Ukraine intends to implement a major aviation infrastructure project involving modernization of the country's air traffic control system in 2017. Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelian announced this at a news briefing in Kyiv on Tuesday, 6 June, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports.

The total cost of the project is EUR 117.5 million, including EUR 41.18 million from the EBRD, EUR 41.18 million from the EIB, and EUR 35.19 million in Ukraine’s own funds.

"Implementation of the project for modernization of Ukraine’s air traffic control system will allow replacement of physically and morally outdated and inadequate equipment with modern technologies to increase the quality of air navigation services in Ukraine," Omelian said.

Separately, the minister noted that visa-free travel between Ukraine and the European Union would open up new opportunities for Ukrainians to travel to European Union countries, but he stressed that the high cost of air tickets was an obstacle to this.

Omelian added that data from the ICAO states that budget airlines accounted for approximately 28% of the total volume of regular passenger traffic in the world in 2016. The number of passengers transported in 2016 exceeded 1 billion people. This means that almost 30% of the passengers in the world are transported by low-cost airlines. Budget airlines accounted for 32% of the total number of passengers transported in Europe.

"The number of budget carriers in Ukraine is increasing. We should support not only the arrival of new carriers, but also create real market competition that will lead to a reduction in the cost of air transport," the minister of infrastructure said.