Picture: Viacheslav Smigunov / airliners.net

“I am very happy to start talking about new infrastructure because we have been talking only about cutting projects throughout the past year,” says Heorhii Zubko, the Boryspil airport’s commercial director. The CFTS asked him how the multi-million dollar loan from the EIB that was announced in February would be spent. We also asked about the projects and events that the airport plans for 2021 and which projects are unlikely to be implemented.

It was announced last month that the European Investment Bank (EIB) has decided to provide a loan of EUR 270 million to the Boryspil international airport for financing development of infrastructure, particularly the reconstruction of the airport’s runway No. 2. Which facilities are subject to reconstruction and what exactly will be done?

The construction of the second runway is an important project for us. The reconstruction project includes construction of a new runway and two taxiways, expansion of the existing aprons, installation of new engineering and technical equipment (new lighting, radio navigation, and meteorological equipment), emergency rescue stations, and additional systems that are part of that section of the airfield.

The purpose of the reconstruction is to ensure that the Boryspil international airport meets international standards and the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices for Certification of Aerodromes for safe operation of aircraft with code letter F (the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747 (800) aircraft).


Are you talking about construction of a new runway?

We are essentially talking about construction of a new runway.

Does that mean that the old runway will be dismantled and a new one built in its place?

It will be roughly in the same part of the aerodrome but probably not in the same place (this will depend on the design decision). Perhaps it will be slightly moved. The designers will determine this.

What are the stages and periods of the work?

A tender to select a design organization will be held during the period from 2021 to 2022. The design work and expert assessment of the design documentation will take place after that.

A tender to select a construction company, the performance of the construction work, and the commissioning of the facility will take place during the period from 2023 to 2026.

The Boryspil airport plans to reconstruct its main runway in 2028. Is the commissioning of the new runway planned in such a way as to ensure that it is completed before the start of the reconstruction work?

Among other things.

Will the reconstruction of the second runway be financed with only EIB funds? Are investments expected from the state or the airport itself?

According to our agreement, the EIB will finance 90% of the cost of the project. The airport will finance the remaining 10% with its own funds. We believe these are very good terms from the EIB.

When is the first tranche of the loan expected?

The first tranche is expected between late 2022 and early 2023. It will depend on the performance of our procedures (the selection of a contractor for the design work and subsequently a contractor for the construction work).

How will the loan be repaid?

The loan is being provided for 20 years, including a grace period of three years (the period during which the company does not have to pay the loan principal or the interest on it). 

How critical is the construction of the second runway now? Does the airport have the potential to increase its passenger traffic in the coming years, for which a second runway and related infrastructure may be required?

We already had a pressing need to reconstruct the second runway in 2019. We want to use the time of crisis, pandemic, and reduction of passenger traffic to modernize and prepare the infrastructure for the future increase of passenger traffic. This will not happen in one year, and we now have a good opportunity, very good conditions, and a reliable partner (the EIB) to systematically develop and remain competitive in the aviation market. We will survive this period of darkness. There will be growth again in the future, and we want to be ready for it.

Last year, the implementation of the Boryspil airport’s infrastructure projects stalled not only because of the coronavirus, but also because of the delay in adopting the airport’s financial plan. Will the same thing happen this year?

Indeed, the absence of a financial plan in the first nine months of last year made our life much more difficult. We very much hope that the relevant ministry and the Cabinet of Ministers will adopt it more quickly this year. We have already submitted it.

Which infrastructure projects are currently in progress? Which ones are planned for the near future?

We are currently planning to implement several infrastructure projects, which are essentially "awaiting" adoption of the company’s financial plan. These include extension of the apron of Terminal D (a project that is under construction and which has not been implemented in the volume that we wanted last year). Further, we are talking about reconstruction of the warehouse of fuels and lubricants (the so-called fuel complex). Then, the commencement of construction of a cargo terminal and a bus station has been on our agenda for a long time. As for the bus station, we expect to hold an open tender, sign an agreement, and make advance payment for the construction work on this object in the III-IV quarters of 2021.

Is the company reviewing its previous expansion plans due to the crisis in the aviation industry? What projects could "go under the knife?"

We have repeatedly revised our plans, including plans for major construction projects. Due to the crisis, we have had to postpone indefinitely some projects that we still consider as important but not essential. These include the project for construction of a new office center (which is part of our strategic development plan). We can also delay the expansion of the processor and gallery at the passenger terminal D. We have already announced a tender for design of the latter, but the tender did not take place because the participants did not meet the qualification requirements. Then, the pandemic came and we decided to postpone this project too. 

Does the airport envisage any anti-crisis measures for this year?

We drafted and approved a plan for 2020-2021, which also provides for increasing the efficiency of the company's personnel and many other measures. Many processes were optimized and powers were partially redistributed in 2020. Some employees were made temporarily redundant. This is a large and dynamic operating plan that changes depending on circumstances and market conditions.