Sukhumi Babushara Airport
Summary
Airport typePublic / Military
ServesSukhumi
LocationAbkhazia[1]
Elevation AMSL53 ft / 16 m
Coordinates42°51′29″N 041°07′41″E / 42.85806°N 41.12806°E / 42.85806; 41.12806Coordinates: 42°51′29″N 041°07′41″E / 42.85806°N 41.12806°E / 42.85806; 41.12806
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
12/30 3,661 12,012 Concrete
Source: DAFIF[2]

Sukhumi Babushara Airport (IATA: SUI, ICAO: UGSS),[3] previously known as Sukhumi Dranda Airport, and also known as Vladislav Ardzinba Sokhumi International Airport (ICAO: URAS),[4] is the main airport of Abkhazia. It is located in the village of Babushara next to the larger village of Dranda and some 20 kilometres (12 mi) from Sukhumi, the capital of the autonomous republic.

History

The airport was built in the mid-1960s, when the region was part of the Soviet Union. In the Soviet era, it was used only for domestic flights, primarily to transport people from across the Soviet Union to the sunny beaches of Abkhazia. The airport was heavily damaged during the civil war in the early 1990s. Land mines and other explosive remnants of war have been cleared from the airport since by the HALO Trust, the only land mine clearance agency active in Abkhazia at the present time.

The airport is currently only used for flights to the mountain village of Pskhu and for flights carried out by Russian Air Force.[verification needed]

In 2006, the government of the Republic of Abkhazia expressed its desire to resume international air traffic in the future;[5] however, the facility is not recognized as an international airport by ICAO, and flights can be allowed only with the permission of the Georgian government.[6]

There is another airport in Abkhazia near Gudauta, which serves Russian military troops located there, and an airstrip in Pskhu.

Future plans

In July 2019, the leadership of Abkhazia issued a decree to open the “Vladislav Ardzinba Sukhumi International Airport” for international flights.[7]

See also

References

  1. ^ Abkhazia is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Abkhazia and Georgia. The Republic of Abkhazia unilaterally declared independence on 23 July 1992, but Georgia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory and designates it as a territory occupied by Russia. Abkhazia has received formal recognition as an independent state from 7 out of 193 United Nations member states, 1 of which has subsequently withdrawn its recognition.
  2. ^ Airport information for Sukhumi Dranda Airport (UG29) from DAFIF (effective October 2006)
  3. ^ Accident history for Sukhumi-Babusheri Airport (SUI / UGSS) at Aviation Safety Network
  4. ^ "Russia Occupied Abkhazia Plans to Open Sokhumi Airport". Civil.ge. 2019-07-29. Retrieved 2019-08-25.
  5. ^ "Sukhum's Airport May Soon Resume Operation". News release. Administration of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia. 2006-12-20. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28.
  6. ^ "Georgia's permission necessary to open int'l flights at Sukhum airport – Tbilisi". News release. Interfax news agency. 2019-07-27.
  7. ^ "Заседание Кабинета Министров под председательством Президента". presidentofabkhazia.org (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-08-25.