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Concept ready to develop regional airports in Belarus

Economy 05.06.2018 | 18:51
An archive photo
An archive photo

MINSK, 5 June (BelTA) – A concept to guide the development of regional airports has been worked out in Belarus, BelTA learned from Belarusian Transport and Communications Minister Anatoly Sivak.

Proper physical infrastructure has been created and is maintained in all the regional airports in Belarus. Sufficient money has been invested to allow the airports to reach the international status. “We are now about to approve the concept for the development of the airports in the oblast capitals,” said the official.

In line with the concept every regional airport will take care of a specific area of expertise. For instance, the Transport and Communications Ministry expects the Brest airport to grow thanks to the city's tourism appeal, particularly in the eyes of visitors from China. The extension of the local runway is nearly over. Once it is done, the airport will be able to welcome more aircraft types.

The Gomel airport will be developed as a backup airport for the Minsk National Airport. “The Minsk National Airport may become responsible for the workload of the Gomel airport in the future,” added Anatoly Sivak.

“Vigorous negotiations are in progress with the government of Russia's Smolensk Oblast on using the Vitebsk airport as the main one for this Russian region for flights to the Russian Federation and several other countries,” said Anatoly Sivak. “Since Smolensk Oblast has no international airport of its own, the Vitebsk airport may be able to offer not only charter flights but regular ones, too.”

According to the Belarusian transport and communications minister, the position of the Grodno airport is a difficult one due to its proximity to Polish and Lithuanian airports. The ministry expects the number of charter flights in the Grodno airport to rise.

In 2017 Belarusian regional airports reported a decrease in passenger numbers. Positive dynamics started to emerge in 2018. “However, we don't yet intend to consider subsidizing the tariffs on aircraft maintenance and passenger flights in these airports,” noted Anatoly Sivak.

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