A new passenger terminal was inaugurated at the Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport in June 2021. Credit: Fraport AG.
The new terminal improves the quality of services at the airport. Credit: Peter Irman / Fraport Slovenia, doo.
The new terminal increases the Ljubljana airport's passenger handling capacity to 1,250 passengers an hour. Credit: Peter Irman/ Fraport Slovenia, doo.

Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, an international airport located near the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana, unveiled a new passenger terminal to provide improved passenger services.

Opened in June 2021, the new terminal at the Ljubljana Airport was developed with an investment of €21m ($25.45m), of which €17m ($20.61m) was spent on construction and €4m ($4.84m) on equipment installation. The construction work on the new terminal started in July 2019 and was completed on schedule. The project also involved the reconstruction of the existing terminal at the airport.

The new terminal was necessitated due to the poor condition of the existing passenger terminal building. It will help the airport meet the modern standards for passenger arrivals and departures.

Operated by Fraport Slovenija, a subsidiary of German airport services provider Fraport, the Ljubljana airport is located near the village of Brnik, approximately 24km northwest of Ljubljana and 9.5km east of Kranj. The passenger traffic at the airport declined by 83.3% year-on-year to 288,235 in 2020 due to air travel restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ljubljana Airport’s new terminal details

The modern terminal building towers over the airport apron and features an airy design with glass surfaces that provide views of the runway, the Julian Alps, and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. It is designed as a minimalist structure made of exposed concrete, glass, metal, and wood cladding. The new terminal provides increased passenger handling capacity.

Approximately 10,000m² of new floor space has been added with new developments, including a departure hall, five security check lanes, enhanced restaurant and retail spaces, two baggage claim carousels, a large duty-free shop, a baggage sorting area, a business lounge, and 14 check-in desks, increasing the total number of check-in desks at the airport to 22.

A connecting corridor links the new terminal to the existing areas. The new terminal more than doubled the airport’s terminal capacity to handle 1,250 passengers an hour from the previous capacity of 500 an hour.

The terminal has an initial retail space of more than 1,200m² that includes a range of shops, restaurants, and other amenities. The project also added parking lots, a new bus station, and a park adjacent to the terminal.

Contractors involved in the terminal project

The architecture of the new terminal building was designed by Colombian architecture firm Plan B architects.

GIC Gradnje, a construction company based in Slovenia, built the terminal under a contract that covered the construction, fitting-out and installations. The contractual scope also included site preparation and demolition work, arrangement of the internal road network, and redevelopment of part of the manoeuvring areas.

Other developments at Ljubljana Airport

Smartseller, a joint venture between German duty-free and boutique stores operator Gebr Heinemann and travel food company casualfood, opened an integrated retail space combining duty-free, food and beverage, and convenience stores at the Ljubljana Airport in July 2021.

Fraport invested more than €60m ($71.89m) in the development of new facilities, including the Fraport Aviation Academy, which was opened in March 2021, a new fire station, and the new terminal.

The modernisation of the airport includes the renovation of the business information system, a hangar for ground-handling equipment, a new interior roads network, as well as the renovation and expansion of fire and rescue department areas in the next five years. The airport will also be installed with a solar energy facility.

Ljubljana Airport background and existing facilities

Formerly known as Brnik Airport, the Ljubljana Airport was officially opened in December 1963. Fraport Slovenija has been operating the airport since its acquisition through a privatisation process in 2014.

The Ljubljana-Jože Pučnik Airport is named after the former president of the Slovenian Democratic Party, Jože Pučnik.

It is the largest airport in Slovenia and one of the busiest airports in the region, serving a population of more than four million people. The airport connects the Balkan region with Western and Central Europe.

The Slovenian airport provides passenger and freight air transport, as well as distribution and logistics services. Facilities at the airport include corporate and VIP lounges, free Wi-Fi, food and beverage outlets, children’s play areas, electric car sharing, a multi-storey parking area, and outdoor parking facilities.