|Operator||FSUE "Airport Magadan"|
|Elevation AMSL||574 ft / 175 m|
Sokol Airport, formally Vladimir Vysotsky International Airport (Russian: Аэропорт Сокол) (IATA: GDX, ICAO: UHMM) is an airport in Sokol in Magadan Oblast, Russia. The airport is located 50 km (31 mi) north of the Magadan city center. The airport is sometimes confused with Dolinsk-Sokol air base in Sakhalin Island, which was home to the fighters that shot down Korean Air Flight 007 in 1983.
In 1991, the town gained exposure to the Western world with the inauguration of Alaska Airlines flights to the United States using McDonnell Douglas MD-80 jets. In 1992, Aeroflot inaugurated nonstop service to Anchorage using Tupelev Tu-154 aircraft, and in 1994 this route was extended to provide same-plane 1-stop service to Seattle. According to an anecdotal story published in the New York Times, the first Alaska Airlines flight needed deicing services, which were unavailable, so the flight crew acquired a quantity of vodka and sprayed it onto the wings. In 1995 the airline threatened to discontinue Russian service due to difficulties with contract workers. Alaska Airlines flights into Magadan and elsewhere in Russia were halted in October 1998 shortly after the 1998 Russian financial crisis, which rendered the routes unprofitable.
Aeroflot suspended flights to Sokol airport on February 1, 2009, due to the planned removal from service of the Tu-154 aircraft. Aeroflot cited the lack of certification of the airport in the acceptance and servicing of more modern aircraft, such as the Airbus A320 and Airbus A330, as the primary reason for the suspension of flights. It resumed service on March 30, 2009.
Flights between Russian Far East and the United States have only been available for some periods. Alternative travel routes would be over Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, or other large Russian cities plus Beijing, Seoul or Tokyo.
Airlines and destinations
- Aeroflot Timetable Worldwide. 25 October 1992 – 27 March 1993. p. 96.CS1 maint: date format (link)
- "Aeroflot Begins Service To Sea-Tac Tomorrow". Seattle Times. 7 April 1994.
- Aeroflot Timetable Worldwide. Aeroflot Russian International Airlines. 26 March 1995 - 28 October 1995. p. 79. Check date values in:
- Alaska Airlines Opens Russia's Wild East, James Brooke, New York Times, March 30, 1997.
- Liu, Jim. "PegasFly expands Russia Far East internal routes from late-Oct 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
- Liu, Jim (31 August 2018). "Rossiya Airlines W18 Moscow service changes". Routesonline. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
- Liu, Jim (23 April 2019). "S7 Airlines schedules new domestic routes in S19". Routesonline. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
- Liu, Jim (1 November 2019). "S7 Airlines adds Vladivostok – Magadan service from Nov 2019". Routesonline. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
- "«Уральские авиалинии» открывают авиалинию Екатеринбург-Якутск-Магадан". Airlines-Inform. 26 April 2019.
- Magadan Airport official website (in Russian)
- Airport information for UHMM at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- (in Russian) Airport Magadan (Sokol) Aviateka.Handbook
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