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Government approves concessionaire contract for Kukes Airport

The government has approved the concession contract on reconstruction of Kukes Airport in northeast Albania. The Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Belinda Balluku announced on Wednesday that the duration of the concession contract is 35 years and the contract for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the airport is 24 months. According to Balluku, initially 220 people will be employed for the reconstruction, and later the number will go up to 12,000 employees in the final stage. "Kukes airport is expected to have 300,000 passengers a year," Balluku said. On Jan. 11, the ministry announced that the consortium of Global Technical Mechanics Ltd. and Bami Ltd. won the bid for the concession with an investment of about 8 million euros (around 9.17 million U.S. dollars). The joint economic operators in cooperation with Dutch company NACO, which is experienced in the field of airport management and administration, will carry out the investment with the aim of reconstructing, expanding, operating and transferring Kukes Airport to the state after the 35-year concession period. The airport will have the purpose of operating as an airport for low-cost carriers. The construction of Kukes Airport started in May 2003 and finished in October 2005 with a total investment of about 20 million U.S. dollars by the government of the United Arab Emirates. However, the airport was never put into operation because of the exclusivity on international flights enjoyed by the concessionary "Tirana Airport Partners" company of Tirana International Airport (TIA) for the 20-year period of 2005-2025. In 2016 former economy minister Arben Ahmetaj said the government reached an agreement with the concessionary company to remove the exclusivity for international flights to TIA.

SOURCE: Scan TV

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