YEREVAN, December 26. /ARKA/. The government has approved today the master plan of Armenia’s international airport Zvartnots for 2013-2017, which calls for $102 million investment into the improvement of the facility and construction of a new building .
According to Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan , the Armenia - International Airports, a company granted the concessional management of Zvartnots airport, undertakes to invest $102 million dollars into the facility to step up the level of services and enhance development of tourism, which he said remains a government priority.
He also said the old airport building is physically worn out and its reconstruction will require $15 million -$20 million.
According to the prime minister, the old building of the airport is a sample of Soviet modernism, and ‘this is why our architects want more discussions on its future.” He added that a solution should be found that would allow preserving this monument which has both historical and cultural value.
The prime minister said there was already an interesting proposal - to build a park at the airport’s territory that would house the replicas of many architectural monuments.
In April this year the Armenia - International Airports asked the government to permit it to demolish the old building of the airport. The news caused a public outcry. Many non-governmental organizations and architects rejected the idea arguing that the building is a 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 new airport building the construction of which was started in 2004 was commissioned in 2007. The old airport building was inaugurated in 1980. The airport is located 12 km west of Yerevan.
Zvartnots airport is run by Armenia-International Airports, a company owned by an Argentine citizen of Armenian descent Eduardo Eurnekian. In 2001 the company signed a concesional agreement with the government to manage Zvartnots for 30 years. -0-