Ashgabat International Airport
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|Ashgabat International Airport
Saparmyrat Türkmenbaşy halkara aeroporty
|IATA: ASB – ICAO: UTAA|
|Owner||Government of Turkmenistan|
|Elevation AMSL||692 ft / 211 m|
Ashgabat International Airport (IATA: ASB, ICAO: UTAA), formerly known as Saparmurat Türkmenbaşy International Airport, is one of three international airports in Turkmenistan. It is located approximately 10 km (6 mi) northwest of the capital Ashgabat (Ashkhabad). The airport, with its air traffic control tower and a 12,000-foot (3,700 m) long precision approach runway (12L-30R), opened in 1994 and was named after the country's first president, Saparmyrat Niyazov.
The airport building opened in 1994 and the terminal has a capacity of 1,600 passengers per hour. There are two artificial runways, equipped with the second category ILS and platform, enabling them to take aircraft of all types. All services of the airport work around the clock.
The airport includes passenger waiting rooms, service passport, customs, border control, a 24-hour reference service, VIP and CIP rooms, a business club, a ticket office (Turkmenistan Airlines), shops, bars, fast-food outlets, currency exchange, a new baggage handling conveyor system, international telephone, a mother and child room and the offices of the airlines (Star Alliance and Turkish Airlines).
Saparmurat Niyazov's planning of the airport
As part of Saparmurat Niyazov's aspiration to transform Turkmenistan into 'the new Kuwait', he sought to construct a distinctive airport. This zeal resulted in the control tower being constructed on the wrong side of the runway. The 'gaudy new terminal' now blocked the view of air traffic controllers as they guided pilots. The builders warned him of this, however, he responded that, "It looks better this way."
The Turkmen government opened an international tender in 2012 for the construction of a new international airport in Ashgabat, to be named "Oguz Han". Polimeks, a Turkish construction company active in Turkmenistan since the late-1990s, was declared as the winner of the tender. The project will cost $2.3 billion (€1.7 billion) and features a highly unusual terminal design featuring a Turkmen bird. The new airport will be able to serve 14 million passengers per year and is scheduled for completion in 2016. It will have the capacity to handle 1,600 passengers per hour. The airport will have a closed-area of 350,000 m2 and include a passenger terminal, VIP terminal, cargo terminal with a capacity to handle 200,000 tonnes of freight per year, a new air traffic control tower (ATCT), a maintenance hangar for three narrow-body aircraft, new fuelling stations, catering, fire brigade, flight simulation, repair and maintenance buildings, parking space for 3.000 cars, a civil aviation school as well as a medical center. Once completed, the airport will also have a new 3,800m long runway to serve wide-body, double-deck jet airliners such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8.
On 26 March 2014 a small passenger terminal was opened during a ceremony attended by the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. The terminal is located on the site of a pre-existing Turkmen SSR airport (after the bus station) down the street №2013 (Cosmonaut Blvd). For the period of construction of the main passenger terminal the temporary terminal took the service of passengers departing and arriving to Ashgabat. After commissioning of the main terminal, the terminal will be used for charter flights.
Airlines and destinations
In Soviet times, the airport was used exclusively for domestic flights. Currently, the airport serves a number of foreign airlines, operating for both passengers and cargo.
|AeroLogic||Frankfurt, Hong Kong|
|Lufthansa Cargo||Frankfurt, Baku|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Dhaka, Istanbul–Atatürk|
|Turkmenistan Airlines||Abu Dhabi, Brno, Istanbul–Atatürk, Chateauroux|
- List of the busiest airports in the former USSR
- List of airports in Turkmenistan
- Transportation in Turkmenistan
-  Archived 31 March 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- Ghost Wars, Steve Coll; pg. 303 along with the corresponding footnote on pg. 627.
- "Türk firması Türkmenistan'da 2.25 milyar dolarlık ihale kazandı – Hürriyet EKONOMİ". Hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
- "Golden Age". Turkmenistan. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
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