YEREVAN (Arka)—The Armenian government approved on Thursday a master plan for Yerevan’s Zvartnots International Airport for the 2013-2017 period. The plan calls for $102 million of investment into the improvement and further modernization of the airport and the construction of a new building.
According to Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, the $102 million investment will be undertaken by Armenia International Airports CJSC, the company granted a 30-year concession agreement for the management of operations at the airport. The company is owned by Argentine company Corporation America, which is in turn owned by Armenian-Argentine businessman Eduardo Eurnekian.
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan also noted that the old airport building is physically worn out and requires reconstruction, which will need $15 million to $20 million.
Sargsyan said the old building of the airport is a unique example of Soviet modernism, “which is why our architects want more discussion on its future.” He said that a solution will ideally be found that can preserve that piece of architecture, which has both historical and cultural value.
Sargsyan mentioned that there is one interesting proposal which suggests building a park at the airport that would house replicas of the many significant buildings.
In April this year, Armenia International Airports CJSC asked the government for permission to demolish the old building of the airport. The news caused public outcry. Many civil organizations and architects rejected the idea, arguing that the aging and dilapidated building is an historically and artistically significant “monument” that should be preserved.
The Town Planning Council of the Yerevan Municipality rejected the company’s application saying it would ask the mayor of Yerevan to recognize the old building as an architectural monument.
The old airport building was inaugurated in 1980. The latest building was added in 2007. The airport is located 12 km west of Yerevan.