Domodedovo International Airport
|Moscow Domodedovo Airport
Московский аэропорт Домодедово
Aerial view of Domodedovo Airport
|IATA: DME – ICAO: UUDD|
|Owner/Operator||East Line Group|
|Elevation AMSL||179 m / 588 ft|
Moscow Domodedovo Airport or Domodedovo International Airport (Russian: Московский аэропорт Домоде́дово; IPA: [dəmɐˈdʲɛdəvə]) (IATA: DME, ICAO: UUDD) is an international airport located on the territory of Domodedovo, Moscow Oblast, Russia, 42 kilometres (26 mi) south-southeast from the centre of Moscow. Domodedovo is the largest airport in Russia and the former USSR in terms of passenger and cargo traffic (30.76 million passengers used the airport in 2013, which is a 9.2% increase from 2012), and is one of the three major Moscow airports along with Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo.
The airport is named after the town of Domodedovo, on the territory of which it is located.
Services from Domodedovo began in March 1964 with a flight to Sverdlovsk using a Tupolev 104. The airport, intended to handle the growth of long-distance domestic traffic in the Soviet Union, was officially opened in May 1965. A second runway, parallel to the existing one, was put into service 18 months after the opening of the airport. On 26 December 1975, Domodedovo Airport was selected for the inaugural flight of the Tupolev Tu-144 to Alma Ata.
In 1993–1994, East Line Group, founded by Urals entrepreneurs Anton Bakov and Dmitry Kamenschik, who built capital in the early 1990s on hauling cargo from Asian countries to Russia, invested in several facilities at Domodedovo, including a new customs terminal and catering services. In late 1996, Kamenschik-led East Line Group privatized the terminal facilities of Domodedovo Airport and formed JSC 'International Airport Domodedovo' and several other commercial entities controlling the airfield operations at the airport. Since 1998, the runways, air traffic control, and communication facilities are formally on a lease to the subsidiary of East Line Group. Later, in 2005 and 2008, the legality of these deals with East Line Group was contested by the Russian Rosimushchestvo government agency supervising the state property.
East Line's strategic goal to stabilize the airport's future and to establish Domodedovo as an important international and multi-modal transportation hub was gradually achieved throughout the 2000s (decade). In the 2000s (decade), East Line Group began to heavily invest in reconstruction and modernization of the outdated airport facilities. By 2009, the terminal floor space was expanded to 135,000 sq. meters from 70,000 sq. meters in 2004. The renovated terminal and airport facilities allowed the owners of the airport to attract British Airways, El Al, Swiss International Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Austrian Airlines, and Vietnam Airlines who moved their flights from another major international Moscow airport, Sheremetyevo Airport, to Domodedovo. They were followed by Emirates, Brussels Airlines, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, and Lufthansa. Aeroflot also moved certain cargo operations to Domodedovo. The airport became the hub for some of Russia's major airlines like S7 Airlines and Transaero, which is now the main tenant in the airport. Domodedovo topped Sheremetyevo Airport in terms of passenger traffic becoming the busiest airport in Russia. By 2010, the traffic at Domodedovo spiked to over 22 million passengers per year from 2.8 million in 2000.
Domodedovo is Russia's first airport to have parallel runways operating simultaneously. Since the air traffic control tower was redeveloped in 2003, Domodedovo can control over 70 takeoffs and landings per hour. By late in the 1st decade of the 21st century, the airport had five business lounges set up by individual airlines.
In 2003, the airport began an expansion program designed to obtain approval for wide-body aircraft operations. The runway, taxiways, and parking areas were enlarged and strengthened. In March 2009, it was announced that the approval had been granted, making Domodedovo Airport the first in Russia approved for new large aircraft (NLA) operations such as the Airbus A380. The approval signifies that its operations areas comply with size and strength requirements of ICAO Category F standards. The airport has ILS category III A status.
