New terminal launched at Odessa airport

Odessa airport is mulling a new runway but has no budget for it at the moment The facility will serve 3 million passengers annually (Odessa Airport)

A new passenger terminal was inaugurated at Ukraine’s Odessa airport on April 15. The facility is understood to be initially intended exclusively for domestic flights (which, according to Odessa’s 2017 summer schedule, only operate to Kyiv’s Boryspil and Zhulyany airports).

The airport intends to transfer charter and scheduled international flights to the new terminal over time. Before this happens, the facility will need to test its infrastructure on domestic operations. CEO Vitaly Portyanko told Ukraine’s Centre for Transport Strategies in summer 2016 that the airport’s old terminal would be eventually mothballed.

The four-storied new terminal sits on 29,000 square meters, and is 3.6 times more spacious than the airport’s previous one. The facility can process 3 million passengers annually, against the active terminal’s long-outgrown capacity of 1 million. On December 19, 2016, Odessa welcomed its millionth passenger. The airport’s 2015 passenger traffic stood at 949,000 passengers.

The new terminal is equipped with four jet bridges. A parking area for four Boeing 737/767-sized aircraft will be arranged on the outside.

Work to build the terminal commenced in 2012; the completion date slipped several times.

Even though the new facility will have boosted the airport’s throughput capacity three times, Odessa is unlikely to expect any explosive growth in passenger traffic. Its development has been hindered by the poor condition of its only concrete runway. “The runway is worn out and outdated,” Portyanko commented. “We need a new runway to receive any types of modern aircraft around the clock. We experience adverse weather conditions in October through March, with frequent fogs obstructing visibility. A new runway would enable us to serve aircraft faster, and better.”

According to Portyanko, there is no clarity yet as to whether a new runway will be built or the existing one renovated. Both options are being constrained by the airport’s meager budget. In January 2017, Ukrainian media quoted Odessa mayor Gennady Trukhanov as saying that the airport would get a new runway in 2017-18.

It is extremely important for Odessa to lift the current aircraft size limitations, seeing as the airport introduced an open skies regime in 2015.

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