Sochi International Airport
|Sochi International Airport
Международный Аэропорт Сочи
|IATA: AER – ICAO: URSS|
|Owner||Basel Aero (Basic Element)|
|Operator||JSC "Sochi International Airport"|
|Elevation AMSL||27 m / 89 ft|
Sochi International Airport (Russian: Международный Аэропорт Сочи; IATA: AER, ICAO: URSS) is an airport located in Adler District of the resort city of Sochi, on the coast of the Black Sea in the federal subject of Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Sochi International Airport is among ten largest Russian airports with an annual passenger turnover of 2.4 million people. The airport has been recognized as the best regional airport at the 3rd annual forum “Development of Russia and CIS airports – 2013”, held by Adam Smith Conference.
Sochi International Airport was the main gateway during the 22nd Olympic Winter Games. It served over 350,000 passengers on February 1–28, 2014. Over 2,800 tons of luggage was handled during the Olympic period.
The original airfield was constructed to protect Russia's Black Sea coast during World War II; construction took place between 8 July and 1 September 1941, on the site of the liquidated state farm seed Chernomorets. By order of the Chief of the Office of Civil Aviation, the site became an established airport on 23 November 1945.
In 1956, the first terminal building (now the old building) and the airstrip runway-1 were built. Approximately 35,000 passengers and 1000 tons of cargo passed through the airport in 1957. From 1960 to 1965, passenger and baggage halls, a 200-room hotel, radio navigation and landing systems were all added to the airport as passenger traffic constantly increased. The Order of Red Banner of Labor was awarded to the airport in August 1966 for its high performance.
Passenger traffic went from 902,000 embarkations in 1965 to more than 2.3 million in 1990. From its opening in 1957 to today, the airport has served more than 60 million passengers. Regularly scheduled international departures and arrivals began in 1981; the original destinations were Bratislava, Budapest, and Prague. The airport later expanded to include flights to the Middle East and Western Europe. The international section of Sochi's terminal is small, but it includes a duty-free shop.
Sochi International Airport was privatized in 2006 after [Rosimushchestvo|Federal Property Fund] held an auction to sell 100% shares of the airport. "Strategy-South", a company affiliated with Basic Element group (until 2001 – “Siberian Aluminum") won an auction to acquire the airport for 5.5 billion rubles.
The airport in Sochi became the fourth airport in southern Russia, among the ones in Krasnodar, Anapa and Gelendzhik, operated by the Russian Asian Investment Company (RAInKo, owned by Oleg Deripaska) and “Airports of South”. In 2007, Basic Element group established Basel Aero, a holding company that runs its airport business and operates all four airports .
Sochi International Airport which was under renovation, opened its doors to first passengers in 2010. It was further upgraded to meet the requirements of the International Olympic Committee as the gateway of the 22nd Olympic Winter Games.
Basic Element, together with Russia’s largest bank Sberbank and Changi Airports International, operator of the Singapore airport, established a joint venture to manage airports in Krasnodar region in 2012. Under the agreement, Basic Element has 50% plus one share in the JV, Sberbank’s stake is 20% minus one share while Changi Airports International holds 30%.
In 2007–2013 Basic Element spent over 14 billion rubles ($410 million) to the airport’s revamp. A modernized airport’s building features a 65,000-sq.m terminal with an advanced 450-m long boarding gallery adjacent to the airport, 10 boarding bridges ensuring a comfortable access to the aircraft, a 4,000-sq.m VIP Terminal with the handling capacity of 80 passengers per hour that hosted IOC delegates and other high-profile guests at the Winter Olympics.
New Zealand minted coins in 2010 as part of the ‘Olympic capitals’ collection, and placed a picture of a plane taking off from the Sochi airport on the “tails” of a new silver dollar coin 
Sochi International Airport has two artificial runways; combined with its taxiways network it has a total length of 4310 meters and a width of 40.5 m of paved tarmac. The platform and parking lot have a total area of 218 square meters, with spaces for more than 1000 cars. Because of the presence of natural obstacles (mountains) to the north and north-east of the airport, take off and landing are only possible on the sea side of the facility. The airport authority plans to extend the runway up to 3.5 km, with a portion overlapping the Mzymta River at a width of 300 m.
The Sochi airport is certificated by Aviation Register of the MAC for its suitability for international flights. It has the ability to receive the following aircraft types: Airbus A310, Airbus A319, Airbus A320, Boeing 727, Boeing 737, Boeing 757, Boeing 767, Bombardier CRJ 200, Fokker 70, IL-62, IL-76, IL-86, IL-96, Tu-134, Tu-144, Tu-154, Tu-204, Yak-40, Yak-42 and other planes III and IV classes. Since 2007 the airport takes aircraft of all types.
The capacity of the airport complex is 750 passengers per hour/ 2500 passengers per day. The new terminal building was built from 1989–2007. It has 3 floors with total area of 62,000 square meters and is one of the largest in Russia. The airport has 440 meters of corridor space and 10 boarding bridges for boarding and deplaning passengers. The airport received extensive renovations in anticipation of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
On 20 November 2006, the airport was auctioned to Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element group for 5.5 billion roubles (about $206.6 million). Deripaska is also a member of the committee organizing Sochi's bid for the Winter Olympics.
Airlines and destinations
Incidents and accidents
- On 3 May 2006, an Armavia Airbus A320-200 operating Armavia Flight 967 crashed in the Black Sea en route from Yerevan's Zvartnots International Airport to Sochi. The airplane crashed into the sea while attempting to conduct a go-around following its first approach to Sochi airport, killing all 113 aboard. The accident was the first major commercial airline crash in 2006.
- List of the busiest airports in Europe
- List of the busiest airports in Russia
- List of the busiest airports in the former USSR
- "About airport". Базэл Аэро. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "KOLTSOVO airport -> Airport Information -> News -> Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Russia’s Best Airport". KOLTSOVO airport. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
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- Аэропорт Сочи продан с аукциона// RIA Novosti
- Behind the scenes as Sochi Airport warms up for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games//airport-technology.com
- Deripaska, Sberbank, Changi Set $820 Mln Airport JV // RIA Novosti
- До конца лета в аэропорту Сочи будут работать все 10 телетрапов// Vesti
- В аэропорту Сочи открыт VIP-терминал // Russia 24 TV
- New Zealand issues Sochi coin // The Voice of Russia
- RIA Novosti: Russia's Basic Element buys Sochi Airport for $206.6 mln. Retrieved on July 7, 2007.
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- "От Черного моря до Сибири". UVT Aero. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
Media related to Sochi International Airport at Wikimedia Commons
- Official website
- Sochi Airport at the Russian Airports Database
- Historical Weather Records for Adler
- Current weather for URSS at NOAA/NWS
- Airport information for URSS at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
- Airport information for URSS at Great Circle Mapper. Source: DAFIF (effective October 2006).
- Accident history for AER at Aviation Safety Network