It will be possible to reopen the Mariupol or Berdiansk airport to civilian aircraft only after “the buffer zone of the military conflict reduces.”

The State Aviation Service’s head Oleksandr Bilchuk announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports, citing the UNIAN news agency.

"If an airport decides to resume operation, it must have all the necessary certificates and comply with safety requirements. It is necessary to take account of the fact that the airports that are located near the conflict zone have a buffer zone. Therefore, if a decision is made and factors that allow reduction of the airports’ buffer zone exist, only then will a decision be made on reopening of these airports," said Bilchuk.

According to him, the possibility of reopening the Mariupol airport to civilian aircraft is currently being considered.

"I want to note that President Poroshenko only set the task of studying the possibility of reopening the Mariupol airport. A decision will be made only after that," said Bilchuk.

The State Aviation Service of Ukraine withdrew the operating certificates of the Donetsk, Luhansk, and Mariupol airports in June 2014 because of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, which made it impossible to ensure the safety of air passengers and full control over all the relevant technological processes.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, President Petro Poroshenko recently instructed the leadership of the Ministry of Defense, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian, and the Donetsk Regional Military/Civilian Administration’s head Oleksandr Kutsia to reopen the Mariupol airport.

“…Today, I am instructing the Chief of General Staff, the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Infrastructure, and the Head of the regional administration to consider the issue of opening the Mariupol airport,” Poroshenko said at a meeting of the Donetsk region’s regional development council.