Sevastopol International Airport (Ukrainian: Міжнародний аеропорт Севастополь «Бельбек», (IATA: UKS, ICAO: UKFB) is a military airfield in Belbek, a village near Sevastopol in Crimea.
There are plans to restore the airfield into an international airport by 2020.
The airfield was first constructed in June 1941, during the third year of World War II. Initially it housed a military fighter aviation unit. Constructed without a hardened runway, after the war the airfield received a concrete runway, but remained exclusively in use by the military. During the second half of the 1980s, after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, the airfield was significantly increased and improved, as the airfield was to be used by him when travelling to the presidential dacha on the southern coast of the Crimea, near the cape of Foros. Subsequently, it was also allowed to use the airfield for civilian purposes.
The original name of the airport comes from the Belbek river, in the south-west of Crimea. The airfield is located next to the coast, in the Nakhimovsky area of Sevastopol, north of the city center, close to the adjacent neighborhood Lyubimovka.
Since July 2002, the airfield has been in use also for civil aviation. In December 2002, the airport received a license for international flights. Between 2002 and 2007 over 2,500 flights were carried out, which transported about 25,000 passengers.
During 2007, civil flights were suspended again. However, during spring 2009 it was announced that resumption of air links was to commence in the near future. To date, the civil service has not started yet.
Military use of airport continues to this day, being a military fighter airbase. During 1996, the Su-15TM’s were replaced by the Su-27, and until 2014 the 204th Tactical Aviation Brigade flying the MiG-29 was based there.
Russian military presence
On 28 February 2014, Ukraine’s acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claimed that the airport was blocked by Russian Military personnel, and unidentified armed men are patrolling the area. He said through his Twitter account that, «I can only describe this as a military invasion and occupation». The Russian Foreign Ministry refused to comment while a spokesman for the Russian defense ministry was not available for comment.
11 March 2014, a new website was established by the military personnel to report directly, of current and former events in the airfield. According to the website data, there had been a fire in the airport on the military area (воинская часть, Military Unit Number, А-4515) where electrical equipment was stored, with some unknown soldiers guarding it.
14 March 2014, Colonel Yuliy Mamchur made an appeal on YouTube, addressed to the Ukraine government, telling it should give letter orders to all the Ukrainian troops on the Crimean peninsula. In case he would not receive the orders, he claimed that the 204th tactical brigade was going to fight, even if they could not withstand the adversary.
The 204th tactical brigade had been deployed in Belbek since December 2007 in the military area number A4515 (воинская часть A-4515).
After the 2014, a 38th fighter regiment of the 27th Mixed Aviation Division, flying Su-27s and Su-30s, was established at Belbek.
As of January 2017, the company managing the airport planned to open a new temporary terminal with a capacity of 300,000 — 400,000 passengers by 2018, with a full-size terminal to follow by 2019 or 2020.
The runway at Belbek airport is 3007 × 48 m, class — B, and is designed to receive aircraft of all types. The maximum takeoff weight of an aircraft is unlimited. The classification of coverings — 34/R/A/X/T. Magnetic course landing is 065/245. Lighting — «Luch-2MU.
Airlines and destinations
As of 2015 there are no scheduled flights to or from the airport.
The airport is located 2.5 km from the «Belbek Airport» interchange on the Simferopol — Sevastopol/Yalta motorway, near Fruktovoye Village on territorial of Nakhimovsky District of Sevastopol. Sevastopol itself is 20 km to the south and 9 km from Zaharova Square (main square of the north side of Sevastopol. The distance to the Simferopol is 50 km and is about 110 km from Yalta. To get to airport from the center of Sevastopol by public transport, it is necessary to cross Sevastopol Bay on the boat from the Grafskaya harbor to the Zaharova Square (north side of Sevastopol). Then the bus following the route number 36 «North side — Kacha Village» to get to the bus stop «Belbek — Sevastopol International Airport». The fare on the boat was 2.50 UAH and 5 UAH was the fare on the bus. Length of the road in about 40–50 minutes. The city plans to carry a railroad Sevastopol-Simferopol slightly west, closer to the airport.
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2020.
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