27 Dec 2010 18:45

Domodevovo appeals to authorities to guarantee electricity by New Year

MOSCOW. Dec 27 (Interfax) - Moscow's Domodedovo Airport has appealed to the authorities to get electricity supplies restored in time for the New Year holidays.

Moscow Unified Grid Company (MOESK) has told Interfax that it was able to put a second power-transmission line from the substation Vzlyotnaya that feeds electricity to Domodedovo back into operation this afternoon.

Some Moscow and Moscow-region power lines were knocked out this weekend by ice and falling ice-covered trees.

"At 3:00 p.m. Moscow time we were able to ensure reliable power supply to the airport via two electric power lines," a MOESK representative told Interfax.

But towards evening an Interfax correspondent reported from Domodedovo that electricity was still largely off, with baggage conveyors and escalators remaining at a standstill.

Thousands of passengers stranded at the airport broke through barricades fencing off the passport control zone and surrounded controllers' cubicles.

Earlier, passengers many of whom had been held up at the airport for more than 24 hours demanded to meet with airline representatives but no one came out to meet them.

Airport officials say aircraft are leaving Domodedovo gradually - as soon as a plane is ready to take off, passengers are invited to passport control.

Domodedovo has appealed to the Emergency Situations Ministry, Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia), Moscow regional government and MOESK to restore power supplies before the New Year holidays begin.

Vyacheslav Nekrasov, the airport director, said in a letter that the airport receives electricity from MOESK's Yakovlevo PS-425 and Vzlyotnaya PS-663 substations.

The airport consumes up to 23 megawatts of electricity per hour but it is currently receiving 10,250 megawatts.

The airport did not receive external sources of electricity for 12 hours. It says 50 generators had been keeping strategic installations supplied. The Emergencies Ministry delivered three diesel generators to enable the airport to keep handling flights and minimize the consequences of the transport collapse.

But Nekrasov writes that the airport cannot keep operating like this for days on end and is not receiving enough electricity to handle the required number of passengers.