Polish Airports Soon to Float their Shares

Full commercialization is expected to take place within a year to a year and a half, the Gazeta Prawna reports.

According to the executive director of PPL Pawel Latacz, the next plan will be to float the airports’ shares on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It is estimated some 30 percent of the shares will be put to offer. A further 20 percent will be allocated to PPL’s workers after commercialization has taken place. According to the Gazeta Prawna, the majority of the shares will remain with the State Treasury.

The new departure terminal in Warsaw’s Okecie is to be completed and opened by March 2008. This is the final deadline given if Poland is to abide by the Schengen Agreement procedures. It is expected PPL will also commence the development of Etiuda, the neighboring terminal for budget airlines around the same time.

It is estimated some 9 mln passengers will have come through Okecie by the end of this year. PPL’s investment plans for the development of Polish airports within the next 4 years are approximated at 1.6 bln zloty. PPL is therefore looking to enter the stock exchange to find capital to develop its airports further.

The state of Poland’s central airport hub is in crisis mode. Its expansion was further stalled two weeks ago when PPL terminated the contract with the construction company. No final decision has been undertaken as to whether Okecie will indeed be Poland’s central airport or whether a new site is needed. This has delayed any further construction work and development.

A second runway would cater for 25 mln passengers, appeasing the influx until the year 2025. This, according to Latacz, is a band-aid solution and instead plans need to be drafted for a duo-airport solution such as Okecie-Modlin or plans incorporating other regional airports.

Proposals are being drafted for an airport in Swidnik near Lublin. Further suggested areas are Koszalin, Babie Doly near Gdynia and Kamien Slaski near Opole. To serve the south of Poland, an airport near Kielce is also in the cards, as a satellite airport for Krakow.

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