Baneasa Airport in process of dismantling

Publish date: 21-03-2007
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Bucharest - The founding of the Romanian Airports Company leads to the disappearance of the Aurel Vlaicu Airport in Baneasa for real estate-related considerations, official sources from the airport have told Rompres.

"According to the merger project, a square metre of land at Baneasa is valuated at EUR 5-5.8, a lot less than its market value. Since we are going to be just a working point of the resulting company, we will no longer have the competence to control the tariff policy, prices will go up and we will lose flights in the favour of Otopeni," stated the quoted sources. The airport representatives claim that one competitive advantage Baneasa has compared to Otopeni is the low airport tax level. So, after the Baneasa airport is closed down for run-way repairs from May 11 to June 29, 2007, some of the low-cost companies operating on Baneasa may choose to stay at Otopeni.

The Ministry of Transport believes that the price (that is 200 times smaller than the market price of land in the area) is justified and explains the decision by the intention to stop the 'galloping' escalation of the land price in the area.

"The Ministry of Transport needs to buy 400 hectares to expand the Herni Coanda Airport. If we had appraised the land more, we would have had to pay more for the land we need to buy ourselves, say the Ministry officials. Alexandros Galiatatos, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Transport stated that the price of land in Baneasa could not have been set any higher than that because developments are only possible in the run-way area with the approval of the Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority.

Radu Zilisteanu, Spokesperson for the National Association of Estate Agencies, quoted by the 'Gandul' daily, thinks differently. He says that the land on which the Baneasa Airport is standing could be valuated at around EUR 1.8 bln, at a maximum price of EUR 1,000/ sq m. "The evaluation made by the Ministry of Transport demonstrates lack of common sense. One cannot find land in Bucharest cheaper than EUR 40-50/sq m, and that only in Ferentari. Generally, the price of land starts at EUR 200/sq m. If we refer strictly to the area of the Baneasa Airport, a square metre of land costs between EUR 800 and 1,000. There is a big battle going on for the land of the airport, and I think Baneasa will be closed down a lot sooner than 2020 and that it will be parcelled to be sold," said Zilisteanu.

The representatives of the Ministry of Transport argue that the merger project has as only target to make the activity of the two airports more efficient, by investing massively in developing their capacities.

Nine O'Clock

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