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NORILSK, June 1. /TASS/. Reconstruction of the runway's central part began at the Krasnoyarsk Region's main air harbor - at the Norilsk airport. The airport to mid-September would be able to serve only smaller, regional, planes, the airport's Director General Andrei Nikiforov told reporters on Thursday.
"We have approached the most responsible and technically complicated part of the reconstruction, where we shall replace the runway's central part," he said. "The airport's all services are ready to work under the new conditions, and we are sure that on September 16, the workers would present the reconstructed runway. <…> The workers are receiving the task now, the work will begin in a few days, and from Monday heavy equipment will begin working at the runway."
Earlier reports said the runway's reconstruction was planned for three summer seasons.
The works began in 2016, and the planes could use the runway of 2.5km, thus no passenger or cargo flights were limited. However, this year the work will be at the central runway passage of more than one kilometer long, and thus the airport would not serve planes of the Boeing type - those would be replaced by planes for regional routes.
Reconstruction of the central part will be between June 1 and September 16. During this time, all Boeing planes will be replaced with ATR-42, ATR-72 and Antonov An-24 planes, which will serve flights to Moscow (with a stop in Surgut), Krasnoyarsk and Novyi Urengoi.
"The first day of the new timetable has proven our decision was correct - we have chosen not to close down the airport but to have temporary limitations and have the reconstruction in three stages," the director general said.
The flights to Krasnoyarsk, Novyi Urengoi and Surgut will be served by regional planes. Passengers of the flight to Moscow, after the connection in Surgut, will continue the flight on board of Boeing-737-800 planes. The flight to Moscow will take about eight hours.
The third and last stage of the runway's reconstruction is due between June and September, 2018. the financing is made under the federal program on development of the Russian transport system (2010-2020): the federal budget has allocated 9.6 billion rubles (about $168.5 million), and the Norilsk Nickel Company invests thee billion rubles ($52.6 million).