Built by public-private partnership, Zafer Airport to cause 208 million Euro of public loss

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Deniz Yavuzyılmaz has filed a criminal complaint for "misconduct" regarding Zafer Airport in Kütahya province, which he said has caused a public loss because of the guaranteed number of passengers.

Only 7,429 people used the airport in 2020 whereas the guaranteed number of passengers was 1,27 million, he stated in the petition of complaint he submitted to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

A tender with the build-operate-transfer model was lodged in 2011 and a passenger guarantee was given until 2044, Yavuzyılmaz said, adding that the loss will reach 208,1 million Euro until the date it is transferred to the public.

Saying that the Treasury transferred money to IC Holding, which undertook the project, Yavuzyılmaz noted, "Opened in 2012, this airport has been making a loss since the day it was opened. Its loss will be multiplied until 2044. This is like a black hole sucking the [money of] Treasury and citizens' taxes."

"The number of guaranteed passengers for 2020 was 1 million 279 thousand 352. The number of passengers who used the airport was only 7,429. Therefore, the margin of error of those who built the airport, namely the AKP [the ruling Justice and Development Party] is 99 percent," said the MP.

"We are talking about an airport where almost no planes landed or took off ... in 2020. The total population of Kütahya, Afyon and Uşak is about one million 600 thousand. In order for the guaranteed number to be reached, almost all people in the region should use Zafer Airport at least once a year.

"It is said that there was the coronavirus in 2020, this is why the guaranteed number of flights could not be met. But this airport has been in the same situation since when it was opened in 2012. The guaranteed number of passengers was 1 million 236 thousand 189 in 2019, the actual number of passengers was 39,609. The margin of error ... is 97 percent. From 2014 to 2018, the margin of error was 96 percent every year. It was 95 percent in 2013, and 98 percent in 2012. From 2012 to 2020, the margin of error was 97 percent on average.

"If the margin of error continues to be 97 percent until 2044 if the guaranteed number of passengers cannot be met, which seems unlikely, the money that will come out of the people's pockets will be 208 million Euro. ın order for the given numbers to be met, the population in the region should increase 10 times."


Source: Bianet