ⓘ Almaty International Airport

Almaty International Airport

ⓘ Almaty International Airport

Almaty International Airport is the largest international airport in Kazakhstan. It is about 15 km northeast of Almaty, the countrys largest city and commercial capital. Almaty airport accounts for half of passenger traffic and 68% of cargo traffic to Kazakhstan. In 2012, the airport handled 4.003.004 passengers, including 1.997.570 arriving passengers, and 2.005.434 departing passengers.


1. Owners and management

Almaty International Airport JSC is 100% owned by Venus Airport Investments B.V., a company registered in Amsterdam.

  • Diyar Kanashev, member of the board of directors.
  • E. L. Eliseeva, Acting Chief of Economics and Financial Analysis Department
  • Akzholtayev Murat Serikuly, Head of Automatic Systems – Terminal Service
  • Anuar Saydenov, member of the board of directors, the independent director of the Company
  • Bakhtiyer Kadyrov, Vice President of Finance
  • Aibol Aybol Anuaruly Bekmukhambetov, President and director
  • Nurimanov Sagdat Yerikbekuly, Head of the First-Aid Post

2.1. History Early years

The airport was built in 1935, for all small civil/military flying ships. Up to 1990 it was the part of Kazakh Department of Civil Aviation, and then reorganized into "Alma-Ata Airport" in 1991. Since 1993 it has run as an independent business unit. In 1994, it was reorganized into OJSC "Almaty Airport" and later renamed to JSC Almaty International Airport.

The supersonic transport SST Tupolev Tu-144 began service on 26 December 1975, flying mail and freight between Moscow and Alma-Ata in preparation for passenger services, which commenced in November 1977. The Aeroflot flight on 1 June 1978 was the Tu-144s 55th and last scheduled passenger service.

Following a runway reconstruction in 1998, Almaty airport was awarded a CAT II certificate and the status of an international airport.

On 9 July 1999 a fire started in the shashlik kitchen of the airport restaurant. The terminal building burned down in just a few hours, but without major injuries.


2.2. History Development since the 2000s

Construction of a new terminal was completed in 2004. On 30 September 2008 a second runway was opened with the first departure being a BMI flight bound for London Heathrow. The new runway was also given an ICAO certificate for CAT III landings which will significantly reduce the number of planes diverting to nearby airfields due to low visibility, especially during the winter months. The runway is the longest in central Asia. The new runway can accept all types of aircraft without limitation of take-off weight and operation frequency.

Growth in connectivity is in danger of being compromised by airport infrastructure that is comparatively expensive and not keeping pace with demand growth. IATA is urging the Kazakhstan government to follow ICAO principles and eliminate differential ANSP charges between domestic and international carriers. Currently 2012, it is 18% more expensive to turn around an Airbus A320 in Almaty than at similarly-sized airports in Europe. The differential rises to 43% for a Boeing 767.

There were plans to build a new passenger terminal for international flights with six loading bridges and capacity up to 2.500 passengers per hour in the near future. A developed infrastructure complex consisting of a Marriott Hotel, conference halls, business center, shopping center and cinemas were planned to be within this terminal.

The new terminal was to be located along Kuldja Road to help reduce traffic on the way to the airport. However the terminals construction was stopped due to managers postponing the projects construction in 2010 because of disagreements with Air Astanas plans for the terminal which was intended to serve Air Astana international flights while the existing terminal would serve domestic destinations. According to the managers, the problems of this plan would be that Air Astana would have faculties operating, and its planes transferring from one end of the runway to another which would create delayed transporting problems for Air Astana; since the runway lines would be busy with the having lack of space of creating new runways. There has been a conclusion to demolish the construction and rebuild the new terminal used for domestic and international flights. There are now plans to build new airport in Kapchagai reservoir which is 48 km away from Almaty.


3. Accidents and incidents

  • 30 August 1983, Aeroflot Flight 5463, Tupolev Tu-134 crashed on approach to Almaty after a flight from Chelyabinsk where all 90 passengers and crew died.
  • 27 December 2019, twelve people died when Bek Air Flight 2100, Fokker 100, crashed en route to Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, crashing into a building just after takeoff.
  • 29 January 2013, SCAT Airlines Flight 760, a Bombardier CRJ-200ER, registration UR-CJ006, crashed during a low-visibility approach into Almaty International Airport that originated from Kokshetau. All 21 occupants died. On 2 March 2015 the Interstate Aviation Committee released their final report stating that during the missed approach, necessitated by weather conditions being below minima, the elevator was deflected to lower the nose instead of raising the nose resulting in a steep dive and impact with the ground. The investigation was unable to determine the cause of the elevator movement but did not find evidence of any system malfunction or external influences.
  • 7 July 1980, Aeroflot flight 4227: All 163 occupants of a Tupolev Tu-154B-2, tail number CCCP-85355, lost their lives when the aircraft crashed shortly after take-off from Alma-Ata Airport. The airplane was due to operate a domestic scheduled Alma-Ata–Simferopol passenger service under the Kazakh division as Flight 4227; the airspeed suddenly dropped because of thermal currents it encountered during climb out, causing the airplane to stall about 5 km 3.1 mi away, crashing and catching fire.
  • PST on the day of opening. The first international flight to arrive at the airport was a chartered plane from Almaty Kazakhstan which landed at 10: 58 a
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