The move of the airport’s base carrier – the Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) – to the passenger terminal D has exacerbated the problems that were created during the design of the terminal. As it turned out, the major carrier that generates not only direct, but also transit traffic, cannot facilitate transfers between flights under one roof, as a result of which the period necessary for connecting flights increases and a lot of inconveniences are created for passengers. In addition, the designers of the terminal made no provision for sufficient space to accommodate shops and cafes in the terminal.
To solve this problem, it was proposed that 30,000 square meters should be added to the terminal to create space for handling domestic flights and locating cafes, restaurants, shops, and other facilities. However, it is not cheap: the new facilities would cost the airport approximately UAH 1 billion (USD 123 million). The difficult financial situation of the Boryspil airport did not allow it to finance implementation of the project with its own funds, and its large debt burden prevented it from borrowing funds. Therefore, Boris Kolesnikov, who held the post of minister of infrastructure at the time, actively lobbied for involvement of a private investor and operating the facility as a concession.
However, interest in a concession waned somewhat after Kolesnikov left the post of minister to become a parliamentary deputy. Moreover, the bankruptcy of the largest airline company in Ukraine, AeroSvit, dealt a significant blow to the airport’s passenger traffic and somewhat reduced its attractiveness. However, the infrastructural constraints reappeared on the agenda after UIA smoothly took the place of AeroSvit. The ministry responsible later replaced the head of Boryspil and began reviewing the concept for development of the airport.
As a result, the management of the airport has decided to use the vacant second floor of the terminal D for handling domestic flights. "We understand that it is currently inconvenient for passengers to use Terminal B (for domestic flights and transfers to international flights). Given the fact that the UIA is currently developing international-domestic-domestic-international transfers, we examined a concept that provides for equipping the second floor as the departure hall for domestic flights... We have a large room there that is currently not being used because it was not commissioned during the 2012 European football championship. A chain of shops, bars, and restaurants was planned there, but it was not implemented because there were different concepts. Now, we have returned to that concept in order to build a hall for domestic flights at minimum cost. There will be an area for buses on the left side of the terminal. The concept has been presented to the minister, and the minister has approved it. We have added it to our plan and we are implementing it," said Serhii Hombolevskyi, the Boryspil airport’s deputy general director for operations.
The management of the airport has decided to use the vacant second floor of the terminal D for handling domestic flights
According to him, a hall with an area of about 5,000 square meters inside the terminal is expected to be equipped. Out of this area, 2,500 square meters will be designated for use as a gathering place for passengers and the departure gate while the remainder will be occupied by the general area in front of the registration area and commercial facilities. The volume of investment in equipping the almost-ready hall is much more modest than the volume of investment in constriction of an additional 30,000 square meters. "Speaking of investments, it is about UAH 56 million (USD 6.886 million). The price will be determined by tender, but this is the maximum that can be calculated. The premises are practically ready: there are communications facilities, there is everything, but it is necessary to perform finishing work and change something in the project. Plus boarding gates, that is an additional volume," said Hombolevskyi.
The airport expects to perform this work before the beginning of the 2014 summer season, i.e. before the end of March. On their part, carriers are interested in the project being implemented as quickly as possible, but they still approve of the decision of the airport. "The airline company welcomes any steps aimed at improving the service. We are hoping that this decision will increase the quality of services to passengers and reduce the connecting time between domestic and international flights,” the press service of UIA told the Center for Transport Strategies.
However, there remain certain questions that are have not yet been answered: for example, the fates of terminals B and F. The management of Boryspil has made a preliminary decision on Terminal F by designating it as the complex for handling low-cost and charter flights earlier while Terminal B is currently in a state of uncertainty. Terminal B was previously intended for handling domestic flights, but the old terminal, in the completion and expansion of which money was also invested, may be left unused after transfer of domestic flights to Terminal D. The Boryspil airport promises to announce its intentions with regard to Terminal B later. "The concept for use of the terminals B and F is currently under development. Therefore, we will be able to talk about plans a little later," the press service of the airport told the Center for Transport Strategies.