Montenegro is creating a totally new image on the Europe and world map and it would definitely not be a good thing that everything that is going on in tourism and and the emergence of big hotel chains wasn’t accompanied by infrastructure development. Therefore, investment in airports comes as a requirement, said Roko Tolić, CEO of the Airport in Dubrovnik.
Tolić, who has been the head of the airport Ćilipi for more than 10 years, designed the model of the development of airport in Dubrovnik with the money provided from European funds. Total amount of renewal is 225 million EUR. Tolić and his team got 158 million EUR and thus avoided the airport concession.
“I wanted to prove that my team and I have are able, that we have enough knowledge and brains, but also will and desire to pull this through, just the way we are doing it”, says Tolić.
Tolić and his cooperates started the preparations for this project in 2013, before Croatia became full EU member.
“Before the EU accession, we started the design of the development plan for the airport, feasibility study, alignment of the project with the ecological norms and other spatial planning documentation. And then, when some financial perspectives from the EU opened for us, we submitted the application for co.financing. That was our idea. Of course, Montenegro is still heading towards the EU, but we are all aware of the importance of airports, for tourism in the first place, and then for the rest of the economy”, says Tolić.
Airports require huge investments in infrastructure in order to successfully perform their activities. That was the case with the airport in Dubrovnik. Tolić also commented on the situation in Montenegro.
“Considering the conditions they work in, I admire our Montenegrin colleagues. They are really doing a great job. However, that situation is not sustainable. Can you develop your airports with your own funds? I can’t tell, I’m not familiar with the numbers”, says Tolić.
He points out that there are three models of the airport development in Croatia. All three are different stories and it’s difficult to say what is good and what isn’t.