Air passenger traffic grew by 23% in Kazakhstan

Issues of further development of the aviation industry were considered at the Government session chaired by Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov.

Minister of Transport Marat Karabayev reported that for 11 months of this year domestic airlines carried 12.3 million passengers, which is 23% more than last year. At the end of the year this figure is planned to reach 13 million passengers.

The volume of services at airports increased by 25%. Significant growth is observed in Almaty and Astana, where this year record figures of 9 million (+34%) and 7 million (+26%) passengers served were recorded.

At the same time, the volume of cargo handled at airports has also increased. Since the beginning of the year, this indicator amounted to 130 thousand tons. The growth compared to last year is 16%.

To meet the growing demand for air transportation, the work on modernization of airport infrastructure continues. Thus, construction of new passenger terminals in Shymkent, Kyzylorda and Almaty will be completed next year. As a result, the capacity of Almaty airport will increase 5 times to 14 million people, Kyzylorda 6 times to 2 million people, Shymkent 7 times to 6 million people.

Next year the UAE investor will start reconstruction of the runway of the capital's airport at its own expense, which is one of the priority tasks set for the new management company. Also in 2024, in accordance with the order of the Head of State, the reconstruction of the runway of Pavlodar airport, as well as the taxiway and apron of Balkhash airport will begin.

In addition, the investor plans to modernize the runway at Karaganda airport and equip it with the necessary special equipment. Negotiations are also underway to transfer the airports of Aktobe, Turkestan and Kyzylorda to the trust management of large global investors with experience in this area.

As Prime Minister noted, 16 international routes were opened and resumed this year. Next year's plans include opening new flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Tokyo and other cities.

Along with this, the airport infrastructure is developing dynamically.

"Private investors have come to us, which already invest about $2.1 billion. Thus, in Almaty, the apron is being overhauled and cargo handling procedures are being improved. The construction of a new passenger terminal in Shymkent is being finalized. In Astana, a UAE company plans to reconstruct the runway and expand the cargo terminal," Alikhan Smailov said.

At the same time, there are still bottlenecks in the industry. In particular, the main issue is the shortage of aviation fuel in the amount of about 300 thousand tons per year. 

"The solution to the issue is diversification of fuel supply channels, as well as the creation of appropriate infrastructure for its storage," the Prime Minister said.

He added that it is also required to take additional measures for the development of airports: to introduce various mechanisms for modernization of infrastructure, full automation of cargo and passenger clearance procedures.

"This will increase the volume of cargo handled from 130 thousand to 1 million tons per year by 2030, as well as increase passenger traffic to 25 million people," Alikhan Smailov said. 

Another sensitive problem of the industry is staffing. There is a shortage of pilots, engineers and technical staff. 

"The issue of systematic flight delays is also acute. This is not only due to weather conditions. Airlines need to improve the quality of service for passengers and aircrafts, to expand the fleet of aircrafts," Head of the Government emphasized. 

Taking into account the above, Prime Minister instructed to work out the possibility of using multimodal transport on the territory of airports, to provide for simplification of procedures for registration of transit cargo and to optimize the relevant technological processes.

In addition, he outlined the need to take measures to provide additional volumes of aviation fuel, to create an appropriate infrastructure for its storage, as well as to ensure the allocation of additional grants for the training of specialists in the field of civil aviation.

#Alikhan Smailov #Civil aviation #Government session

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