Domodedovo Airport has been the focus of two terrorist-related incidents. In 2004, Muslim suicide bombers managed to pass airport security, board two passenger planes, and carry out the bombings after departure from Domodedovo. Despite the heightened security measures taken after this incident, another suicide bomber attack occurred on 24 January 2011, when an Islamist militant entered the terminal building and detonated a bomb in the arrival hall. As a result, mandatory screening and pat-down practices have been introduced at the airport terminal entrances.
The identity of East Line's owners controlling the operations at Domodedovo Airport was vague with traces leading to offshore companies. However, in May 2011, Dmitry Kamenschik was disclosed to be the main beneficiary of East Line's assets. At that time, Domodedovo Airport contemplated IPO, however these plans were scrapped.
Domodedovo Airport has one terminal building comprising two separate concourses for domestic (and some former Soviet republic countries) and international flights, respectively. It has 22 jetways altogether.
As of November 2011, new concourse extensions adjacent to the current terminal building are under construction. The construction is projected to increase the overall size of the passenger terminal to 225,000 m2. The extensions are scheduled to open in stages in 2012 and 2013. When completed, the second segment of a new passenger terminal will be twice the size of Terminal 5 at London Heathrow – the equivalent of 61 football fields. It was designed by British company RMJM and uses the under-the-roof concept, which means that passengers from all flights will be serviced within a single terminal. One of Europe's largest air hubs – Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport – operates under this concept. The complete construction ends by 2017. All concourses will remain connected and plan to increase the efficiency of the airport operations and passenger connections by using ICAO and IATA transfer technologies. Nowadays, the airport is full of multiple cultures, most dominant still being Russian, but African, British, Indian, and especially Arabic cultures have been commonly seen.
Airlines and destinations
The head office of Transaero is located on the airport property. Russian Sky Airlines has its head office on the airport property. When Domodedovo Airlines existed, its head office was on the airport property.
The airport has a railway station with service to the Paveletsky Rail Terminal in central Moscow. Rail connection is provided by nonstop Aeroexpress trains (takes 45 min; coach class costs 400 rubles, business class costs 900 rubles), as well as by regular suburban commuter trains of Paveletsky suburban direction of Moscow Railway (takes 65 to 70 min and costs 99 rubles).
The airport has several long and short term parking lots. The terminal itself is accessed from the junction of Moscow Ring Road and Kashirskoye Highway via a designated 14 mile-long four-lane freeway. Licensed taxi, limo services, and car rental (Hertz, Avis, and Sixt) providers are available at the counters of the arrival hall.
Incidents and accidents
- On 5 December 1999, a cargo version of the Ilyushin Il-114 suffered a crash during testing at Domodedovo, killing five and injuring two.
- In August 2004, two female Chechen suicide bombers were responsible for a serious security breach at the airport which destroyed two planes (Volga-AviaExpress Flight 1303 and Siberia Airlines Flight 1047) and killed 90 passengers (Russian aircraft bombings of August 2004). Since that time, East Line has instigated a new security policy and has spent $20 million on security and detection equipment, which has been installed at the airport. Some of the new security equipment included full body scanners on all checkpoints to the departure hall, making Domodedovo one of the first airports in the world to use this technology.
- On 22 March 2010, a Russian Tu-204 Aviastar-TU jet, which originated from Hurghada in Egypt, crashed in a forest while trying to land at Domodedovo. There were no fatalities reported, but four of the crew were seriously injured.
- On 4 December 2010, South East Airlines Flight 372 made an emergency landing at Domodedovo, killing two people and injuring 56.
- On 25 December 2010, freezing rain caused widespread power outages in Moscow and suburbs, including Domodedovo. The power lines feeding Domodedovo Airport and the railroad link were severed resulting in the shutdown of the terminal for several hours and a spike in taxicab fares.
- On 24 January 2011, an explosion caused by a suicide bomber killed 37 people and injured 173 people.
- Sheremetyevo International Airport
- Vnukovo International Airport
- List of the busiest airports in Russia
- List of the busiest airports in the former USSR
- List of the busiest airports in Europe
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Domodedovo International Airport.|
- Domodedovo International Airport Homepage (English) (Russian)
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