Zaporizhzhia International Airport
Zaporizhzhia International Airport (IATA: OZH, ICAO: UKDE) is the most advanced airport in south-eastern Ukraine. The new airport terminal with an area of 12,542 m2 is among the top five in Ukraine and can accommodate 400 passengers per hour.
The upgraded 2,500 x 42 m concrete runway is capable to accept 4C aircrafts (Airbus A319, A320, A321, A330; Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 767) and smaller aircrafts. The latest light-signal and radio equipment makes it possible to land even under unfavorable weather conditions (ICAO first category). The airport apron allows placing 11 airplanes.
Such airlines as: International Airlines (UIA); Motor Sich; Wizz Air; Turkish Airlines; Pegasus Airlines; Azur Air; Windrose; SkyUp; LOT Polish Airlines S.A. operate flights at Zaporizhzhia Airport. That provides the opportunity to have direct flights or get to international hubs and get to any corner of the world with a comfortable short transfer.
The electronic system of passengers and luggage check-in operates, and also digital passports in the application “Diia” (for domestic flights check-in) are accepted at the airport.
In 2020, the airport operated 2,062 flights, which carried more than 326,000 passengers. Thus, Zaporizhzhia International Airport has passed the examination by the quarantine: passenger traffic has decreased by 25% only, which is the lowest figure among all Ukrainian airports.
Oleksiy Dubrevskyy, the Director of Zaporizhzhia International Airport: “The airport is rapidly developing and becoming a multi-service complex so that Zaporizhzhia residents and residents of other regions can travel freely around the world. And, at the same time, to open a huge cultural, tourist and investment potential of the city of Zaporizhzhia for the whole world”.
The date of creation of the airport is October 15, 1943: the day after the liberation of the city, an order was issued for the enterprise and the first head was appointed. The airport was established not far from its current location, on the eastern outskirts of the city.
In 1945, regular civil aviation flights commenced.
In 1964, an artificial runway was put into operation, and a year later the construction of the airport was completed.
In 1966, the airport “moved” to a new location. A new runway and terminal were built for it.
In the 1970s and 1980s, up to 150 flights a day was operated, connecting several dozen cities of the former USSR. In 1981, the runway was overhauled. Passenger traffic grew rapidly. In 1990, the airport served more than 800 thousand people.
However, the performance soon began to decrease. The difficult economic situation in Ukraine, the lack of investment has led to a decrease in the number of flights and passengers. In the late 90’s, the airport received about 50 thousand people a year.
Zaporizhzhia Airport has been state-owned for decades. All this time, the company was unprofitable, because no funds were allocated for its development.
In 2013, Zaporizhzhia Airport changed its form of ownership: it was transferred to the local community. At the session of the City Council the target program “Ensuring proper and uninterrupted operation of UE “Zaporizhzhia International Airport” has been approved.
That same year, the performance began to increase in particular, by 30.1% of accepted aircrafts (their total number was 1936 units), as well as passenger traffic – by 40.6% (up to the level of 79,845 passengers). Three endoscopes were purchased to examine passengers’ luggage, as well as a circular conveyor for luggage.
In 2015, Zaporizhzhia Airport commenced active cooperation with major world and Ukrainian carriers.
In 2016, at the initiative of the Mayor Volodymyr Buriak, Zaporizhzhia City Council and the airport management developed and started implementing the Airport Development Program. The purpose of the program was not only to preserve the international airport in Zaporizhzhia, which was under threat of closure, but also to promote development, increase profits and the number of passengers, and open new flights.
That same year, a cooperation agreement was signed with Ukraine International Airlines, and the airport was included in the State Target Program for Airport Development until 2023. The Association “Airports of Ukraine” recognized Zaporizhzhia Airport as the best in the nomination “Airport of the Year”.
In 2017, the first overhaul of the runway was carried out – the first overhaul in 36 years: the most damaged areas were renovated. Reconstruction was continued in the following years.
In 2018, the company’s management joined one of the largest European carriers LOT Polish Airlines to the cooperation. Due to this, for the first time in the history of Zaporizhzhia, direct regular flights to Western Europe were launched from the local airport. The first of them was Zaporizhzhia-Warsaw flight. Another new carrier, which began to cooperate with Zaporizhzhia Airport, was the domestic airline SkyUp.
In 2018, representatives of the airport for the first time took part in the Routes Europe Forum, one of the largest aviation forums in the world, in order to establish communication with the most influential players in the air transportation market. As a result, in 2018 the flow amounted to a record more than 400 thousand passengers.
In 2020, one of the largest low-cost carriers in Europe – Wizz Air – started a flight program from Zaporizhzhia. On July 21 of that year, the airport took its first direct flight from Budapest.
Zaporizhzhia Airport has received a certificate of compliance with the requirements of the international quality standard ISO 9001. The certificate confirms the high level of the company’s management system.
The most significant event in the history of Zaporizhzhia Airport was the opening of a new terminal.
In 2016, the airport management presented the concept of a new terminal. The old air terminal building, constructed in 1965, no longer met modern requirements and could not cope with the growing passenger traffic.
Construction work began in December 2017 and was completed in 2 years. During this period, as well as in 2020, the airport was significantly renovated, in particular:
- the latest light-signal lighting and radio equipment in Ukraine was installed
- runway was repaired
- construction of a perimeter fence that meets modern ICAO requirements
- design work on the construction of a new airport apron in front of the new terminal has been completed
In 2020, pre-commissioning procedures and putting the terminal into operation, state certification, etc. took place.
On October 16, 2020, the city received a certificate that allowed the terminal to commence operation.
On October 19, 2020, Zaporizhzhia International Airport received its first passengers.
The airport plans to build air bridges to improve the quality of passenger service, expand the existing airport apron for aircrafts, complete the reconstruction of the second course of landing radio equipment, continue to update special equipment, expand the geography of flights.