President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov opened the new international airport in Ashgabat. Guests included a number for foreign dignitaries; senior executives from Boeing and Airbus; and experts from international transport organisations.
The new airport is the largest in Centre Asia with a footprint that occupies almost 1200 hectares. The modern airport will be able to serve more than 17 million passengers per year with the main terminal building accommodating around 14m passengers and the second terminal serving 3 million passengers. More than 200,000 tons of cargo will be able to transit via cargo terminal.
The new airport will operate at the highest of international standards and has the infrastructure to operate two runaways with air traffic control operating state-of-the-art navigation technology.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted the symbolism in the date of opening the new airport – exactly one year until the beginning of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG). The personnel of national aviation service, who will be the first to welcome the athletes, guests and spectators of the Games to our country.
Under preparation to the Games, which will be held in September 2017, the number of flights including for passengers from Asian region is planned to be increased during the 5th AIMAG.
During opening ceremony for the airport foreign guests made speeches including official representative from the Guinness World Record Jack Brockbank who awarded Ashgabat International Airport for the biggest (705 square meters) ornaments image, which decorated main passenger terminal.
President of International Property Awards and founder of International Property & Travel magazine Stuart Shield awarded the extraordinary facility with a Construction Excellence Award that recognised the outstanding architectural concept, quality of project planning and construction of this large and complicated object.
Mr. Shield said that for 26 years he has awarded prizes for the best construction projects around world and the new Ashgabat International Airport would leave a lasting special memory for its original design.
Executive Director of Business Initiative Directions (BID) Frank Calvino presentedthe International Star Award for Quality. The representative of BID characterised main advantages of the airport complex, for which it was awarded with prize for quality. They are an unusual look in the shape of a bird spreading its wings, advanced technologies and finally, an inspiring beauty. Daring and outstanding design in the sphere of civil construction remarkably distinguishes it from other airports of the world brings it to the first scene as one of the most harmonic combinations of non-standard form and maximum functionality.
Dr. Ralph Gaffal, the Managing Director of Munich International Airport, who was consultant during preparation for the opening of new Ashgabat Airport, organization of management systems and service of passengers and cargo processing, presented International Quality Management Certificate.
Indeed, Ashgabat International Airport impresses not only by its size, design and scope. There are many things inside unusual construction to enjoy. At the same time, its space is organized very simply, clear and informative for every passenger. Simple interface is being achieved by displays, fluorescent and other pointers, advertising and information boards and stands, monitors, where passengers are able to receive necessary information including those who arrived for the first time to Ashgabat.
The new state-of-the-art systems in the departures and arrivals area allows for the passengers to use self-check in facilities and passport control e-gates in order reduce queuing times. The airside international departures area includes duty-free shops, restaurants and children’s play facilities to entertain the little passengers. The third floor of the terminal includes a hotel where aircrew and transit passengers can enjoy excellent service and rest in the clean and comfortable rooms.
The layout of the airport allows fast and easy orientation and includes facilities to accommodate disabled passengers, with 53 elevators; 18 moving walkways; 41 automatic escalators and telescopic gangways for easy boarding directly from the terminal.
The President of Turkmenistan visited the third floor where wide panorama of the runway can be seen. At the same time, a new Boeing 737-800, purchased for the Turkmenistan Airlines fleet landed and soon after the new airport started to receive the flights from other airlines.
After, the Head of the State, went to the second floor arrival zone, where the first international flights passengers were arriving. The President of Turkmenistan welcomed passengers and crewmembers from Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, Qatar and Russia. The new arrivals were in awe of the grandiosity of huge white falcon seen on the descent into the airport.
President Gurbranbuly Berdimuhamedov then went to international departures, where students were waiting to depart for a flight to Beijing, to begin their studies at Universities in the People’s Republic of China.
The President of Turkmenistan, having expressed his interest in professions chosen by boys and girls, fatherly blessed them for gaining most modern knowledge in order to, upon their return back home as highly qualified specialists, they would make considerable contribution in prosperity of the Motherland. Having given the guidance to be purposeful in study and life, the Leader of the Nation wished students a good flight.
Before leaving the building of the main passenger terminal, the Leader of the Nation inspected the conditions made in CIP and VIP zones, paid attention to professional innovative system of life support of the airport.
State News Agency of Turkmenistan