Airports on Sakhalin and Kuril Islands to merge
All five airports located on the island of Sakhalin and two airports on Kuril islands in the North Pacific will be united under one management, according to Nikita Polonskiy, general director of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport, the largest of the seven. The merger under the Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk umbrella is expected to be completed by November.
The initiative stems from the governor of Sakhalin region, Oleg Kozhemyako, who argued that the smaller island airports cannot develop in a sustainable manner separately. Making them into affiliates of the larger Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk airport is expected to “consolidate efforts and finances” raise their efficiency and provide for regular air service between the regional center and the remote areas.
“We have intensified our co-operation with all of the airports on Sakhalin and the Kuril islands,” Polonskiy said. We have been studying their structure, financial standing and operations. Together with the top managers of these airports we are elaborating plans and analyzing how we can help them, with the solutions and expertise we have obtained.”
One of the airports, in Okha, has already merged with its larger pier. Reconstruction of runway at that airport is nearing project approval stage. The cost of the reconstruction, estimated at 3 billion rubles, is financed by the regional administration, with contribution from Federal Air Transport Agency. Nearly 190 million rubles were allocated for airport infrastructure renovation in 2014-2015 from the federal funds.
Reconstruction is also planned for Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk itself, including construction of a new passenger terminal within the next three years and runway renovation.
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