Norilsk Airport reconstruction reaches key milestone

Norilsk Airport has completed the third stage of the renovation. Today, its runway upgraded to meet the latest flight safety requirements has received the first flights. With the airport now able to accommodate all types of aircraft and a significantly lower impact of unfavourable weather conditions on inbound and outbound flights, passengers will enjoy improved flight safety, regularity and comfort.

The large-scale renovation of Norilsk Airport began in 2013. It included the runway repair in summer 2016–2018 as the airport continued to operate. This is the first of its kind project both in Russia and internationally delivered on schedule and to the highest quality. On 21 September 2018, the airport received a certificate of compliance from the Federal Air Transport Agency following the completion of stage 3 construction.

This year has seen a record volume of repairs. The third stage was also the most challenging one in terms of flight handling, as the airport had to use a reduced length runway and a temporary area to service planes and passengers.

This required additional training for pilots on how to land a plane on a shorter runway in difficult weather conditions, and a special preparation of planes and the runway for landing and take-off during the upgrade.

This summer, Norilsk Airport welcomed over 185,000 passengers carried by NordStar Airlines and S7.

Its renovation is done on a public-private partnership basis as part of an agreement between the Federal Air Transport Agency and NornickelPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary.

Overseen by the Russian President, the project is key for the development of the Arctic Zone. Norilsk is a federal airport which is also a base for public aircraft operations. After the renovation, it will become one of the most modern air hubs in the Russian Arctic.

The project is financed under the 2010–2020 Russian Transport Development Federal Programme, with total investments set to exceed RUB 12.5 bn, including RUB 7.6 bn from the federal budget. Nornickel, the owner of the airport facilities, is also contributing more than RUB 5 bn for the development of design documents, final stage of main utility construction, apron refurbishment, purchase of special-purpose machinery, and the upgrade of the power supply, flight catering section and emergency rescue facilities.

The rebuilding is to be completed in 2019. Next year, the airport will see the replacement of apron pavement and the completion of a number of facilities, such as the patrol road, fencing, treatment facilities and an emergency rescue station, to improve flight safety and make the passenger service better and faster without limiting the airport operation.

“The runway is a pivotal element of the airport infrastructure. Today, Norilsk Airport has seen the first plane land on its new runway built in compliance with all construction standards, guidelines and aviation regulations. On top of that, the runway’s surface has been made flat. All these improvements will make flights to Norilsk safer and more comfortable,” said Alexander Neradko, Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency.

“The renovation of Norilsk Airport is a major infrastructure and social project aimed at improving the residents’ life quality and enabling them to exercise their right to work, study and travel outside Taimyr. This is the reason why Nornickel did its best to prevent the airport from closing during the repair, and to maintain a safe flight connection with Norilsk even at peak times,” said Sergey Batekhin, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales, Commerce and Logistics at Nornickel.