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MOSCOW, February 04. /ITAR-TASS/. An Air Force aerodrome in the Baikal region called “Step”, which currently under reconstruction, will be commissioned in 2015, the press service of the Federal Agency for Special Construction (Spetsstroy Russia) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.
Because of severe climatic conditions in the area where the aerodrome is located, the reconstruction is possible for four-five months of a warm season only. “We will have two such spells of warm weather in 2014 and in 2015. A new runway is to be commissioned in November 2015,” said Sergei Timoshenko, chief engineer for the Spetsstroy affiliate based in Novorossiysk.
By mid-February a freight train will bring construction equipment to the site. The Novorossiysk enterprise is the main contractor to carry out the reconstruction, including the construction of a new runway forty-four meters wide and three kilometers long, which is the biggest project for the Novorossiysk enterprise so far.
Around 600 construction workers and 141 units of construction machinery will be employed when the reconstruction reaches a crucial stage. “Local population will be employed in the construction to a maximum extent. We will need road construction workers, concrete layers, gas welders, electricians and machinery operators,” head of the personnel department of the Novorossiysk enterprise Svetlana Shcherbina said. “However, work force potential in the neighborhood is barely sufficient. In the near future an inspector of a personnel department will arrive to find more workers," Shcherbina said.
“The reconstruction of the aerodrome is important in terms of creating work places and making contributions to the local and regional budgets,” said Governor of the Baikal region Konstantin Ilkovsky.
The Step aerodrome is located 250 kilometers southeast of Chita. Earlier, it was an Air Force base of huge capacity with a first class aerodrome intended for all types of aircraft. In November 2010 the aerodrome was closed, but its runway was left intact as a reserve aerodrome for a different Air Force base.
In 2013 on the instructions of the Russian Defense Ministry the Spetsstroy company developed a construction plan for a modern new Air Force base, provided with all the necessary infrastructure, on the site of the former aerodrome.