This week, a Chinese delegation visited Osijek in eastern Croatia, where investors are considering building a cargo and logistics center on state-owned land near Osijek Airport (OSI).
In a statement from the Chinese Southeast European Business Association (CSEBA), the Croatia-based organization aimed at promoting economic cooperation between China and countries in Southeastern Europe, OSI was said to be particularly appealing to investors for its proximity to several other modes of transportation. OSI’s Cargo Manager, Davor Hanić, told Air Cargo World that OSI is located near the Osijek River Port, rail corridor X and road corridor VC of the Pan-European corridor. OSI is also near Croatia’s borders with Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Hanić said OSI was built in the 1980s as an alternative to Belgrade Airport (located about two hours away by road, in Serbia), “with its main purpose as a cargo airport.” He added, “we are a Regulated Agent, we have a customs warehouse and a DG [dangerous goods] warehouse, we possess all required infrastructure, staff and equipment” for cargo operations. Currently, however, according to flight tracking software Flightradar24, there are no all-cargo or China-based carriers with scheduled service at OSI.
According to the CSEBA statement, Osijek-Baranja County Prefect Ivan Anusic said the airport has room for substantial growth, with “more than 250 hectares of land available” for the cargo and logistics center. CSEBA President Mario Rendulic added that plans for the cargo and logistics center are “developing slowly,” but that “we expect a letter of intent to be sent to the government so that we can move on even further.”
The next step, according to Hanić, is “to aim this initiative towards the Ministry in charge regarding the concession of terrain required” for the project.