21 Aug 2019 19:02

Sukhum Airport reconstruction to take about 2 yrs - project manager

SUKHUM. Aug 21 (Interfax) - According to preliminary estimates, the reconstruction and commissioning of Sukhum Airport will require about two years, Yegor Solomatin, the manager o the Sukhum International Airport investment project, told journalists at the Abkhaz capital on Wednesday.

"We are currently at the stage of developing a master plan, therefore we can talk about the deadlines loosely, but it will most likely take at least two years, because after the master plan we need to prepare the design and estimates documents, and it takes about six months. The airport needs reconstruction from scratch, apart from its runway, which also needs serious repair. If we begin work this fall, it will take about two years to restore the airport," Solomatin said following Russian-Abkhaz talks on the resumption of flights between Russia and Abkhazia in Sukhum.

Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) deputy head Oleg Storchevoi said at talks at the Abkhaz government that the agency's expert had come to Abkhazia to study the state of Sukhum Airport.

Abkhaz President Raul Khajimba said on August 17 that it would take about a year and six months to restore the airport.

On July 26, the Abkhaz government endorsed three draft orders regulating the work to restore Sukhum Airport. On the same day, Khajimba signed an order giving the Sukhum an airport joint base airport status, which envisages the use of the airport by military and civil planes.

In accordance with the government order, the four-letter international location indicator URAS has been assigned to the Sukhum airport and Abkhazia's airspace to be added to Russia's Aeronautical Information Publication. The first letter of the indicator means the CIS airspace, the second Rostov-on-Don, whose flight controllers monitor all airlines passing the region, the third Abkhazia, and the fourth Sukhum, the government said at the meeting.

The Georgian authorities criticized Abkhazia's plans to resume international flights.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry said that Sukhum Airport's international flights go against the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the legislation of Georgia.