Monday, July 02, 2012 -
Runway celebrations were held Friday at Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul international airport for the inaugural landing of the mid-range passenger aircraft, dubbed ‘Clobber’, with the commissioning of a $6 million extension.
The Russian-built Yakovlev Yak-42, carrying 98 passengers plus crew landed, on the 7,900-foot runway, which includes 1,600 feet of newly laid strip.
Senior national and local Kyrgyz officials led the ceremonies and press conference to mark the event.
One airport official said that the airport can now take medium-range aircraft, but further planned reconstruction upgrades will permit the servicing of whopping-size aircraft, like Boeing 737s.
The government is currently seeking $68.5 million of investments to this end.
It has so far spent $18.5 million on upgrading Issyk-Kul international airport in eastern Kyrgyzstan, as part of those plans to boost arrivals to the country’s leading tourist destination.
The Yak-42 takes just 35 minutes to ply the air route between Issyk-Kul airport, located near the town of Tamchi on the bank of fabulous Lake Issyk-Kul, and Kazakhstan’s largest city of Almaty.
Private Kazakh air company SCAT Airlines will fly the aircraft twice weekly to the end of August. The area is a very popular tourist destination for Kazakh citizens.