Since the concession in 2013 by Avia Invest, development work at Chisinau International Airport (CIA) has been extensive. The upgrading process is still under way, but passengers are already feeling the benefits of the modernised airport.

The terminal was entirely reconstructed and expanded. Furthermore, it was designed to create optimal conditions for passenger traffic fluidity with the extension and renovation of the passenger check-in zone and an entirely new section of the arrival hall. The passenger flow rate per direction amounts to 750 passengers an hour, an impressive leap from the 420 passengers an hour recorded in 2013.

Safe and sound

Avia Invest has a constant focus on passenger security. Therefore, the company procured new, high-tech security X-ray equipment for hand and hold luggage security checks, metal detector gates, portable metal detectors, electronic-access control systems and explosives detectors. CIA is the first airport in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to use such advanced control and security systems.

Likewise, investments were made to reconstruct and modernise the airport’s infrastructure, and it has undergone significant changes in the past four years. Major works were performed on the runways, taxiways and apron, while maintaining uninterrupted airport operations. A segment of 1km of the main runway was reconstructed and the reconstruction of the second runway is under way, with 80% already finished. The index of the bearing strength of the runway coatings on this section was increased from 51 to 70, which has significantly increased the operational capacity of the airport. In order to ensure a high level of flight safety on the runway, the lighting system was also upgraded and meets CAT III according to European standards. Thus, in low-visibility conditions, aircraft can take off and land safely and confidently.

Increasing attraction

All these changes played a decisive role in making CIA more attractive to airlines. As a result of the modernisation, its portfolio of destinations has diversified and expanded, and Wizz Air – the largest low-cost airline from Central and Eastern Europe – established an operational base at the airport.

To actively promote not only the airport’s potential, but also that of the country as a whole, Avia Invest representatives participate at the most important aviation forums from Europe and around the world, such as Routes Europe, Routes Silk Road and World Routes. Also, the company conducts many meetings with European experts, from whom it has adopted many practices used in other European airports.

Another indicator of the quality improvements being made by CIA is its award-winning status. ‘The airport with the most dynamic development from the CIS countries with a passenger flow of up to five million passengers a year’ was bestowed upon CIA by Association Airport.

"The modernisation of the airport’s infrastructure contributed considerably to the improvement of the passengers’ security levels and flight safety, which played a decisive role in making CIA more attractive for airlines," says general director of Avia Invest, Petru Jardan. "Over the past three years, passenger traffic at CIA has almost doubled, the portfolio of destinations has expanded and, last but not least, Avia Invest allocated the necessary resources to ensure a high level of comfort and safety for all passengers. All these improvements aim to provide the best possible service to airlines, while ensuring a pleasant journey for passengers."