ARTICLES 
AIRPORT WILL BE BUILT NEAR BANSKO & RAZLOG
Article by Tony Maskrachka, 24 Hours Daily, 4th January 2006

Two opportunities for construction of an airport in Pirin Mountain are already being discussed, after the mayor of Bansko municipal announced that the region needs a runway for charters with foreign tourists and for private planes.
One of the offers is that the airport should be built in Razlog valley and the other one is for reconstruction of the already existing military airport nearby Gotse Delchev.
This project can be fulfilled after 10 years, but it is necessary. Just in Bansko municipal the total number of beds by 2010 will be 15 thousand for tourists. Dobrinishte resort is also developing with extremely fast temps. The neighboring municipal- Razlog is just 5 kilometers away, but is being formed as a tourism center, said Alexander Kravarov.
A huge golf complex is now being constructed just 10 kilometers away from Bansko in Betlovoto site near Razlog.
Over 10 huge balneal complexes will be constructed in Dobrinishte and Banya. This region has the potential to develop as an all season winter destination, thanks to the mineral springs.
All of the complexes will be luxurious. At the same time the closest airport is Sofia. Although the distance is just 160 kilometers, the road is bad and slow. During the winter Predela pass is overloaded. It turns out that more than 3 hours to reach Bansko from Sofia.
The mayors of Bansko and Razlog Alexander Kravarov and Luben Tatarski already have sent a letter to the Civil Aviation Administration, to announce their intentions.

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2000 decares and 30 million euro investments will be necessary for the construction of the airport. The most appropriate site in the region will be now going to be studied.
There is already interest from huge Canadian and American companies to invest in the project. The preliminary researches will most probably be made by the Civil Aviation Administration.
The moment the experts find the best terrain for the construction of the airport, we will check whose property the land is. If it is a private area we will have to compensate the owners. The best option is to find a municipal terrain.
According to him the airport is best to be situated close to Bansko, not Gotse Delchev, to save time when traveling.
The second option, which is also disputed, is to use the military airport which is close to the village of Musomishta nearby Gotse Delchev.
The distance to Bansko is 50 kilometers. At the same time the airport will be close to the brand new customs Ilinden- Ekshi, which is just 20 kilometers away.
The advantages of this project are a lot. Firstly, the needed funds are even less. Except for that, the needed funds will be less. During the winter, when the biggest number of tourists arrives, Razlog hollow becomes foggy and the flights will be impeded. The meteorological conditions on the airport nearby Gotse Delchev are better, said the mayor of Gotse Delchev Vladimir Moskov.
The military airport is from the beginning of the 1960. It is situated just one kilometer away from the main road to the customs Ilinden- Ekshi. The piste is around 2, 1 kilometers, there is additional 200 prolong on both ends of the runway. The total area of the whole site is 936 decares. The terrains are owned by the municipal since the 1950 and the owners were compensated.
The piste is with stable base and is designed to resist a hit from 2 tones. It is 200 meters wide. Now it is owned by the Ministry of Defense, but Gotse Delchev municipal has sent a letter to the government to acquire the airport to manage it.
I do not remember military planes to have ever used the runway. It was used by agricultural planes, said the mayor of Musomitsha village Ivan Lambrev. Cargo planes also used the airport before 1980.
Several tourism agencies were also interested in the airport. They were unconditional that the runway needed just some more investments to accept charter flights and private planes.
The piste is in the middle of agricultural site, just four kilometers away from Mesta River, and there are no mountains in the vicinity, said the mayor Moskov.
There are three buildings owned by the Ministry of Defense in the site, which can also be used. The airport in Gotse Delchev however is just 100 kilometers away from the airport in Kavala town in Greece.

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