ABACE Convention News

Vnukovo-3 Plans Expansion for Business Aviation

 - April 11, 2019, 1:00 AM

The Moscow-Vnukovo airport administration wants to erect a new terminal at Vnukovo-3 FBO (Booth C507) and put an already completed “helidrome” in full-scale operation. “Right now we are putting together a set of measures on improvement of Vnukovo-3 services for business aviation,” said Vasiliy Aleksandrov, airport general manager. “There is a documentation pack that has been prepared on the rebuilding of the existing infrastructure,” he added; a decision on a new domestic flight terminal is expected shortly and construction is due to commence later this spring. “What we aim at is an expansion of floor space for those who travel on routes inside this country,” said Aleksandrov.

Located ten kilometers southeast of Moscow, Vnukovo served 20 million passengers in 2018, or about one-fifth of the air traffic to and from the Russian capital city. It is the country’s largest destination for business jets.

Today, Vnukovo-3 has two terminals serving business aviation. The largest one, purpose-built in 2006 for international flights, has a capacity of up to 40 travelers an hour. The second one, able to serve up to 15 VIP travelers, was completed in 2000 and now serves domestic flights. However, the latter is deemed too small for the current level of traffic. “So we intend to erect a new, larger terminal to address the traffic that has increased substantially since the older terminal opened. With that in place, we will be able to meet the growing demand in airport services to business travelers at Vnukovo-3.”

The new terminal will have a floor space of 1,116 square meters (12,000 square feet) and will be “approximately the same size” as the one serving international flights. “The…project being considered calls for such a terminal that would look somewhat better,” Aleksandrov said. “There is a growing number of people in this country who can afford a business jet, and they form the target audience we will address with the construction of this new domestic flight terminal.” The design documentation, which was completed in September, was sent to various bodies for assessment, with a goal of obtaining permission to start construction this spring.

Creating a fully fledged “helidrome” near Vnukovo-3 has long been on the airport authority’s agenda. Although the airport administration began implementation of it several years ago, the project has taken considerably longer than initially expected. The primary cause of this has been a very tough security regime, with a recent focus on the prevention of terrorist attacks.

“There are cases in which people arrive at Vnukovo in a helicopter to continue their travel on a business jet. But such cases are rare because of the standing issues regarding practical use of the helidrome. In our view, there is a fair amount of oligarchs and [other high-net-worth individuals] who can afford a ‘helicopter plus business jet’ service at Vnukovo. We expect them to make use of the helidrome once all the issues still standing are resolved,” concluded Aleksandrov.