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Bratislava BTS schließt Terminalaus...
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Just a clarification: the reason why the airport is stressing that this new terminal is not funded from the taxpayer money is that it is not true, and the presented numbers are a reault of "creative accounting". The fact is that the total cost of the whole new terminal (which was built in 2 phases; Departures and Arrivals) has increased from 92.9mil EUR to 135mil EUR. And, already in 2010, the government supported the whole construction by a 69 mil EUR direct subsidy for the construction (from the Slovak taxpayer money) and by increasing the registered capital of the airport company by another 10 mil EUR (of course, directly sucking it up from the rest of Slovakia). Moreover the airport has been generating losses in the last years (how are these covered given that the airport is 100% owned by the Slovak state???). Also note that the airport basically only serves Ryanair, which famously pays very low airport fees. So, it is very likely that even the 40mil EUR needed to cover the rest of construction cost (for which the airport is currently getting a commercial loan), will eventually have to be picked up by the taxpayer.
But, this is just a continuation of the cenralist functioning of the Slovak state, which pours huge amounts of taxpayer money from the rest of the country into "national" cultural, sports, and transportation centers in Bratislava, resulting in the country having one of the largest within-state regional disparities in the EU. And this airport is just a highlight of it: while the BTS passanger numbers steadily decline (and everybody uses Vienna, Budapest, Kosice, Krakow airports), the governent refused to sell BTS to Vienna and now forces the taxpayers to pay for it, just so that we have a state-owned NATIONAL airport in Bratislava (even though only a very small number of Slovaks, in particular almost none from the East Slovakia, but not even Bratislavans, actually use it).
Sources in Slovak:
User (5 Beiträge)
@HuhuLesny: Guess we run into a distinct language problem, in particular in regards to the slovkian links you provided. Until futher complaints, I'll try in english, assuming most readers can deal with (may the mods forgive me)
Basically I see the situation at BTS as a federal investment into the national infrastructure, with a perspective to commercialise its operation at a given point in time. After cancellation of the Two-One agreement (which clearly was a breach of contract, no doubt), what would have been the alternative? Either you close it or get it in shape.
Politically, it's closure is a no-go, so with the new state-of-the-art hardware you have a token to play the game. The region badly needs further capacity, that is now there, guess the ball is now with the BTS-management to start a proper business. VIE is full to the brim, and if they gain a business share from transfering traffic to BTS, it should work for both ends. And eventually settle the investement. But clearly this will only work if it also pays at both ends.
User (263 Beiträge)
Welcome to forums!
Mind-boggling what you're writing, even more worrying since Berlin's new airport currently sees a similar debacle resulting in massive exceedances speaking of time and budget. Seems like this is a common problem with governmentally financed projects. Hopefully Ryanair won't stay the only major resident at BTS so as to generate at least a little more profit in return.
Reynolds, BTS ist 90% Leisure und VFR, mit Ryanair und Travel Service als Zugpferd. Praktisch der gesamte Geschäftsreise und sonstige Linienverkehr der Region läuft über VIE. Um daran was zu ändern, bräuchte es am BTS einen solide finanzierten Homecarrier, den aber wird es mangels einer nationalen Luftfahrtstrategie nicht geben, da liegt unser slowakischer Freund völlig richtig. Stimmt auch, die Chancen stehen gut, dass das Investment am BTS und damit ein Patzen Steuergeld einfach verbufft (rund 200m). Anderseits hat der Airport ein reales Potential von gut 5 Mio Px, für die es am VIE gar keine Kapazität mehr gibt. In die 5m nicht eingerechnet sind die 2-3m Slowaken die jetzt schon regelmäßig den VIE nutzen. UTAir nach VKO könnte ein Modell sein, auch Pegasus, Sunexpress etc 'muss' wie Norwegian nicht ab VIE fliegen, die FWAG wird da aber nur mitspielen, wenn sie bei diesen Flügen ab BTS besser verdient als zu Haus.
Ich denk, ohne eine strategische Kooperation der beiden Airports geht da nix und es gibt viele Gründe, die klar dafür sprechen. Das Problem ist das Pistenprojekt am VIE, die wollen die 11R/29L und dazu brauchen sie mehr Passagiere, am VIE, nicht am BTS.
