EBRD finances better provision of air navigation services in Serbia and in Montenegro

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

EBRD finances better provision of air navigation services in Serbia and in Montenegro

€35 million to SMATSA upgrade air traffic management system

The EBRD is providing a loan of €35 million to Serbia and Montenegro Air Traffic Services (SMATSA) LLC to help improve the provision of air navigation services in the two countries. The loan proceeds will be used to finance hardware and software upgrades of SMATSA’s  air traffic control system and data processing system and an upgrade of its aeronautical fixed telecommunications network (AFTN) system and aeronautical message handling system (AMHS).

This work will be a key element in the company’s wide-ranging modernisation programme, which also includes a new annex to an existing air traffic control building to increase capacity, new control towers in the airports of Belgrade and Nis, and a contingency centre in Nis. 

The project is part of the wider Single European Sky programme, which aims to improve safety, capacity and flight efficiency. Single European Sky is an initiative, run by the European Commission, to coordinate the upgrading of Europe’s infrastructure for air traffic management. It includes upgrades in EU countries as well as improvements in neighbouring countries, which will make cooperation between systems more reliable.

SMATSA’s comprehensive modernisation programme will fall in line with the harmonisation process of the European Common Aviation Area, which aims to make air services across Europe more affordable and efficient, and ultimately to benefit passengers and other users of airspace.  

The EBRD and SMATSA previously cooperated in 2005, when the Bank provided a loan of €33.5 million for a modernisation programme. The successful completion of the 2005 project enabled SMATSA to improve its services, comply with pan-European standards, and operate in line with EUROCONTROL guidelines.

To date, the EBRD has invested over €4.6 billion in the economy of Serbia, with a majority of its investments supporting private entrepreneurship.