A new runway, along with associated taxiways, has become operational at Oguz Khan Airport in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan. The runway, measuring 3,800 by 75 meters, is fitted with air navigation, radio and lighting equipment, and complies with all ICAO standards enabling it to receive all types of aircraft, the government-owned news agency Turkmendovlethabarlary reports.
The new airport, which is being erected on the premises of existing and operational Saparmurat Niyazov Airport, is gradually supplanting the old infrastructure, and the process is now in full swing. Now that the new runway is in service, the old runway will be closed for reconstruction.
Apart from the runway, the new airport has received a new 65 meter-high ATC tower with an area of 7,000 sq.m taken up by associated facilities and state-of-the-art equipment, part of which was supplied by Thales. The firefighting, rescue, and security services have moved to a new building. A new training center for airside personnel is in place, as are administrative facilities for the national carrier Turkmenistan Airlines. Work continues to build an aircraft maintenance center, to be able to handle up to five aircraft simultaneously, a medical center, and several other facilities.
The main passenger terminal, dedicated VIP and cargo terminals (the latter capable of handling 200,000 tons of cargo per year) are also under construction, while passengers are currently serviced in a temporary terminal, which will be converted into a charter terminal once the main facility is ready.
The new terinal’s capacity will be comparable to the old one’s: 1,600 passengers per hour, or up to 14 million per year. According to Turkmenistan Airlines, the figure securely covers any future traffic growth, seeing as just over 3 million passengers used Oguz Khan in 2014.
The project to build the new airport in Ashkhabad is the largest effort undertaken under the national program to develop civil aviation in 2012 through 2030. The airport will occupy an area of 1,200 hectares. The new infrastructure will remain in operation for at least 30 years, says the prime contractor Polimeks of Turkey.
Because the construction site is an active airport, the new facilities are replacing the old ones in a stepwise manner; the master plan calls for completing this work by August 2016. Polimeks, however, is aiming to reach the finish line in February 2016. The project’s total cost is estimated at around $2.23 billion.
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