A new level of comfort
The largest airport in Yamal to open on the centenary of Russian civil aviation13 december 2022
Novy Urengoy will enter the New Year with a new airport. The largest airport in Yamal, which accounts for more than half of all air traffic in the region, will now be able to receive modern passenger aircraft such as Boeing 737-800 and jumbo cargo jets such as An-124 without restrictions.
On 14 March 2018, the government of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area and Airports of Regions Managing Company signed an agreement in Salekhard. The managing company vowed to build a new passenger terminal and renovate Novy Urengoy's airfield. They will be leased to the investor for 30 years and then transferred back to the region.
The works at the Novy Urengoy airfield were completed on 12 December, and the Federal Air Transport Agency gave the investor the green light to commission the facility.
It was a truly massive endeavour, with the volume of laid asphalt concrete alone exceeding 220,000 tonnes. The investor renovated the runway, taxiways, apron and aircraft parking areas, replaced the airfield lighting, revamped the drainage system and built new sewage facilities.Photo: nux.aero
The contractor, Urengoydorstroy (a subsidiary of Airports of Regions), had to perform this enormous amount of work during breaks between flights: Novy Urengoy has only one airport, and cancelling flights wasn't an option. The work was carried out in the evening and at night following a very strict schedule, but Urengoydorstroy brilliantly coped with the difficult task. This is hardly surprising, though, as the company was the one to build Novy Urengoy Airport's first runway back in 1981.
The soft opening of the new passenger terminal, the largest one on Yamal, will take place on 25 December. The three-storey building with chum-shaped stained-glass windows occupies 19,600 m2. Its 12 check-in desks will be able to serve 840 passengers per hour. Passengers will be protected from the harsh Arctic climate even on the coldest days: the terminal has three boarding ramps with heating systems and a warm tunnel with access to the buses — the first of its kind in the Russian Arctic.
The terminal has already undergone test trials to eliminate possible defects before the launch. Urengoy students were invited to pose as passengers twice: on 6 and 13 December. They checked how comfortable people would feel at all the stages of their travel, from inspection at the entrance to boarding the plane. Now everyone is confident there will be no unpleasant surprises when the first real passengers arrive at the terminal.
The airport square has also been completely renovated and expanded and now boasts a modern parking area for more than 300 cars and designer lighting. In the spring, when it gets warmer, trees and flowers will be planted on the square. Meanwhile, it has received an interesting new mural: the two huge water tanks on the square are now decorated with a traditional Nenets ornament symbolising reindeer antlers.
The terminal's official opening will take place on the 100th anniversary of Russian civil aviation.
The new air hub could obtain an international status. Under the concession agreement, the investor will open an international terminal once Novy Urengoy's outbound passenger traffic exceeds one and a half million people a year. On 21 November 2022, Yamal Airlines celebrated its one-millionth passenger, which means Novy Urengoy residents will soon be able to go on vacation to Turkey or Thailand without having to catch a connecting flight.Photo: nux.aero
There are new airports being built and old ones renovated in other Arctic regions of Russia as well. Renovations are underway in the airports of Yakutsk, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Pevek. Yakutia alone will have six airports renovated by the end of the year: the ones in Neryungri, Sangar, Deputatsky, Vilyuysk, Khandyga and Belaya Gora. The remaining Arctic air harbours should be renovated by 2025, as demand for their services keeps growing every year. Passenger traffic in the polar regions is climbing steadily: for example, airports in the Arctic Zone of Russia served 3.5 mn passengers in the first ten months of 2022 — almost a million more than in the pre-COVID year of 2019.Read more «There will be a growth point here» Growing demand for aviation in the Far East and the Arctic requires infrastructure development