Sukhumi Babushara Airport
|Sukhumi Babushara Airport|
|Airport type||Public / Military|
|Elevation AMSL||53 ft / 16 m|
Sukhumi Babushara Airport (IATA: SUI, ICAO: UGSS), previously known as Sukhumi Dranda Airport, is the main airport of Abkhazia. It is located in the village of Babushara next to the larger village of Dranda and some 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia.
The airport was built in the mid-1960s, when the region was part of the Soviet Union. In the Soviet era, it was used only for domestic flights, primarily to transport people from across the Soviet Union to the sunny beaches of Abkhazia. The airport was heavily damaged during the civil war in the early 1990s. Land mines and other explosive remnants of war have been cleared from the airport since by the HALO Trust, the only land mine clearance agency active in Abkhazia at the present time.
In 2006 the government of the Republic of Abkhazia expressed its desire to resume international air traffic in the future, however the facility is not recognized as an international airport by ICAO and flights can only be allowed with the permission of the Georgian government.
- Abkhazia's status is disputed. It considers itself to be an independent state, but this is recognised by only a few other countries. The Georgian government and most of the world's other states consider Abkhazia de jure a part of Georgia's territory. In Georgia's official subdivision it is an autonomous republic, whose government sits in exile in Tbilisi.
- Airport information for Sukhumi Dranda Airport (UG29) from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
- Accident history for Sukhumi-Babusheri Airport (SUI / UGSS) at Aviation Safety Network
- "Sukhum's Airport May Soon Resume Operation". News release. Administration of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 2006-12-20.