Renovation and extension of Nikola Tesla airport

The contract relates to the renovation and extension of the airport infrastructure, including the construction in two phases of a 40,000 m2 extension to the existing passenger terminal and the renovation of 15,000 m2 (including the addition of 11 new boarding bridges). The works also include: the construction of an additional runway to enable the existing runway to be closed for complete renovation, as well as the construction of new taxiways, aircraft parking areas, a number of electrical substations, car parks and a section of access road.


Serbia was ranked one of Europe’s top five most dynamic economies in 2018, and is on track to become a strong trading partner with the rest of the world, including the European Union. Serbia also has the ambition of driving its growth through its strong tourism potential. For this reason, Belgrade airport plays a key role in the country’s development. Through its signature of a 25-year concession contract, VINCI Airports has committed itself to transforming the airport into a leading hub for south-eastern Europe and supporting its growth: the goal is to double its capacity to welcome 10 million passengers per year by the end of 2023, and 15 million by 2043.

Technical overview

The phasing for the terminal is very sensitive: passenger flows are being reorganised to separate them from access routes for our staff and deliveries of equipment and materials, and external areas (car parks, access roads) are being redeveloped without compromising the quality of the welcome passengers receive.
With regard to runways, with the new runway being built in close proximity to the existing one (190 m), extremely precise working procedures will need to be implemented in agreement with the Serbian civil aviation authority to ensure that work can take place without disrupting air traffic. These procedures will vary according to weather, and will be planned with consideration of peak hours.
Another difficulty posed by the project is obtaining precise information on the state of existing infrastructures, which we require in order to tailor the structuring of our redevelopment work, both for the terminal and for the existing runway.
The current runway dates from the 1960s, and underwent a number of surface renovations up to 2005. Additionally, during the study and project phases, night tests (core sampling, etc.) are being carried out. A precise knowledge of the condition of existing infrastructure is vitally important, as this will affect the structuring of our redevelopment work.
The BIM method is very useful for the design and phasing of terminal works.
These works are also characterised by exacting environmental requirements. The excess soil generated by excavations for the new runway will be reused for landscaping on the airport site, thus minimising the flow of heavy goods vehicles.

“Operating at a working airport requires extremely careful phasing of work operations to maintain normal activity for the airport and the security of construction staff, airport staff and passengers,” Guillaume Deteix, Bid Project Manager


This project plays a role in the growth of the local economy through worker recruitment and equipment and materials procurement.
Upon completion of this work, passengers will follow different routes for departures and arrivals. The airport will improve its energy and environmental performance with the creation of a 10,000 m2 photovoltaic farm, a wastewater treatment plant, and the installation of hydrocarbon separators and settling tanks to improve the quality of the wastewater. The current runway lighting systems will be replaced with LED lighting.
This project complements VINCI Construction Grands Projets’ portfolio of major airport developments: the Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports in Cambodia, Dushambe international airport in Tajikistan, and Santiago international airport in Chile.

Project participants

VINCI Airports

Key figures

Execution date:
from February 2019 to December 2023

Extension of the passenger terminal: 40,000 m²

Renovation of the existing terminal:
15,000 m²

Goal of 15 million passengers by 2043

International airports in Cambodia

Phnom Penh and Siem Reap