CHISINAU, October 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s company Avia-Invest has announced its plans to invest a total of EUR45 million in the development of the Chisinau international airport in 2014.
“We are ready to begin fulfilling our liabilities under the contract signed in September with the Moldovan government,” a company representative, Tatiana Semyonova, told a news conference here.
First-stage plans provide for the modernization of the existing runway, which was built in the Soviet period. It is planned to expand the ramp and the parking apron, and to equip the airport with necessary tools to increase its transit capacity.
The Chisinau airport serves annually more than 1.2 million passengers. When the passenger flow reaches 2.6 million, the company will invest 115 million euro more to build a new terminal, a parking apron and to expand the safety zone, Semyonova noted.
Moldova’s only airport was leased on concession terms to the Russian company for a period of 49 years. Under the contract, Avia-Ivest undertook to invest more than 240 million euro in the airport’s modernization. But soon after signing, the deal was suspended by the Moldovan Constitutional Court at the request of a number of lawmakers, who claim the tender had been unfair. When the motion was turned down, the procedure of asset transfer was resumed.
According to the Moldovan government, invitations to take part in the closed tender were extended to seven companies from Spain, France, Russia, Austria, Great Britain, and the United States. But apart from Avia-Invest, the invitation was accepted by only one company, Vnukovo-Invest, also from Russia.