The European city is getting a new airport worth 88 million pounds

By TravelWiseApr 3, 2024 17:05 PMNews
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The European city is getting a new airport worth 88 million pounds
Albania's popularity among tourists is growing every year. Source: pixabay

For many years, Albania remained the most hidden gem of the Balkan Peninsula, and many tourists overlooked this country as a vacation destination in favor of the more famous Croatia. But in recent years, the Albanian Riviera has experienced a surge in visitors, including the British, who have discovered that its turquoise waters, sandy beaches, and magnificent scenery can be enjoyed for a very affordable price.

And soon this destination may attract even more vacationers, as the construction of a third international airport is underway to serve one of the most beautiful cities on the Albanian Riviera. This information was reported by express.co.

This city, Vlora, has become particularly popular among tourists due to its rocky coastline, beautiful beaches, excellent Italian cuisine, and rich history.

The establishment of Vlora International Airport will undoubtedly be another reason for tourists to visit this Riviera, as it will reduce travel time from the air hub to the coast.

Currently, the closest airport to Vlora is in the capital Tirana, about 67 miles from the city. A direct flight from London to Tirana takes just over three hours and can cost less than £100, even during the high season.

The Albanian government first announced plans to build Vlora International Airport in May 2017. Four years later, Mabetex International, a group specializing in large-scale civil engineering, announced plans to invest more than £88 million in the first phase of airport construction, including the runway and terminal.

In the summer of 2023, it was reported that the airport would be ready to launch by April 2024, but the opening appears to have been postponed to March 2025. It is reported that the infrastructure should be completed by December this year.

The new airport will include a 1.9-mile runway, as well as a 12.43-square-mile terminal, an operations tower, and a fire brigade building.

Albania's Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku noted that the airport's infrastructure will be innovative.

"The entire airport will be covered with solar panels. They will be placed in such a way that there will be no problems with landing and take-off of airplanes. They will generate 5.2 MWh of renewable energy, which will be used for the airport's needs," Balluku added.

Ms. Balluku shared the government's high expectations, saying that between March and December 2025 alone, Vlora International Airport is expected to handle more than one million passengers.

The creation of the new airport has not been without criticism and has raised concerns among environmentalists about local biodiversity. The infrastructure is being built on the territory of the Vjosa-Narta Nature Reserve, which is home to more than 62 species of birds listed under the EU Birds Directive.

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