With the conclusion of the renovation works on its infrastructure, performed by the BTC Company in public-private partnership with the City Municipality of Ljubljana, the first Slovene civil aviation airport in the Ljubljana district of Moste has been revived and is open for visitors to experience new cultural and culinary offers. On the premises of the former airport building in BTC City Ljubljana, visitors can find coffee shop Kavarna Cacao, while in the former airport control tower the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana set up an exhibition, presenting the history and development of Slovene aviation and the old Ljubljana airport.
The story of the first Slovene civil aviation airport in the Ljubljana district of Moste started with a big air show on 20 August 1933. After 1979, when airplanes made room for the industrial zone, the airport started to fall in ruins. Three years ago, the BTC Company was the only one to reply to the public tender and with its project The Renewal of the Old Ljubljana Airport, the Company entered into a public-private partnership with the City Municipality of Ljubljana, with whom BTC signed a concession contract on the implementation of the project for a period of 25 years. According to some sources, this is the first project of public-private partnership in the field of cultural heritage in Slovenia ever. The aim of the project was the renovation of the airport tower and the airport building, the management of its surroundings, the content revival of the area, and the presentation of the location as a cultural heritage with exceptional significance. The renovation complied with the guidelines by the City Municipality of Ljubljana and other organisations included in the project: Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia and the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana. The BTC’s investment value amounted to about EUR 800,000.
After the conclusion of the project, the representatives of the BTC Company, the City Municipality of Ljubljana, and partners, who co-operated on the project, met at a social gathering on the premises of the Old Ljubljana Airport, where a true gem was being constructed on the ruins of the old buildings. Alongside Jože Mermal, President of the BTC, d. d., Management Board, and Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City Municipality of Ljubljana, the guests admired the renovated area and enjoyed the offer of Kavarna Cacao.
Upon the conclusion of the project, Jože Mermal, President of the BTC, d. d., Management Board, pointed out: “This is an exceptional project of public-private partnership between the BTC Company and the City Municipality of Ljubljana, which we implemented with the aim of adding urban and architectural elements to the priceless historic value of the old airport. Both buildings will be available to the public, as people will enjoy in the culinary offer of Kavarna Cacao and at the same time admire a collection of photographs, marking the pioneer times of the first Ljubljana civil aviation airport. I am happy to say that the Old Airport area truly gained a soul and it pleases me to see it becoming the most greenified area of BTC City Ljubljana.”
The significance of a successful public-private partnership was also emphasised by Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City Municipality of Ljubljana: “I am glad we could share our vision with the BTC Company when we were looking for a partner for the implementation of the project. I would like to thank Jože Mermal for his courage, since the result of our partnership can be seen in a beautiful building with great contents, available for all citizens of the City Municipality of Ljubljana. I would like to congratulate the tenants, Kavarna Cacao, as well as project engineers, contractors and supervisors.”
The airport tower and the airport building stand renovated today and are open to the public. The airport building features a coffee shop Kavarna Cacao, which joined more than 70 culinary service providers in the area that under the brand name Food Bluz place BTC City Ljubljana on the map of important European culinary destinations which spark interest among the tourists. Kavarna Cacao offers its visitors excellent desserts, made of the most quality ingredients, as well as daily fresh home-made ice cream, which is served in a pleasant atmosphere of their summer terrace. Along with sweet treats they offer salty snacks, a wide variety of exquisite drinks and different types of sundaes, adapted to new culinary trends every year. During lunch hours you can choose from many different types of lunches for any taste.
In the former airport control tower, the visitors can visit an exhibition on the endeavours to build an airport in Ljubljana, on interesting facts of aviation history of Ljubljana and on the old Ljubljana airport itself, which was prepared by the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana. The wish to be involved in organised aviation activities has been present in Ljubljana since the 20th century, with the first aero club being established in the city after WWI, enabling flights from the old Šiška district airport. Upon endeavours to set up a real airport, in 1933 the first Slovene civil aviation airport in Moste district was put to use. It connected Ljubljana with the “world”, since the air route to Zagreb was established right away and a few weeks later also the one to Susak. The development of aviation after WWII caused the grassy runway to be too small. Therefore, in 1963, Brnik airport was opened, with the Moste airport remaining active as a recreational airport until 1979. In 2011, the area became protected as a cultural monument of local importance. Along with newly renovated airport facilities, a former airport hangar has been preserved, offering its facility to a car shop for several years now.
Maja Oven, Director of Market Communication and Public Relations Sector
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Conclusion of the project The Renewal of the Old Ljubljana Airport
PHOTO: Studio Bomba