User (263 Beiträge)
Interessant, danke für die Hintergrundinfos, Bob. Nunja, trotzallem bleibt zu hoffen, dass dort doch noch ein anderer Carrier anfliegt in Zukunft, der nicht nach dem Heuschrecken-Prinzip nur die günstigen Standortfaktoren mitnimmt. Wenn die Kooperation mit VIE zusätzlich Sinn macht umso besser.
@Reynolds: Was die Slowaken brauchen, sind Leute, die strategisch denken können. Unsere Nachbarn sind ein lustiges, sympathisches und auch tüchtiges Völkchen, das in den letzten 20 Jahren Erstaunliches geleistet hat. Nur eins haben sie nie gelernt: Sich selber zu verwalten. Den Ton haben stets die Ungarn angegeben, die Österreicher, die Tschechen, sogar die Russen, sie selber haben immer nur brav gearbeitet. Das eigentliche Problem am BTS ist eine in marktwirtschaftlichen Dingen völlig unerfahrene Politik. So gibt es auch keine (marktrelevanten) Rahmenbedingungen, die für Airlines attraktiv sind. Die operativen Konditionen am BTS sind gut, das aber ist halt nur ein Teil des Geschäfts.
Vielleicht gelingt aber am BTS was Ähnliches wie in der Auto und IT-Industrie. Ein professioneller Betreiber hätt da ein gemachtes Bett, vorausgesetzt, die Politik lässt ihn werkeln, wie er's braucht. Und eben da hab ich bei einem nationalen Schwergewicht wie dem Staatsflughafen meine Zweifel. Wie die Macher am VIE, der AUA (Slovak Air), Wizzair, Easyjet und anderer, die's schon probiert haben. Austrian hatte dort eine Basis, und Ryanair hätte dort längst eine, wenn sie der Pressburg ein tragfähiges Luftfahrtkonzept zutrauen würden. Wizzair wohl auch. Möglich dass so jemand wie die polnische Amber-Gruppe (OLT) mit denen besser zurechtkommt, zumindest wissen die ganz gut, wie die postkommunistischen Systeme ticken.
Eins ist aber sicher, die neue BTS-Hardware kann sich sehen lassen, und sie wird auch genutzt werden. Fragt sich nur wie und von wem. Tipp auf Türken. Falls es die Wiener verschlafen.
Dieser Beitrag wurde am 16.07.2012 11:35 Uhr bearbeitet.
User (263 Beiträge)
Stellungnahme des Flughafens BTS zu den Neubaukosten:
Den von Leser H-Lesny zitierten Zahlen zum Investionsrahmen des neuen Terminals (siehe 1.Kommentar) hat der Flughafen Bratislava in einer Mail an aero.at widersprochen, sie seien nicht korrekt. Demnach betrugen die Gesamtkosten der neuen Terminalanlage 120,6 Millionen EUR, wovon 69,7 Millionen EUR über eine Kapitalererhöhung durch das Verkehrsministerium (Miteigentümer) cofinanziert wurde.
Anbei ein Auszug des Schreibens von Flughafensprecherin Dana Madunicka:
First phase (covers some work and technogies also for the second phase)
- construction works 54,0 mil. EUR
- interior and technologies 20,0 mi. EUR
- construction works 33,2 mil. EUR
- interior and technologies 13,4 mi. EUR
All together (first and second phase)
- construction works 87,2 mil. EUR
- interior and technologies 33,4 mi. EUR
Just the first phase was cofinanced from the public sources in the amount of 69,7 mil.EUR (by the increase of our registered capital from one of our shareholders – Ministry of Transport ), while the cost altogether are 120,6 mil EUR, which means, 50,9 mil. EUR goes from the airport sources.
"First phase' betrifft die Errichtung der Abflughalle, "Second Phase' den Abriss des Altterminals und den Neubau der Ankunftshalle, inkl Erweiterung des Abflugbereichs.
aero.at / aero-Red Wien
Dieser Beitrag wurde am 16.07.2012 12:12 Uhr bearbeitet.
User (263 Beiträge)
Bob and others, thanks for the follow-up and for your comments. I think the numbers provided by the airport are correct. But I also think it's obvious where the creative accounting comes from:
1. The whole construction of both phases was contracted as a single public procurement, with the winner (ZIPP) offering to build it at the cost of 85,91 mil EUR. So, the final cost of 120 mil EUR is almost 50% above that. (source 1)
2. The media presentation throughout the construction was that the 70mil EUR governmental subsidy is for the whole construction. Only now it became convenient to claim that it only covered the first phase (because who remembers what happened in 2010), and to present the construction as being funded from "the airport sources".
