Abkhazia's Sukhum Airport To Be Repaired, Reopen Next Spring - Transport Authority

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Abkhazia's Sukhum Airport to Be Repaired, Reopen Next Spring - Transport Authority

The Sukhum airport in Abkhazia, which has been closed since 1993 after being abandoned during the Georgian-Abkhazian war, will be completely repaired and reopen in spring 2021, the chief of the Abkhazian Transport Authority's civil aviation directorate, Zaur Eshba, told Sputnik on Tuesday

SUKHUM (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 06th August, 2019) The Sukhum airport in Abkhazia, which has been closed since 1993 after being abandoned during the Georgian-Abkhazian war, will be completely repaired and reopen in spring 2021, the chief of the Abkhazian Transport Authority's civil aviation directorate, Zaur Eshba, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

In July Abkhazia announced its decision to reopen the airport in capital Sukhum for international traffic, giving it a co-location status under world code URAS, where U stands for the former Soviet space and RAS for Russia's Rostov air space. The Georgian Foreign Ministry reacted by saying that operation of international flights in Sukhum would violate Georgia's law and norms of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

"Regardless whether the ICAO recognizes us or not, we will prepare the airport in line with ICAO norms and requirements.

We plan to complete the project [reconstruction and opening] approximately in Spring 2021," Eshba said.

The airport will be certified under the Russian-Abkhazian civil aviation cooperation agreement and receive flights from countries which have recognized Abkhazia, he added.

The airport is located 18 km (11 miles) from the capital city Sukhum. It was built in the 1960s and had a traffic capacity of up to 5,000 passengers per day. Its 3,6 km runway is fit to receive practically all types of civil aircraft.

On August 26, 2008, Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia after their long struggle for sovereignty. They were also recognized by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Vanuatu, Tuvalu and most recently Syria.

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