Airport modernisation in Moldova stimulates economy

Funds from the EBRD, the EU, Germany and the Netherlands are helping Moldova modernise its international airport. The airport upgrade has stimulated the Moldovan economy, creating jobs and attracting new business.

Landlocked Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe. Like most transition countries, it needs a fully functioning, modern international airport to spur growth and development.

EBRD support has led to growth

In 2008 the EBRD provided a €25.5 million loan to modernise Chisinau International, Moldova’s largest and busiest airport.

The funding will go towards upgrading infrastructure such as the existing runway and taxiways and other core areas of the airport. The European Investment Bank is co-financing the project with a €20 million loan.

This support follows the successful repayment of the EBRD’s first loan to Chisinau International in 1998 to improve its terminal. Since then, passenger and cargo traffic has grown sharply: in the first nine months of 2008 an estimated 800,000 passengers travelled through the airport, a 25 per cent increase over the same period in 2007; there was also a 24 per cent growth in freight traffic.

Multi-donor support opens international gateway

Chisinau International is keen to further boost its commercial development, and multi-donor support will help integrate Moldova into the international air transport network. With its strategic location between Europe and Asia, the airport is an ideal hub for many major destinations and has several incentive programmes to attract new airlines.

The European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility is contributing €1.75 to help prepare a 20-year airport master plan and implement the project. The multi-donor Early Transition Countries Fund, Germany and the Netherlands are also providing finance for investment and feasibility studies and environmental audits.

An environmental action plan has been developed to ensure that the airport modernisation meets EU and other international standards.