DOC// The epic of Ilan Şor has come to an end. The International Airport remains under state management

Viorica Mija

The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) rejected the appeal of Avia Invest company, which sought the annulment of the decision to terminate the concession contract for Chisinau International Airport (AIC). The decision is final and was announced on Wednesday, December 20, by a panel of judges comprising Aliona Miron, Aliona Donos, and Diana Stănilă. In recent years, the Center for  Investigative Journalism team has conducted several probes into the Chisinau Airport concession, exposing fraudulent schemes, interests, and procedures. The investigations can be found here and here. In two other investigations, CIJM reporters uncovered the private interests of certain state dignitaries related to the Chisinau Airport concession, as well as the lack of response from public institutions, which were obligated to investigate abuses and conflicts of interest. The investigations can be accessed here and here.

On July 8, 2020, the Public Property Agency sent a notification to SRL Avia Invest, announcing the resolution of the contract for the concession of the assets of ÎS Aeroportul Internațional Chișinău, due to the concessionaire's failure to fulfill the contractual obligation regarding the presentation of the guarantee for the proper execution of investment commitments. Later, SRL Avia Invest took legal action against APP after the institution rejected the request to cancel the resolution notice.

APP previously specified that it terminated contractual relations with SRL Avia Invest due to the non-execution of contractual obligations.

"In the process of contract resolution, APP respected all the rights of SRL Avia Invest regarding the terms and methods of setting up the performance guarantee. SRL Avia Invest did not fulfill its contractual obligations, leading to APP's obligation to terminate the concession contract to avoid liability for inaction regarding the contract's implementation. SRL Avia Invest was supposed to carry out the investments from its own sources, not from those accumulated from charging the 9 euros per passenger tariff. Moreover, SRL Avia Invest did not provide financial information about the cost base of the airport fee of 9 euros per passenger, nor any confirmatory calculations regarding the impact of the airport tax on its investments," the quoted source stated.

The Chisinau Airport concession agreement was signed under non-transparent conditions on August 30, 2013, between the Public Property Agency and the Avia Invest company, founded on August 2, 2013, with a share capital of 85.1 million lei, divided equally between the Russian companies Khabarovski Airport and Kolomenski Zavod.

In early September 2019, the government led by Maia Sandu repealed four decisions related to the concession of Chisinau International Airport, made during the period 2012-2013. These decisions included the initiation of the public-private partnership project for the concession of Chisinau Airport, the approval of the concession of the Airport's assets, the approval of the Report on the progress and results of the tender for the selection of the concessionaire of the assets, as well as the reconfirmation of the approval of the concession of the assets of the State Enterprise Chisinau International Airport. Subsequently, the Public Property Agency filed a summons against the commercial company Avia Invest SRL, through which it requested the recognition of the nullity of the contract dated August 30, 2013, for the concession of the assets under the management of the Chisinau International Airport State Enterprise and the related land.

Viorica Mija

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