Sevastopol International Airport
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|"Belbek" Sevastopol International Airport
Международный аэропорт "Бельбек"
|IATA: UKS – ICAO: UKFB|
|Airport type||Public, Military|
|Operator||Ltd. "Aeroport Belbek"|
|Location||9 km (5.6 mi) N of Sevastopol|
The airfield was first constructed in June 1941, during the third year of World War II. Initially it housed a military fighter aviation unit. Constructed without a hardened runway, after the war the airfield received a concrete runway, but remained exclusively in use by the military. During the second half of the 1980s, after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, the airfield was significantly increased and improved, as the airfield was to be used by him when travelling to the presidential dacha on the southern coast of the Crimea, near the cape of Foros. Subsequently it was also allowed to use the airfield for civilian purposes.
The original name of the airport comes from the Belbek river, in the south-west of Crimea. The airfield is located next to the coast, in the Nakhimovsky area of Sevastopol, north of the city center, close to the adjacent neighborhood Lyubimovka.
Since July 2002, the airfield has been in use also for civil aviation. In December 2002, the airport received a license for international flights. Between 2002 and 2007 over 2,500 flights were carried out, which transported about 25,000 passengers.
During 2007, civil flights were suspended again. However, during spring 2009 it was announced that resumption of air links was to commence in the near future. To date, the civil service has not started yet.
Military use of airport continues to this day, being a military fighter airbase. During 1996, the Su-15TM's were replaced by the Su-27, and currently the 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade flies the MiG-29.
Russian military presence
On 28 February 2014, Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claimed that the airport was blocked by Russian Military personnel, and unidentified armed men are patrolling the area. He said through his Twitter account that, "I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation". The Russian Foreign Ministry refused to comment while a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry was not available for comment.
11 March 2014, a new website was established by the military personnel to report directly, of what had happened and is happening at the airfield. According to the website data, there had been a fire in the airport on the military area`s (воинская часть А-4515), where electrical equipment had been stored, some unknown soldiers guarding it.
14 March 2014, Colonel Yuliy Mamchur made an appeal on YouTube, addressed to the Ukraine government, - it should give letter orders to all the Ukrainian troops on the Crimean peninsula. In case he will not receive the orders, he and the 204th tactical brigade are going to fight, even if they couldn`t withstand for a long time.
The 204th tactical brigade has been deployed in Belbek since December 2007 in the military area number A4515 (воинская часть A-4515).
The runway at Belbek airport is 3007 × 48 m, class - B, and is designed to receive aircraft of all types. The maximum takeoff weight of an aircraft is unlimited. The classification of coverings - 34/R/A/X/T. Magnetic course landing is 065/245. Lighting - "Luch-2MU.
Airlines and destinations
The airport is located 2.5 km from the "Belbek Airport" interchange on the Simferopol - Sevastopol/Yalta motorway, near Fruktovoe Village on territorial of Nakhimovsky area. Sevastopol is 20 km to the south and 9 km from Zaharova Square (main square of the north side of Sevastopol. The distance to the Simferopol is 50 km and is about 110 km from Yalta. To get to airport from the center of Sevastopol by public transport, it is necessary to cross Sevastopol Bay on the boat from the Grafskaya harbor to the Zaharova Square (north side of Sevastopol). Then the bus following the route number 36 "North side - Kacha Village" to get to the bus stop "Belbek - Sevastopol International Airport". The fare on the boat is 2.50 UAH and is 5 UAH - the fare on the bus. Length of the road in about 40–50 minutes. The city plans to carry a railroad Sevastopol-Simferopol slightly west, closer to the airport.
- "Military airport in Ukraine's Crimea taken over by Russian soldiers-Interfax". Reuters UK.
- "Ukraine accuses Russia of 'armed invasion' after Crimea airports blockaded". Telegraph.co.uk. 28 February 2014.
- "Главная". belbek62.com.ua.
- Обращение командира бригады Юлия Мамчура "БЕЛЬБЕК". YouTube. 13 March 2014.
- Рябов Михаил (27 September 2013). "Севастопольской бригаде тактической авиации присвоено имя Александра Покрышкина". gazeta.sebastopol.ua.
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