3. The 135 mil EUR of total costs includes the additional costs of tearing down the old terminal, new utilities, road works etc. (source 2; which is an interview with the airport boss from May 2012). Note that in the article the airport boss came with the estimate of the total cost to be 135 mil EUR when his estimate of the terminal construction cost was 113 mil EUR. Given that the terminal cost was actually 120 mil EUR, the true total is most likely around 142 mil EUR.
4. The airport company is getting a 40mil EUR commercial loan to cover the difference (source 2) (this is the "airport sources" of Ms Madunicka). But, how is the airport planning to pay it back if it's been in red numbers over the last 3 years, and their passenger numbers are plummeting?
5. If, given the nearby VIE, the only potential of the BTS airport is to serve lowcost carriers (i.e., to be the lowcost terminal for the greater Vienna area), I don't see any reason why the Slovak taxpayer money should be used so that the terminal looks any better than other lowcost terminals like Luton, Stanstead, CDG3. The old terminal was completely appropriate for passengers paying the Ryanair ticket prices.
6. "Source 3" is an official governmental record stating that the Ministry of transport increased the registered capital by 10 mil EUR in 2010. It can be that that was a part of the 69mil EUR increase mentioned by Ms Madunicka. But I don't know of any official record stating when the remaining increases in registered capital were done.
Anyways, the point is that if the TwoOne plan went through, this cost would not be paid by our taxes, as the sales contract required this level of investment. Moreover, now BTS is in direct competition with VIE, and it is losing. And, the rest of Slovakia has to pick up the tab, even though the perspective of BTS is rather dubious.
Sources (they got scrambled in my previous post):
User (5 Beiträge)
Dear Mr Lesny, frankly speaking, do you know of any major public venture, that is NOT based on creative accounting? The reason behind is simply to justify expenditures that eventually attract private investments as a follow up, promising jobs and tax income. Whether you tease the bank or the public doesn't make much difference.
Evidently your key query is, was this taxsupported venture nessecary (usefull) after all? Does an airport with predominantly lowcost- traffic like BTS need a 120m terminal to please customers, that hardly create revenue for the vendor? Mike O'Leary (Ryanair) himself once said to me on the occasion, when the building was startet: "What do you think, who in the end pays for this crystal palace? The customer, off course," he said. "Does he need it? Off course not, he wants a simple, realiable station-type setup, that gets him safely onto the plane. That's it" (quote). But I suppose that's only part of the game. A small nation like Slovakia needs also an attractive window to present itself to the world. The politicians WANT that crystal palace, because they think, the country needs it. And surely, it's also a cultural topic: The old terminal stood for a time no one was too proud off.
Well, at least in the past, the airport has proved, it can be profitable from 2m passengers onwards. The demise of Skyeurope & Co was not their fault. But it will be extremly difficult for them to recover without a national, marketoriented aviation policy, that attracts new buisness into the country.
Mr.Lesny, you're perfectly right, at this point in time, VIE has got all what Slovakians need to travel anywhere. So BTS, what's it for? Simply to provide (and take) a share of the business its regional customers create. Who else than a home carrier with a strategic interest to build up a national airline business can and would do this job? BTS can get them in the air, but it needs the Pressburg to get them off the ground. With a long term perspective and competitive operating conditions, not with subsidies or other encouraging 'incentives'.
In my oppinion, this country lacks a clear will and a strategic dedication to raise its own aviation business, and thus cater for the national (regional) travel needs on their own. And why not hand in hand with partners, be they from nearby or uproad, that know how to do this job? Two-One made sense, a strategical lessor too, but the airport on its own can do no wonders, airlines can, if they become convinced there is potential. And its there, no doubt, leisure, VFR, regional short haul, feeder, cargo, and 5m underserved people at home, that fully depend on VIE, and their conditions. Off course this is a challenge, it calls for an innovative approach, and cleary, for a bit more than creative accounting, and a nice terminal.
Dieser Beitrag wurde am 18.07.2012 15:20 Uhr bearbeitet.
