5 Jun 2023 16:51

Georgia wants to build a new airport in Tbilisi

TBILISI. June 5 (Interfax) - A new international airport is planned for Tbilisi, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said at a government meeting.

The airport will be built on the site of the former Vaziani airport, he said

"We are talking about the construction of a new international airport, which can become a hub. It should be a transit and logistics airport," the prime minister said.

"We have been working on two options: one is the development and expansion of the existing airport. However, this airport has its drawbacks and limitations and does not allow for large-scale development. Moreover, if we want to become an aviation hub in the region, this airport and its territory are not suitable. This is why we raised this issue at the economic council and came to the conclusion that if we want to take care of the country in the future for 20, 30, 50, even 100 years, to leave the proper infrastructure and an airport to our future generations, we need to choose a new location. That location in Tbilisi is the former Vaziani airport. On my instructions, the Ministry of Economy is actively working on this," the prime minister said.

The current Tbilisi International Airport, named after Shota Rustaveli, is managed by the Turkish TAV Airports holding. It was modernized in 2007; the capacity is approximately 3.5 million passengers per year. In 2022, Tbilisi Airport served 3 million passengers, which is 78% more than in 2021 and 81% of the pre-pandemic 2019 figure. The airport has two 1.5 km-long runways.