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RIGA International Airport to align its expansion plans with the fast changes in the global aviation industry

RIGA International Airport has drafted and presented to the Ministry of Transport an information report for the Cabinet of Ministers on the tender procedure for attracting a private partner in which it suggests that the tender procedure be discontinued.

RIGA International Airport has prepared a proposal to discontinue the tender procedure on attraction of a private partner for building of a new airport terminal.

The airport has commenced work on short- and long-term infrastructure development solutions aimed at provision of the necessary capacity for passenger traffic based on the passenger flow growth forecasts. Drawing on the best global practice, the airport intends to collaborate with the airlines servicing the transit passenger segment in development of the short- and long-term solutions.

Krišjānis Peters, Chairman of the Board of RIGA International Airport, said: „The situation in the global aviation market has drastically changed. At the time when we announced an international tender procedure on private partnership for building of a new airport, there were no signs of a downturn in the aviation industry yet. Now the situation is radically different and most airports in Europe and worldwide see the number of their passengers falling. Even though Riga International Airport is among the few European airports where the passenger flow is on the rise, the structure of the passengers has materially changed – an increasing share in this structure at our airport belongs to transit passengers. These structural changes are an important factor that determines the prospects of a private partner to get return on the investments. This objective market situation is the basis for the decision seen as most correct in respect of all the tenderers - to discontinue the tender procedure and jointly with the airlines work on a construction project of a new terminal. Similar cooperation models have been implemented in the expansion projects at Heathrow and Munich Airports.
In my opinion, the airport development vision offered by the consortium TAV Airport/ SIA „Skonto būve”” is excellent and I hope that the consortium will use its experience and competence in the work on the new infrastructure development project.”

„Our growth figures show that the results of the survey conducted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in 2008 on the development prospects of RIGA International Airport have been realistic. They were further supported by the IATA forecast made last year which was confirmed by this year's results. Therefore, there is no reason to give up the ambitious vision spanning several decades of development: 30 million passengers at Riga International Airport,” said K.Peters.

In drafting of the proposals the airport has resorted to best international aviation practice of planning and making investments in the airport infrastructure so as to observe the business needs of the major clients and the opinion of the most important user of RIGA Airport – airBaltic – regarding the infrastructure requirements in the present global aviation market situation and the ability of the airport to provide conditions for development of transit services. „Our goal in the coming years is to implement an economically feasible development project for handling of the growing passenger flow and to create the necessary conditions for the travellers to enjoy good airport services and adequate fares,” stressed K.Peters.