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Tirana (Mother Teresa) International Airport, Rinas, Albania




Key Data


Tirana International Airport (Nënë Tereza) is the only international airport in Albania. It was named after Mother Teresa in 2001 but is commonly known as Rinas International Airport.

The airport is located 25km (16 miles) north-west of Tirana, in the village of Rinas. The airport was taken over in April 2005 by Tirana International Airport SHPK (formerly Tirana Airport Partners), which is a consortium lead by Hochtief AirPort (shareholders are Hochtief AirPort (HTA), DEG Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft and the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF)) who took over the airport for a 20-year concession period, which required an investment of €80m.

"Tirana Airport
is the only international airport in Albania."

The airport required a great deal of investment to bring it up to international standards and this has been provided by the consortium. The terms of the concession included the construction of a completely new passenger terminal and also various infrastructure improvements, including construction of a new access road.

In 2006 the airport saw 906,103 passengers pass through its terminal. For the first six months of 2007 the new terminal saw increased passenger numbers of up to 22%.

TIRANA'S NEW TERMINAL

In March 2007 Tirana International Airport celebrated the inauguration of its new state-of-the-art passenger terminal. Construction began in 2005 and the terminal took just under two years to build. The terminal has significantly enhanced the services offered to air travellers in Albania; however it does lack jetway facilities that would allow the departing passengers to board without having to brave the weather.

The capacity of the new terminal is only one to 1.5 million but this is not expected to be overhauled in 2007, meaning the operator can take a little more time to invest in a further expansion project over the next two years.

Tirana Airport CEO, Dr Constantin von Alvensleben said at the inauguration: "With this, Albania has shown the world that it is able to build modern infrastructure and implement ambitious projects. This will of course appeal to foreign investors coming to invest in the country."

"Tirana Airport required a great deal of investment to bring it up to international standards."

TIRANA AIRPORT DESIGN

The terminal was designed by the Malaysian architect Hin Tan. The terminal has 11 retail units including souvenir and duty-free shops, and a host of bars, restaurants and cafes. There are restaurants both in departures and arrivals, while just outside the terminal a covered piazza-style bar with traditional Albanian stone façade offers a relaxation area.

As well as completing the new terminal, TIA has also finished two other major projects: A new 7km access road, which cuts the distance to travel from the city of Tirana to the airport by 8km was opened in early 2007, while a new cargo terminal (a two-storey building with import-export, refrigeration and customs facilities, with a capacity of 4,500t of freight a year) was opened in March 2007. A new 1.5km-long internal road and car parking facilities were also both completed in March 2007.

FINANCE

Financing of the current €50m investment programme was arranged with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) as principal lender (lent €21m), supported by ABA, Alpha Bank and DEG. The EBRD's financing package includes a €12m loan for the modernisation of the airport and a €9m sovereign-guaranteed loan for construction of a new access road from the capital to the airport and improvements in the existing access road towards the south of the country.

An additional €12.9m loan was provided by DEG-Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, Alpha Bank AE Tirana Branch and the American Bank of Albania.

"The new terminal has a footprint of about 8,500m³."

The terminal cost an additional €20m to construct and outfit. In 2003 Halcrow, on the instructions of the Government of Albania and Deloitte and Touche, prepared documents relating to the requirements of the investment programme at the airport (estimated total of €80m).

Additional projects undertaken included strengthening of the apron and taxiways, widening the actual runway, building a new parking area, building a new cargo terminal and a new tower and other essential airport facilities as well as restructuring and modernising the management systems.

Dr Reinhard Kalenda, CEO of Hochtief AirPort and chairman of the board of the new airport operating company SHPK, said: "The agreed financing model is unique in its form. It enables us to provide even smaller airports exhibiting good potential for growth with a high standard of service and nonetheless to operate them profitably. The aim is to expand Tirana International Airport quickly into Albania's most efficient and modern infrastructure facility."

CONSTRUCTION

The new terminal has a surface footprint of about 8,500m³, and ranges in height from 8m internally up to 16m externally. It was constructed as a single-storey glass structure supported by a total of 1,500t of high-tension steel.

The terminal occupies a space of 96m by 70m and is fully air-conditioned with a full range of passenger services and retail facilities. The building was designed with 200m of underground service channels to limit disruption of services during periods of maintenance.

"In March 2007 Tirana International Airport celebrated the inauguration of its new state-of-the-art passenger terminal."

The construction and project management was supported by Hochtief AirPort and was undertaken by the Albanian contractor Trema Engineering 2 SHPK. Design review and construction supervision was carried out by the German company DIWI Consult International GmbH.

OTHER INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

Previous large projects that have added to the overall development of the airport include the 6.8km-long perimeter road, completed in November 2005 and the new 150m-long bridge added to the existing road in February 2006.

In addition, the airport's modernised infrastructure includes new water and electricity supply networks and a sewage system, including a wastewater treatment plant and a new state-of-the-art fire hydrant and sprinkler system. The airport has now been brought up to the latest, state-of-the-art international standards.

The new Tirana International Airport terminal is modern, spacious and of excellent design.
Tirana's new terminal can handle one million passengers a year.
Other infrastructure has been upgraded at Tirana International Airport under the terms of the concession.
During Tirana International Airport's inauguration ceremony in March 2007 an acrobatic display was given to the 600 guests.
The runway and apron / taxiways at Tirana International will all be upgraded.