Georgii Zubko: Boryspil Airport Embarks on the Road to Creating a Multimodal Hub

Georgii Zubko 02 March 2018 14:36

The airport is the first thing that a foreign passenger sees upon arriving in Ukraine. The first impression about the country is formed at the airport. Therefore, we are making every effort to create conditions in which passengers will only have a positive travel experience.

The increase of the passenger traffic though the Boryspil airport to more than 10 million passengers this year requires us to look to the coming years and prepare our infrastructure for further growth and development. Significant infrastructural changes will take place at the Boryspil airport in the next few years, which will show visitors that Ukraine is ready for major infrastructure projects and that Kyiv will become an Eastern European multimodal transport hub.

The Boryspil airport’s current operating results speak louder than words. The airport’s revenues amounted to UAH 3.1 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared with UAH 1.4 billion in the same period of 2014. The driver of this growth was the attraction of transfer-passenger traffic from other markets. An airplane lands at or takes off at the Boryspil airport every four minutes in the mornings and evenings.

In general, the volume of passenger traffic through the Boryspil airport has increased by 2.8 million passengers per year in the past three years while the passenger traffic through other Ukrainian airports increased by a combined 1.2 million.

These indicators are also reflected in the incomes of the airport’s employees. Wages at the Boryspil airport are now much higher than the average Ukrainian wage of UAH 11,600. Remuneration of labor and social security for employees has become the largest item of expenditure at the airport for the first time.

The airport is one of the main taxpayers in Ukraine. Its tax payments to the state increased to more than UAH 1.4 billion in the first nine months of 2017, from about UAH 900 million in the same period of 2016.

Many air carriers understand the strategic importance of a hub in Kyiv, both for direct and transit flights. It is no secret that passenger traffic through the world's leading airports is growing because of the latter factor. Therefore, Airport Consulting Vienna, a prominent Austrian consulting company, has developed a strategy and a general plan for development of the Boryspil airport at the request of the airport. The strategy and general plan are aimed at making the airport more competitive.

Speaking of the chosen plan for development of the Boryspil airport in the coming years, such a large-scale infrastructure-restructuring project has never been implemented in Ukraine. The airport’s old terminals B and F will be demolished because they cannot be modernized due to their obsolete structures and poor planning. Instead, five new terminals, a large operation center, a hotel, parking lots, and special galleries for transit passengers will be built.

The construction budget for the project will be at least UAH 10 billion over the next five years. Firstly, the construction of the gallery that links Terminal D to Terminal B will be completed. This will increase the number of gates by six, expand the luggage processing and sorting area, expand the apron in front of Terminal D, and increase the maximum passenger capacity to 15 million per year. In addition, a multi-story parking lot, from which the second floor of Terminal D can be accessed directly via a pedestrian bridge, will be commissioned.

Essentially, implementation of these projects will allow the Boryspil airport to become one of the largest transport hubs in Eastern Europe. We will soon see a new Boryspil airport that is developed technically and in terms of infrastructure, as befits a modern transport giant that also has a soul, which is in the Ukrainian tradition.

In my opinion, an airport is a place of movement and, one could say, a stamping ground. This is an ideal platform for exporting our culture and history and demonstrating Ukraine’s investment potential and attractiveness to tourists. Art exhibitions and cultural events should be held here, a cinema should be opened, and it should be equipped with new, bright children's rooms. The possibility of registering marriages within 24 hours has become one of the interesting things at the airport.

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