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Sofia International Airport is the gateway to Bulgaria, Source: Margarita kiril86 on Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0

Sofia Airport is becoming a state-of-the-art and environmentally efficient facility

Sofia Airport is becoming a state-of-the-art and environmentally efficient facility

The European Investment Bank signed a deal, providing 40 million euros for the project

On 13 July, The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed a deal, providing 40 million euros for the modernisation of Sofia International Airport, one of the busiest in the Balkans. The money will not be used for the expansion of the current airport facilities. Instead, it will go for the modernisation of the airport’s security and making the terminals environmentally friendly through state-of-the-art energy efficiency.

The main international gateway to Bulgaria

Sofia International Airport belongs to the core Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) a Europe-wide network of land, water and air corridors. TEN-T's objective is to close gaps, remove bottlenecks and technical barriers, as well as to strengthen the social, economic and territorial cohesion in the EU.

Sofia International Airport is among the busiest airports in the Balkans and one of the largest in Central and Eastern Europe, with passenger numbers reaching 7.1 million in 2019. According to the Vice-President of the EIB, Lilyana Pavlova, despite passenger numbers falling during the pandemic, the airport has long-term strategic importance for the cohesion of the European Union.

This is why the 40-million-euro investment into modernisation is quite welcomed. The EIB is supporting infrastructure modernisation and the upgrade of regulatory, safety and security components to the latest standards.

Maximising the impact of the green transition

In addition, the project will improve the energy efficiency of the airport facilities, lining up this decision with the EU’s policy of financing a post-COVID green transition.  

Being in line with EIB Climate Bank Roadmap, the loan cannot be used to finance an expansion of airport capacity and instead focuses on improving the existing facility, including safety, security, modernisation and decarbonisation investments.

Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport emphasised the benefits this modernisation would bring to Bulgarian citizens, airport employees and passengers. She praised the move, while also underlining the need for smart and sustainable airports, maximising the impact of the EU’s investment goals.

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