New life of Ponikve Airport

The powerful sound of an „Eagle” airplane of the Serbian Armed Forces, and following it the civil „Antonov” with the parachutists and twenty more light sport aircraft, revived today the decade and a half of the unused Ponikve Airport. By this flight day, the airport, severely destroyed by bombing in 1999, started its new civilian life.

Minister of Transport Aleksandar Antic symbolically handed over the license for using this airport for civil purposes to Uzice Mayor Sasa Milosevic, after which the aircraft of airline clubs from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Smederevo and other cities soared into the sky.

– All thanks to people who run Uzice because of the huge commitment to this project, and the Government of Serbia will be their partner in this. The airport needs additional infrastructure in order to be what we want – Minister Antic said.

The ceremony was attended also by Colonel Aleksandar Bjelic, Commander of the 98th Aviation Brigade. He flew over by helicopter under command of Major Dragan Stojanovic and Master Sergeant Zoran Jevtic.

Uzice Mayor Sasa Milosevic is confident that the new beginning of Ponikve Airport will contribute to the revival of the economy of the whole region, and Deputy Director of the Directorate of Civil Aviation Mirjana Cizmarov welcomed the entry of another civil airport on the aeronautical map of Serbia. For the time being, the airport can be used by 10-seat aircraft and business aviation, while the landing of larger ATR aircraft requires series of tasks to be done on the infrastructure. From the entire 3,100 meter long runway it is currently possible to use 1,830 meters.

Ponikve Airport was made for the needs of the JNA between 1979 and 1983, and during the NATO bombing, in 1999, hundreds of missiles were thrown at this airport. In the middle of the last decade, with the help of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces the residual mines under the airport runway were removed, and in 2009, the Ministry of Defence transferred a part of the Ponikve Airport to of the town of Uzice.

Source / Author: Serbian Armed Forces