In order to secure safe and uninterrupted operation of Palanga airport and to avoid flight restrictions due to its ageing infrastructure, EUR 10.25 million is to be invested into reconstruction of its runways, taxiways and platform. Today, on the basis of the Ministry of Transport and Communications proposition, the Government approved the decision to allocate this budget to the airport needs by temporarily reducing financing of other communication sector facilities.
“The area of aviation is likely the one most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Convenient communication by air transport is an important national economic recovery factor. That is why we prioritise strengthening airport activities and securing safe and uninterrupted flights,” said Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.
The infrastructure of Palanga International Airport needs to be renovated in order to ensure flight safety and safe aircraft movement in the aerodrome. Currently, the coating of the airport’s runways, taxiways and platform is damaged. There are cracks, its surface is uneven and lacks anti-skid properties. Lights, platform lighting and surface water collection systems need maintenance too. The reconstruction will improve the aspects of flight safety, environmental protection and will ensure compliance with international guidelines for airports.
A Latvian company A.C.B., who has won a contract tender, undertakes to perform all planned reconstruction works for EUR 13.6 million (excl. VAT). The State Enterprise Lithuanian Airports plans to receive funding for the remaining part from the Nordic Investment Bank loan, which the company already signed an agreement for.
During the reconstruction, the airport operation is to be suspended for 45 days. Preparatory works are scheduled to commence immediately, while main works are scheduled for September and October. It should be noted that the current decline in flight traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic facilitates implementation of airport infrastructure development plans without causing any serious inconvenience.
Palanga airport runway was last reconstructed in 2007.
Last year, Palanga airport serviced 123,948 passengers, this year, their numbers should reach 137,251.
Palanga airport is one of the three Lithuanian airports in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga managed by the State Enterprise Lithuanian Airports.