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 Bulgaria to Set Up EU Border Control Air Base in Burgas

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PostSubject: Bulgaria to Set Up EU Border Control Air Base in Burgas   Wed May 11, 2011 4:27 pm

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Bulgaria to Set Up EU Border Control Air Base in Burgas



Bulgaria's Interior Ministry will use part of the territory of the airport in the Black Sea city of Burgas in order to set up an air base for the surveillance of the south-eastern-most external border of the EU.

This has become clear from a government decision adopted Wednesday to amend the concession contracts of the Varna and Burgas airports.

In addition to facilitating the investments of the concessionaire, Fraport Twin Star Management, the changes to the concession contracts are necessitated by needs of the border control in Southeast Bulgaria as an external border of the European Union.

Thus, part of the concession territory of the Burgas Airport will be provided to the Ministry of Interior for setting up an air base of the Regional Border Police Directorate in Burgas.

The air base will be used for air surveillance along Bulgaria's land border with Turkey and the Black Sea border in order to counter illegal migration, and to host the forces and facilities of the Special Air Surveillance Squad.

One of the major obstacles for Bulgaria's entry in the border-free Schengen Area by the original deadline of March 2011 was that some deficiencies were found in its border control along its border with Turkey, which were subsequently fixed.

South-east Bulgaria, along with north-east Greece, is a potential hot spot for illegal immigrants wishing to enter the European Union.

The expansion of the airports has already been included in the new territorial organization plans of the respective municipalities.

On Monday, Fraport announced that the airport in Bulgaria's Black Sea capital Varna will be closed down for unprecedented repairs after the end of the 2011 summer tourist season.

The Varna Airport will be undergoing repairs from October 15, 2011, till February 28, 2012. This is the first time the airport will be shut down since it was opened on May 9, 1948.

In 2010, Fraport Twin Star Airport Management paid the Bulgarian state a total of BGN 13 M for the concessions of the Varna Airport and the Burgas Airport.

In addition to Fraport's investments, the changes to the concession contracts are necessitated by the needs of the border control in South-east Bulgaria as an external border of the European Union.

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Bulgaria to Set Up EU Border Control Air Base in Burgas

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