Vladimir Putin, Russia’s prime minister, announced last week that the government plans to privatise two Moscow airports – Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo.
The plan will be to merge the two airports into a single, state-owned entity, refurbish them and finally privatise them.
“We agreed with the mayor of Moscow, the transport minister and a representative of the Finance Ministry to combine into a single complex Sheremetyevo, 100-percent owned by the government, and Vnukovo airports, where the government holds a 75 percent stake,” Putin said. “This step is aimed at creating an integral complex, building the necessary technical facilities for it, and eventually at putting it on the market and allowing it to be privatised,” he added.
Moscow’s most popular airport is the privately run Domodedovo Airport, the scene of a recent suicide bombing that took the lives of 37 people. Domodedovo recorded 22.3 million passengers in 2010, followed by Sheremetyevo’s 19.3 million passengers and Vnukovo’s 9.5 million travellers. The three airports are already close to reaching their capacity limits, prompting Putin to announce:
“We are planning to double the traffic of the three major Moscow airports to reach up to 100 million passengers by 2020.” To help reach that milestone, the Russian government plans to reconstruct the runways at Vnukovo in 2012 and add a third runway to Sheremetyevo over the next five years, Putin said.
“Our main goal is to make the Moscow air hub the most important in Russia – a modern international air traffic centre operating at the highest level,” the prime minister concluded.