Magas loses airfield status

Photo by Magas Airport

Magas Airport, located in the homonymous capital city of Russia’s Republic of Ingushetia, has been excluded from the Russian register of civilian airfields. The Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA) stripped Magas of its airfield status, requalifying it into an airstrip. The regulator explained that the airfield’s certificate of state registration and operational worthiness had expired on December 16, and that the Magas management had failed to timely submit an application for its renewal.

Magas declined to comment for Russian Aviation Insider. A FATA spokesperson confirmed that the airport would be able to restore its status after filing the application.

This situation forced Russian low-fares carrier Pobeda to suspend regular flights to Magas from December 24. Services will be resumed as soon as the airline receives a clarification from FATA as to the standard procedures for operating flights into an airstrip.

Magas’s 3,000 by 46 m runway is capable of receiving all types of airliners weighing up to 30 t (Classes 3 and 4 according to the Russian classification), including Airbus A321s and Boeing 737-400/500/800s. Its capacity is five aircraft movements per hour.

Passengers holding Pobeda tickets to Magas have been offered reimbursement or rearrangemeng of their itinerary to a flight to Vladikavkaz (the capital of neighboring North Ossetia), with a further bus transfer to Magas.

Pobeda inaugurated flights to Ingushetia in September 2015, and has since sold over 20,000 tickets for the destination. Previously, UTair Aviation was the only airline flying to Magas with its Boeing 737-500s.

Magas had been planning to become an international airport.

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