Ashgabat International Airport
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Ashgabat International Airport
Aşgabadyň Halkara Howa Menzili
|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 old 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 new airport opened in 2016 after being completely redesigned and rebuilt.
The airport building opened in 1994 and the terminal has a capacity of 1,600 passengers per hour. 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.
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 new airport was opened on 17 September 2016 by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. The project costed $2.3 billion (€1.7 billion) and featured a highly unusual terminal design featuring a Turkmen bird. The new airport is able to serve 14 million passengers per year. It has the capacity to handle 1,600 passengers per hour. The airport has 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. The airport has also a new 3,800m long runway to serve wide-body, double-deck jet airliners such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8.
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).
On 26 March 2014 a small passenger terminal was opened during a ceremony attended by 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 is used for charter flights.
Airlines and destinations
- 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.
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