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Russia to Renovate Sukhumi International Airport after Being Out of Service for 30 Years


The Minister of Economic Development of Russia, Maxim Reshetnikov, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy of Abkhazia, Kristina Ozgan, have signed an agreement on the renovation of the Sukhumi International Airport.

According to the agreement, the Russian side undertakes to fulfill all the conditions of the investment project, while the Abkhaz side provides the executor with exclusive state guarantees to protect property rights for the objects created within the framework of the investment project, unchanged conditions of tax rates and tax benefits, as well as obligations to provide land plots on a priority basis.

According to Maxim Reshetnikov, the restoration of direct air communication between Russia and Abkhazia is part of a larger tourism development strategy being jointly developed by the governments of the two countries, along with the involvement of regional authorities and businesses.

“The reconstruction of the Sukhumi airport is a historic event for Abkhazia. The airport has not been operational for 30 years. This fact seriously hampers the development of the business and tourism sectors of the republic,” he noted. “For Russia, the new airport will solve two important tasks at once – it will relieve the extreme congestion at the Sochi airport and the multilateral automobile checkpoint ‘Adler,’ which are currently the main entry points to Abkhazia for Russian citizens.”

“The implementation of this investment project will have a significant impact on the development of Abkhazia’s economy,” said Kristina Ozgan. “We are confident that the launch of the airport will increase the transport accessibility of the republic for tourists and expand the opportunities of our country in the international transport and logistics system.”

The restoration work will be carried out in two stages, funded by a private investor without the involvement of funds from the federal budget. According to a preliminary estimate by the Russian Ministry of Transport, the Federal Air Transport Agency, and the potential investor, the cost of the first stage of reconstruction will be 6.5 billion rubles.

“The first stage includes the reconstruction of 2.4 out of 3.6 kilometers of the runway, which will allow the airport to accommodate passenger aircraft such as SSJ-100, MC-21, and cargo IL-76,” emphasized Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Volvach. “It is expected that the annual passenger traffic volume at the first stage of reconstruction will be 375.8 thousand passengers. The second stage of restoration work will begin after reaching the milestone of 1 million passengers per year. In case the project is implemented on time, the resumption of airport operations is planned for the fourth quarter of 2024.”

It is expected that the total volume of passenger transportation at the new airport will reach approximately 1.2 million passengers per year.

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