafchiev, it considered the day of the press conference the first step towards a new airport.

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