ⓘ Baikal International Airport

Baikal International Airport

ⓘ Baikal International Airport

Baikal International Airport, formerly Ulan-Ude Airport is an international airport located 12 kilometres west of Ulan-Ude, Russia. The airport includes a single terminal with customs and border control facilities. With capacity of 400 passengers per hour, in 2013 the airport served 300.564 passengers on 19 scheduled international and domestic destinations. The airport is named after nearby Lake Baikal.


1.1. History 1925–1971

In 1925, the Ulan-Ude Airport began its first passenger service with the first aircraft traveling from Moscow to Beijing, with pilots Volkovoyinov and Polyakov participating in it. On 1 August 1926, the first flights started: Ulan-Ude – Ulan-Bator; in addition, the airport was a place for technical landing for flights from Irkutsk, Chita, Moscow, and Vladivostok. In 1931, the construction of the first air terminal began, where in 1935 the construction finished. From 1966 the airport began to accept Antonov An-24 and Tupolev Tu-104.


1.2. History 1971–1991

In 1971, there was a new runway constructed which optimized the airport to accept larger aircraft like the Ilyushin Il-18 from Moscow, where in from 1980 to 1981 the runway was lengthened by 800 metres, and it was opened by accepting the first Tupolev Tu-154. In 1983, the first terminal stopped working, due to the opening of the new one and from September until October, the airport was accepting the transit flights from and to Chita, due to its closing, because of the runway re-construction. In 1988 and 1989, the airport started to serve a number of transit flights, including the international Moscow – Pyongyang, including Air Koryo; Moscow – Ulan-Bator, shifted from Irkutsk, due to runway re-construction. That situation led to a huge optimization of the airport, where every day the airport accepted 70 flights, which 30 of them were served by Tupolev Tu-154. In 1990, the airport transferred 800 thousand passengers in a year.


1.3. History 1991–2006

Until 2011, the airport was serving the flights from Irkutsk and Chita when these airports had issues with construction or weather. Unfortunately, there were no international flights anymore until 2011.


1.4. History 2006–2011

In 2006 the airport underwent an overhaul of its runway, costing RUR 330 million US$10 million. In 2007 the airport underwent renovation of its taxiways and parking areas, at a cost of RUR 230 million.


1.5. History 2011–2017

In March 2011, the renovation of the external terminal complex began, after when "Metropol" bought the airport. The reconstruction finished in August 2011. Till now in the airport are in process small reconstructions inside the terminal complex. The last renovation was expanding the second floor and making it a boarding zone, in addition the zone of check-up and passport check moved to the second floor. Also, the arrival and departure exits and entrances are now in different locations.


1.6. History 2017-today

In September 2014 it was announced that the government of Russian Federation, which owns the airport infrastructure, decided to build a new runway, with a cost of $157 million, parallel to the current. The latter will become a taxiway.

The runway commenced its service at night of 12 December 2018, with a flight of S7 Airlines to Beijing.

On September 2017, the airport was sold by "Metropol" to "Novaport". Novaport allowed the airport to get the status of open sky, moreover, the airport will allow more ambitious plans, like construction of a new passenger terminal. Currently, due to unlimited status of open sky, international airlines such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Lucky Air, MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Spring Airlines are interested in starting flights to Ulan Ude. Moreover, Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, announced that it will resume the flights to Ulan-Ude in 2018 or 2019, the plans are delaying due to FIFA-2018, also the airline explained the reason of exiting from this route, by low-quality runway.

On 7 December, the Buryatia governor Aleksei Tsydenov announced that by the end of 2018, the construction of the new terminal will commence. The land for construction is being found, currently, the project is being created, therefore, the final amount will be calculated for the construction financing. The first stage will be the full reconstruction of the current terminal, and then by 2022, the new terminal will be constructed. The construction of the new terminal began on 28 April 2018, and is scheduled to open around 2020.


2. Transportation

Buses No. 28, #55 and No. 77 reach the airport only by a call of a passenger and then they reach the final stop at Sokol. Moreover, the taxi service is available by booking at a kiosk at the airports exit. Aeroexpress not train service shuttle bus service is available to Ulan-Ude square.


3. Incidents and accidents

  • On 10 October 2018, Flight 414, operated by a Sukhoi Superjet 100 RA-89011, rode out from a runway on landing at Yakutsk from Ulan-Ude. During the subsequent landing, the behind chassis of the aircraft were broken. No one was killed in the crash, but four people were hospitalised.
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