Pärnu Airport may get money originally destined for railway construction
The government was examining the possibility to renovate Pärnu’s airport using the €13m originally intended for the reconstruction of the Lelle-Pärnu railway section, BNS reported on Friday. The section’s reconstruction would no longer be unnecessary if Tallinn and Pärnu were connected by Rail Baltic.
“That would definitely cover the costs of renovating the airport. There’s been talk that if it’s certain that Rail Baltic will come, reconstruction of that railway section will make no sense,” Pärnu mayor Romek Kosenkranius told BNS.
“We've made a proposal to invest it either in roads or the airport, it definitely hasn’t been decided yet. Here we need to make sure first how much of the cost the municipalities of Pärnu County and also businesses can shoulder,” Hannes Virkus, adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, told BNS.
Virkus said the amount of money left over would be some €13m, about as much as the renovation of the airport would cost according to an estimate.
The adviser said that exactly how much money was needed for the reconstruction of the airport was not yet clear.
Pärnu County governor Kalev Kaljuste, mayor Romek Kosenkranius, head of the association of municipalities Lauri Luur, and MP Andres Metsoja (IRL) sent a request to the government at the end of April to allocate the money to the renovation of the airport.
According to a study carried out by the Swedish air navigation service, the renovation of the airport of Pärnu to become a modern transit hub would cost €13m. The report states that Pärnu has the potential to serve 48,000 passengers annually five years from now, and that the socio-economic return from the additional passengers traffic would be €3.8m a year.
Pärnu Airport shut down its service of international charter flights from Finland and Sweden in 2014 as a result of the poor state of repair of its airstrip.