Makhachkala Airport approved for Airbus A321

Photo by Makhachkala Airport

Uitash airport (MCX) serving Makhachkala, the capital of the Republic of Dagestan and one of the largest cities in Russia’s North Caucasus region, has been approved for Airbus A321 operations by the Federal Air Transport Agency, the airport’s spokesperson told Russian Aviation Insider. The airport was previously certified for Airbus A320s, Boeing 757s, and Ilyushin Il-86s.

The right to receive and service the new aircraft type will enable the airport to attract new carriers to Dagestan’s capital city, and also to expand the route network from Makhachkala. Increased competition will stimulate a reduction in air fares, the Uitash representative stressed.

Uitash completed reconstruction of its only runway in 2014. The renewed airstrip is 3 m wider than before (to 45 m), but its length remains the same at 2,640 m. In mid-October this year the airport switched to 24/7 operations.

In November, the design of the new domestic and international passenger terminals was approved; their construction is expected to start in 2016, and they should be fully operational by 2022-25. The domestic terminal’s capacity will be 500 passengers per hour, and that of the international terminal will stand at 150 per hour, against the current capacity of 200 and 60 passengers, respectively.

At present the airport serves mortsly domestic flights, the only foreign destinations from Makhachkala being Turkey’s Istanbul, operated by the Russian carriers Nordstar and Grozny Avia, and Kazakhstan’s Aktau, operated by Scat Airlines.

Uitash saw its traffic grow 21% from January to October 2015 compared to the same period in 2013 (the airport was partially closed for reconstruction in 2014). In the first 10 months of this year, the airport served 572,300 passengers and saw the number of aircraft movements rise 3.8% to 5,655. Annual traffic is forecast to reach 2 million passengers by 2035 .

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