Civil aviation transport in Turkmenistan intensively develops

Turkmenistan Airlines is the flagship air carrier of Turkmenistan. According to official data, this is the safest airline in Asia. The air transport of Turkmenistan is of particular importance for the provision of long-distance passenger and freight traffic.

As regards the country’s passenger turnover, it is second one after motor road transport, and its share is constantly increasing: in the last five years, 8 – 10 percent of passenger turnover is provided by air transport. In the period 2013-2017, the transportation of passengers by air travel ranged from 2 to 2.2 million people per year, and cargo transportation – from 14 to 17 thousand metric tons and from 34 to 45 million ton-kilometers. At the same time, the growth rates of these indicators were 47-55 percent and 15-24 percent, respectively. Of the total number of passengers, an average of about 30 percent made their flights on international flights. Other indicators of the country’s air transport demonstrate high dynamics. In particular, according to the Knoema website, the number of take-offs in the last two years has stably exceeded 12,870, and the growth rate of this indicator ranges from 40.9 to 50.8 percent.

The transit of cargo and passenger air transportation between Europe and Asia is also of great importance for the industry. In the airspace of the country, a main corridor is provided for aircraft of about 40 airlines of the world. The maintenance and coordination of these flights is provided by an automated air traffic control center established in the country with the assistance of the Thales company, France.

In recent years, the development of Turkmenistan’s air transport has been characterized by increasing intensification. This is in no small measure facilitated by the implementation of the National Program for the Development of Civil Aviation of Turkmenistan for 2012-2030, developed on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. It is designed for three stages. The first stage, which includes 2012-2015, has already been successfully implemented. The second and third stages are planned to be implemented, respectively, during 2016-2020 and 2021-2030. Ultimately, the implementation of the Program provides for the expansion of existing production facilities, equipping the industry with the latest equipment, training highly qualified specialists, purchasing super-modern airliners, improving the culture and quality of services provided to passengers, and flight safety, building new and reconstructing existing airports that will correspond to the most modern international standards.

Modernization of the fleet of aircraft is carried out in three directions: the network of internal air services, the international network of medium-haul air routes up to 5,200 km and the international network of long-haul air services over distances of more than 5,200 km. In addition, in the near future, it is planned to organize helicopter tours for foreign tourists and citizens of our country to the historical monuments of Turkmenistan, as well as the establishment of air taxi services.

Special attention is paid in Turkmenistan to equipping the national aviation with the latest types of flying equipment. Turkmenistan Airlines currently has aircraft of 11 brands and helicopters of eight brands from the world’s leading manufacturers. The air company is constantly expanding its air route network: nowadays, more than a million citizens of Turkmenistan and citizens of foreign countries annually use Turkmenistan Airlines’ air services.

In recent years, the country’s aviation fleet has replenished with well-proven Boeing models and the equipment of other world famous brands. To date, the national air fleet includes 19 aircraft produced by Boeing. So, in 2013, three Boeing 737-800 airliners were delivered, in 2014 – two Boeing 777-200 LRs, in 2015 another three Boeing 737-800 planes were purchased, and in the next 2016-2017 also several Boeing aircraft were purchased. In addition, options are explored to purchase aircraft of various manufacturers, with a capacity of 50 and 100 passengers for use on domestic flights.

During the implementation of the second stage of the Civil Aviation Development Program – in 2016-2020 – modernization of the air fleet of Turkmenistan involves bringing the number of Boeing aircraft to 31 aircraft. This will allow launching new flights from Ashgabat, Turkmenbashi, Mary, Turkmenabad and Dashoguz. And after the third stage of the Program implementation (2021-2030), 39 most modern airliners will be included in the civil aviation, which, in turn, will also increase the number of international and local flights.

In parallel with the modernization of the aircraft fleet, the ground base is also developing. There are six large airports in Turkmenistan, four of which serve international transportation. Significant investments and large-scale works carried out to develop the Ashgabat International Airport have led to its complete transformation and a significant increase in competitiveness. Two of its terminals allow you to serve more than 17 million passengers a year or about 2,000 per hour. The equipping of the air traffic control center of the capital aviation with modern technical means and innovative technologies led to an improvement in the quality of aircraft servicing, allowed to increase the number of flight levels and flying airliners through the country’s airspace, increased flight safety and transferred the air traffic control centers of Turkmenistan to a single international speed measurement system and aircraft altitude.

Airports in the country’s regions are intensively developed. The airport in Turkmenbashi has a capacity of 800 passengers per hour, in Mary – 550, Dashoguz – 500, built this year, the Turkmenabat International Airport – 500 people per hour. Along with the construction of the above airports and the renovation of the airport facilities in Balkanabat, there are plans to restore airports in such Turkmen towns, as Kerki, Magdanly, Gazachak, Kunyaurgench and Khazar with all the necessary infrastructure.

All the airports in Turkmenistan have almost completed the reconstruction of the runways in accordance with the requirements of international standards, and the safety of flights and the increase in the capacity of airports is provided by their equipping with a new generation of air navigation equipment. These measures will allow Turkmenistan to become one of the leaders in flight safety.

The Turkmenistan Airlines’ organizational structure is also being reformed, as this air company is being transformed into a joint stock company. All of the above measures are aimed at increasing the efficiency of the activities and development of the air transport sector of Turkmenistan in order to enhance its investment attractiveness.

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