Sukhum Airport Set for First Test Flight in June

Sukhum Airport, Abkhazia

SUKHUM / AQW'A ― During a recent press conference, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Transport, Dzhansukh Nanba, discussed the upcoming operational commencement of Sukhum Airport, railway enhancements, and a new modular terminal.

Sukhum Airport, set to open in December 2024, is expected to provide employment for up to 500 individuals, primarily local residents. Due to the requirement for specialised skills, some roles will also be filled by experts from the Russian Federation, with all new hires undergoing specialised training.

In collaboration with Rosaviation (Federal Agency for Air Transport of the Russian Federation), the Government of Abkhazia has implemented a 2022-2025 aviation staff training initiative, sending 15 Abkhaz citizens to study at Russian universities, though application numbers have been disappointingly low.

The airport is scheduled for its first test flight in June, with expectations that its official launch in December will heighten public interest.

Addressing concerns about disputes with Babushara village residents, where the airport is located, Nanba clarified that there was no conflict; discussions had been held to plan the airport's future expansion, which the villagers support.

Plans include extending the airport's construction southward, with 2024 set to see the airport operating within its original boundaries, and all related property restrictions lifted.

Nanba also highlighted significant infrastructure projects near Ochamchira port and the introduction of the Lastochka electric train to Sukhum, which is anticipated to increase passenger traffic.

Regarding transportation tariffs, Nanba stressed that there have been no official fare increases, and warned that unauthorized rate hikes could lead to license revocations for transport companies.

Lastly, despite a temporary rise in the price of AI-92 gasoline due to increased export prices in Russia, Nanba reassured that there would be no supply issues this summer, with prices expected to stabilize thereafter.





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