Russian authorities have approved the design project for a new paved runway at Baikal Airport in the city of Ulan-Ude, according to the project’s creator, state-run Aeroproekt.
The new runway, parallel to the existing one, will be 3,400 m long—200 m shorter than originally planned—and 45 m wide. The airport will also be fitted with new taxiways, a new water drainage system and other infrastructure.
Tje airport reconstruction is done within the framework of Federal Target Program for Economic Development of the Far East and Baikal Region, effective until 2018. The project cost is estimated at 4.9 billion rubles. According to Baikal Finance publication, the runway construction may start this autumn and be completed no later than 2018.
The necessity of a new runway at Baikal Airport was laid on the table in August 2014. The plan initially called for renovating the existing runway. However, after assessing the risks of ground inundation, it was decided that the airport may be rendered incapable of serving heavy aircraft. The old 2,997 m runway was also considered no long enough. After the new runway becomes operational, the old one will serve as a taxiway, according to the project.
Today, Baikal accepts aircraft up to the size of Il-96-400T and Boeing 767. In 2015, Baikal Airport served 284,500 passengers, down 5.6% from the previous year’s result. In the first quarter of this year, its traffic reached 44,500 passengers, a 11.6% YOY decline.
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