Liepāja Airport reopened for general aviation flights

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On May 26 the Liepāja Airport was re-opened for general aviation flights and military flights. Airline flights could resume at the airport in 2017, reported Latvian Radio Thursday.

The reconstruction of the airport was co-financed by the EU Cohesion Fund, while maintenance will be covered by the municipality.

As recently as in 2008 flights to Moscow, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Rīga were still taking place from Liepāja. 

"Starting general aviation flights means that private aircraft can fly in. The size doesn't matter as long as the flight isn't commercial. The airfield can also be used by military aircraft as well as special aviation operations, such as flying in to pick up patients," said Agris Sprūde, a board member at the airport.

Sprūde said that the airport should undergo certification for commercial flights by September 20, 2016. Flights could resume in spring 2017.

According to local entrepreneurs, when flights from Rīga to Liepāja were interrupted the number of tourists in hotels shrank 20%. Hopes are now up that they could be reclaimed.

The airport was built to fit airplanes of the fleet of state-owned airBaltic airline, as hopes are high for cooperation between the airline and the Liepāja airport.

The management of the airport admit there'll be fierce competition with the nearby Palanga airport, which is planning to increase the number of regular destinations this year. However they're optimistic that Liepāja will come out on top.

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