Illustration (Photo: Pierre-Yves Babelon/shutterstock.com)
In the first ten months of the current year, 404,164 kg of goods was transported from the Nis Constantine the Great Airport, whereas, in the same period in 2019, the amount of transported goods was 961,562 kg, a drop of 57.97%. It is apparent that the pandemic has had an impact not just on the passenger traffic, but on the cargo traffic as well, Mihajlo Zdravkovic, the director of Aerodromi Srbije, says for eKapija. By equipping the Morava Airport in Kraljevo, the state plans for this airport to become a regional center for the transport of goods in the upcoming period.
The Morava Airport in Kraljevo currently has the permit for passenger air transport, but no permit for cargo transport.
– The relevant Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure is completing the preparation of the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose Area of the Airport, which should enable the construction of the most modern runway and the accompanying features necessary for the handling and dispatching of the largest types of aircraft, which are used in cargo transport – Zdravkovic says.
He adds that the construction of new traffic routes will enable a quick transport of goods from any part of Serbia to the airport.
– The Morava Airport will thereby become not just the central Serbian airport for the transport of goods, but also a serious regional center, considering the completed Milos Veliki highway, the construction of the Preljina-Pojate section, which will enable a quick connection with the E75 highway, as well as the high-speed route from Batocina to Mrcajevci. Goods will be able to be transported from any part of Serbia to the airport quickly, and then from the airport to all over the world. No big airport in this area has this kind of advantage and this kind of position – Zdravkovic says.
How air cargo transport functions at Constantine the Great Airport
Cargo transport at the Nis Constantine the Great Airport functions under the principle of cargo charter flights, which entails direct announcements of cargo airline carriers or forwarders before coming to the airport.
– For now, there is no regular cargo air transport, but we believe that, when the pandemic ends and the economic activities increase, the conditions will meet for the development of this form of regular traffic – Zdravkovic says.
Plans for smaller airports throughout Serbia
The state plans to also revive and activate some other, smaller airports, and, according to Zdravkovic, it is not realistic to expect for all airports to be international and equipped to handle and dispatch cargo aircraft.
– Thanks to the support of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the relevant Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, further investments in construction and putting into function smaller airports in the Republic of Serbia can continue. The purpose of the airports will be done in line with the needs of the region which gravitates to the given airport, but it is not realistic to expect and it is not possible for all airports to be international and equipped for the handling and dispatching of cargo aircraft – Zdravkovic says and points out that, at the moment, Aerodromi Srbije is focusing on developing cargo transport at the Morava Airport.