User (263 Beiträge)
Dear Mr. Gedat,
Thanks for your response. I fully agree with your reasoning, and understand it. My true main problem with this terminal is that Slovakia is an extremely Bratislava-centristic country with huge regional disparities (see
) in which there is always taxpayer money for questionable projects of "national pride" to be constructed in Bratislava (airports, highways, railways, theaters, hospitals, sport venues), while there are regions with 30+% unemployment, with terrible roads (Slovakia still lacks a cross-country highway and the only highway connection east-west is via Budapest) and in which the state is currently eliminating several regional railways (mostly in the east). And, in such an environment, a shiny new terminal (which, being 50km from VIE has very questionable perspective), or a national air carrier (which has 0 chance of surviving in unified Europe, as evidenced by Malev and Czech Air) should be the least of the state's priorities if it wants to improve transportation for all the citizens in Slovakia.
User (5 Beiträge)
Dear Mr Lesny, I too would like to thank you for discussing this topic so freely in public, where I also most aprreciate platforms like aero to make this possible. To the points already raised, I'd like take them a bit further:
Slovakia is an extremely Bratislava-centristic country with huge regional disparities
Didn't all countries (at least in Europa) start centrally, and than gradually devellop the outskirts? You have to start somewhere and than take it further. It took Austria four decades before its southern motorway reached Klagenfurt, only some 300 km away. Along this lines the provinces develleoped, slowly but gradually. So did Slovakia so far along the D1. Guess wth aviation its similar, you got to start some place, in this case, naturally Bratislava, where else?
The expenditure of some 120m at BTS for its current infrastructure seems reasonable to me, Written off over some 100m passengers (up to 5m over 20 years) would amount to some 1 EUR per pax. I personally believe Slovakia WITHOUT its own airport is politically inconcievable. Regarding a home carrier, I fully agree, the times for national flagcarriers are over, completly vintage, at least in the EU, but without a strategic home carrier, it wont work either. Would Skyeurope have had the present facilities, they would have never startet that mindblowing VIE and PRG adventure, but marketed their potential at BTS. At a much slower rate, rather than inviting passengers by the millions to pay credit for their growth.
Will someone start anew? Not easily, but the potential is there, so eventually someone will take it up. Aside of Ryanair, who greatly profited from the current vaccuum.
Gruß Bob :-)
User (263 Beiträge)
Thanks for your response. I'm not sure how much this is a platform for such a discussion, but anyways, a couple of points:
1. Slovakia has an elongated shape and is roughly uniformly populated. So, I don't see any reason why the government should only care about highways/railways/airports in Bratislava, which is 500-600km away from half of the country. Naturally, at least half of the infrastructure money should be spent in the east. And, if we're talking about airports, then Kosice is the obvious option, being roughly in the middle of the eastern half of Slovakia, which is at least 250km from the nearest major airport (BUD/KRK), thus KSC having the potential to serve the 2mil people in/around eastern half of Slovakia that currently don't have any well-developed airport nearby (as a contrast, VIE airport will always completely dominate over BTS and serve the whole western half of Slovakia, no matter whether the Slovak government installs golden door-knobs at BTS or not :-) ).
2. The politics you're defending (first developing the center than the regions) is in direct contradiction to the current EU policy of cohesion (where the idea is to support the regions that are lagging behind, not to artificially increase the disparities by only supporting the regions that are already ahead, e.g., because they are closer to Austria and thus can easily attract more investors). As you can see from the link, none of the western EU countries has regional disparities comparable to Slovakia/Hungary/Bulgaria (and, it's not the case that such centrism has to exist in Eastern Europe either - look at Poland where Warsaw is not ahead of, let's say, Krakow).
3. It's completely illogical to be ONLY developing BTS as THE airport for the whole Slovakia, given that BTS is twice as far as BUD or KRK for the eastern part of country and given that BTS will always be in the shadow of VIE. So, if the government supported the KSC airport by at least 1/2 of what it gives to BTS then I think it would be acceptable. In my opinion, there is much more potential from airlines to come to KSC. But only if they saw that there was any support for such a move from the Slovak government/tourism organizations. But, there is 0 interest as the government only cares about what happens in Bratislava. So, the result is that the whole aviation industry just goes down the drain in Slovakia, because we don't support what has a perspective (e.g KSC) and subsidize BTS which only has a perspective of being a low-cost terminal for the Vienna-Bratislava TwinCity region (and even that is questionable now that Ryanair started a base in BUD and its exclusive deal with BTS will end in 2015).
Anyways, we'll see what happens. There are rumors that a new airline will serve Kosice soon ( see eg
). So, let's see whether the new terminal will prompt anybody to come to BTS.
User (5 Beiträge)
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