Non-Russian passengers, international freight forwarders and shippers will soon not have to struggle much longer with the tongue-twisting name Sheremetyevo Airport, Russia’s largest by traffic. The 30 km northwest of the Kremlin located air hub will be renamed after Pushkin, the country’s best-known poet. Dozens of other airports across the nation will also be renamed.
A big wave of airport name changes rolls towards Moscow’s Duma and the government. Collectively, both the members of the lower and upper house will have to decide on the renaming of many of the
country’s airports. The “Change the Names of our Airports”-project was kicked off with a country-wide official initiative, encouraging nationals to submit proposals for new airport names. In
total, 47 airports were up for renaming under the contest conducted online over several weeks last November. The initiative was a combined effort of state-controlled organisations, such as the
Russian Geographical Society, the Public Chamber, and the Russian Military-Historical Society.
People play tribute to national heroes of past epochs
The results are stunning as has now become apparent. According to the nationwide online poll, Sheremetyevo is earmarked to bear the name of Pushkin. The Moscow-born (1799) national poet is considered being the father of the modern Russian language.
Domodedovo, Moscow’s by passenger numbers and cargo volumes second largest airport will bear the name of 18th century scientist and polymath, Lomonosov should the Duma give its consent to the proposals.
Other airports standing on the renaming list are – among others – Krasnodar (Catherine the Great), Petropavlovsk-Kamachatsky (Danish explorer Vitus Bering) or Voronezh (Peter the Great).
It is expected that politicians will sign off most of the name changes in 2019.
SVO’s third runway on schedule
In the meantime, Sheremetyevo’s Board of Directors have approved the timing of the opening of the third runway which will take place in 2019. This allows to increase the number of movements from 55 today to 90 per hour. The project a is key part of a masterplan which extends to 2024. It includes a hangar complex for MRO services and the extension of the apron, offering 40 additional aircraft stands.
Expansion of “Moscow Cargo” is put on the waiting list
In contrast, original plans to double the capacity of Russia’s largest freight terminal, ‘Moscow Cargo’ until 2020 have been put on the back burner. Under the new concept, the second stage of the facility will be built only in 2022. The postponement comes as a surprise because according to the long-term Development Program, Sheremetyevo Airport plans to handle annually more than 700,000 tons of cargo by 2024. But SVO’s management estimates that the capacity of the existing terminal suffices to handle the expected volumes without quality loss or delays until 2022.
“Moscow Cargo” was inaugurated on 3rd April this year. The 42,300 square metre facility allows a yearly throughput of 380,000 tons. It is equipped with automated storage systems provided by Loedige Industries GmbH, making it the most modern cargo complex at any Russian airport.