The Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) has expressed interest in partnering up with the government of the Entity of Republika Srpska in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the construction of a commercial airport in Trebinje, in the country’s south. AVIC will undertake an analysis of a site at Rapti Zupci, a village near Trebinje, where the airport complex is planned to be built. The company first expressed interest in the project in 2010 and last month met with representatives of the entity government to discuss the potential investment. “Every country would be honoured to have such a company [AVIC] as its partner and we are delighted they have expressed their readiness to continue their cooperation with us”, the government said.
Last year, local authorities in Trebinje announced their intention to resume plans for the construction of the infamous airport. The government forked out 820.000 euros between 2009 and 2011 for project documentation for a 2.6 kilometre runway and a terminal capable of handling 260.000 passengers per year, only to give up on the idea two years later after naming the airport’s General Manager and contracting an Austrian consultant to identify potential routes. The government has since said the study conducted by the Austrian consultant was incomplete. A subsequent tender for the drafting of a new development strategy was cancelled.
Aviation Industry Corporation of China is a state-owned aerospace and defence conglomerate. It is ranked 159th on the Fortune Global 500 list and has over 100 subsidiaries, 27 listed companies and half a million employees across the globe. Due to its natural beauty, it is believed Trebinje could attract a considerable number of tourists. However, the town is just over thirty kilometres north-east of Dubrovnik and ninety kilometres north-west of Tivat, making the viability of a future airport in the area questionable. Bosnia and Herzegovina currently boasts four commercial airports, which handled 1.073.739 passengers during the January – July period. A new commercial airport is also planned for Bihać where a portion of the future runway is currently under construction.