Manas International Airport
|Manas International Airport
Манас эл аралык аэропорту
|Airport type||Joint (Civil and Military)|
|Elevation AMSL||637 m / 2,090 ft|
Manas International Airport (Kyrgyz: Манас эл аралык аэропорту, Manas el aralıq aeroportu) (IATA: FRU, ICAO: UCFM) (formerly UAFM) is the main international airport in Kyrgyzstan located 25 kilometres (16 mi) north-northwest of the capital Bishkek.
The airport was constructed as a replacement for the old Bishkek airport that was located to the south of the city, and named after the Kyrgyz epic hero, Manas, at the suggestion of country's most prominent writer and intellectual, Chinghiz Aitmatov. The first plane landed at Manas in October 1974, with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin on board. Aeroflot operated the airport's first scheduled flight to Moscow–Domodedovo on 4 May 1975.
When Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the airport began a slow but steady decline as its infrastructure remained neglected for almost ten years and a sizable aircraft boneyard developed; approximately 60 derelict aircraft from the Soviet era, ranging in size from helicopters to full-sized airliners, were left in mothballs on the airport ramp at the Eastern end of the field.
With the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States and its coalition partners immediately sought permission from the Kyrgyz government to use the airport as a military base for operations in Afghanistan. Coalition forces arrived in late December 2001 and immediately the airport saw unprecedented expansion of operations and facilities. The derelict aircraft were rolled into a pasture next to the ramp to make room for coalition aircraft, and large, semi-permanent hangars were constructed to house coalition fighter aircraft. Additionally, a Marsden Matting parking apron was built along the Eastern half of the runway, along with a large cargo depot and several aircraft maintenance facilities. A tent city sprang up across the street from the passenger terminal, housing over 2,000 troops. The American forces christened the site "Ganci Air Base", after New York Fire Department chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr., who was killed in the 11 September terrorist attacks. It was later given the official name of Manas Air Base, renamed Transit Center at Manas in 2009, and closed and handed over to Kyrgyz authorities in 2014.
Around the same time the Kyrgyz government performed a major expansion and renovation of the passenger terminal, funded in part by the sizable landing fees paid by coalition forces. Several restaurants, gift shops, and barber shops sprang-up in the terminal catering to the deployed troops.
The airport terminal underwent renovation and redesign in 2007. The contemporary IATA codename FRU originates from the Soviet name of the city of Bishkek, then called Frunze. In 2012, the airport handled 1,056,000 passengers.
During its existence Kyrgyzstan Airlines had its head office on the airport property. On 2 January 2002 the airline moved its head office to the Kyrgyzstan Airlines Sales Agency building of Manas International Airport. Previously the head office was also on the grounds of the airport.
Airlines and destinations
|Silk Way Airlines||Baku, Ürümqi|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Almaty, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Islamabad, Istanbul–Atatürk, Shanghai–Pudong|
Accidents and incidents
- In the predawn hours of 23 October 2002, an IL-62 airliner operated by the Tretyakovo Air Transport Company crashed on takeoff after running off the end of the runway. There were no passengers aboard and all eleven crew members escaped, with only minor injuries. The pilot was pulled from the aircraft by responding U.S. Air Force Security Forces personnel of the 111th SFS from the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. The injured were treated at the joint US Air Force and South Korean army clinic at Manas Air Base. The wreckage was bulldozed by Kyrgyz personnel and left at the site. Airport operations resumed before the crash site had finished smoldering.
- On 26 September 2006, a Kyrgyzstan Airlines Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft taking off for Moscow–Domodedovo collided on the runway with a US Air Force KC-135 tanker that had just landed. The Tupolev, with 52 passengers and nine crew on board, lost part of its wing but was able to take off and return to make a safe landing with a 2.5m section of its wing missing. The KC-135, with three crew members and a cargo consisting entirely of highly-flammable jet fuel, caught fire and was destroyed. There were no injuries on either aircraft.
- On 24 August 2008, Iran Aseman Airlines Flight 6895 (a Boeing 737 operated by Itek Air) heading to Tehran with 90 people aboard crashed 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from the airport, killing 68. Twenty-two people, including two crew members, survived the crash. According to an airport official, the crew had reported a technical problem on board and were returning to the airport when the plane went down.
- On 28 December 2011, a Kyrgyzstan Airlines Tu-134, which had taken off from Bishkek, attempted to land at Osh. The jet, carrying 80 passengers and six crew, rolled off the runway, broke its wing, overturned and caught fire. 31 people were injured, with 17 of these hospitalised.
- On 16 January 2017, Turkish Airlines Flight 6491, a Boeing 747-400F operated by ACT Airlines under wet lease for Turkish Cargo, en route from Hong Kong to Istanbul via Bishkek, missed the runway on landing in thick fog, crashing into a village. At least 38 people were killed, including all four crew members and 34 people on the ground.
- AIP Kyrgyzstan
- Manas airport in Bishkek is completely modernised (in Russian)
- "Kyrgyzstan airlines head office changes its address." Kyrgyzstan Airlines. 3 October 2002. Retrieved on 28 December 2011. "Now it's located in the building of the former Frunze Airport or Kyrgystan Airlines Sales Agency. Its new address is – Mir prospect 95."
- "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 4–10 April 2000. 114.
- Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule
- "Accident Database: Accident Synopsis 10232002". Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Flight International, 3–9 October 2006
- . The crash is the worst ever aviation accident in Kyrgyzstan.68 die, 22 survive airliner crash in Kyrgyzstan
- "All passengers survive after plane flips over in crash-landing". Yahoo News UK. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "Belarus' First Deputy Foreign Minister signs Book of Condolences at Kyrgyzstan's embassy". Belarusin Telegraph Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2017.
- Hradecky, Simon (16 January 2017). "Crash: MyCargo B744 at Bishkek on Jan 16th 2017, impacted terrain on go around". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-412F TC-MCL Bishkek-Manas International Airport (FRU)". Aviation Safety Network. 16 January 2017. Retrieved 16 January 2017.
Media related to Manas International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Manas International Airport (official site)
- Manas International Airport (globalsecurity.org)
- Accident history for FRU at Aviation Safety Network
- Airport information for UAFM at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Current weather for UAFM at NOAA/NWS
- Airport information for UAFM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.