Kazakhstan to open 15 new airfields by 2020

Kazakhstan is developing its network of regional airfields Usharal airport became operational on July 21 (Kazakh Ministry for Investment and Development)

Fifteen regional aerodromes will become operational in Kazakhstan by 2020 under the government program to develop the country’s airfield network. Four of these will have paved runways and the remaining 11, dirt strips. The list includes airfields that will serve the cities of Shardara, Beyneu, Ulken Naryn, and Zharkent, Today.kz newswire reports, citing the Ministry for Investment and Development.

At present, 24 airfields are operational in Kazakhstan, of which 18 are major airports serving the large cities of Astana, Almaty, Aktau, Aktobe, Atyrau, Jeskazgan, Karaganda, Kokshetau, Kostanay, Kyzylorda, Oral, Oskemen, Pavlodar, Petropavl, Semey, Shymkent, Taldykorgan, and Taraz. A further four regional airport are located in Balkhash, Urzhar, Usharal, and Zaysan. Finally, there are two certified flight testing airfileds, Boroldai and Tengiz.

Usharal airport, some 590 km away from Almaty, was opened on July 21. Construction of its passenger terminal with a floor area of 784 square meters had begun in 2016. The airfield’s 2,200-meter-long runway was restored, and a new taxiway and apron for two aircraft were added. The airport serves scheduled flights to Astana and Taldykorgan operated by Zhetysu Avia, as well as charter flights.

Kazakh Minister for Culture and Sports Arystanbek Mukhamediuly says the airport will help attract tourist traffic to the local resort on Lake Alakol.

“Construction of the terminal and airside reconstruction at Usharal were financed from the regional budget of Alaty Region; there were no allocations from the state budget,” reads the Investment Ministry’s report. “Scheduled traffic will grow eventually. According to preliminary estimates, there will be an average of 25 passengers on each flight.”

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