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ITURUP AIRPORT, Sakhalin Region, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Sergey Ivanov, Head of Russia's Presidential Administration, has arrived at Iturup Island and toured an airport that opened on September 22. Ivanov was shown a display stand with photographs illustrating the process of building the air harbour. He was told that the process had begun in 2007 when a decision had been made to build an airport.
"Everything began (to be exact) way back in 2003 when I was Defence Minister and visited here. The idea originated at that time," Ivanov specified.
After viewing the display stand, Ivanov familiarized himself with the work of air traffic controllers. He was told that more than 50 million roubles had been saved on the equipment of the airport. At present, the airport is fitted out with state-of-the-art GLONASS and GPS systems. Ivanov asked whether all families of air traffic controllers were provided with housing. The reply was that only two families are yet to get housing and that regional authorities already promised to settle the matter.
Ivanov viewed the airport territory from the balcony of the Control Tower. He pointed out that an up-to-date airport had been built on the island and did not rule it out that as tourism develops it would have to be enlarged, with yet another apron added, in particular. The Head of the Presidential Administration learned that eleven refugees from Ukraine's east had been able to get to Iturup and settle down here due to the development of transport.
Ivanov also had a talk with the Iturup airport personnel. It turned out that many of them had worked at yet another airport on the island the Burevestnik (petrel). He congratulated them on their new jobs and advised them to be proud of that, "for this is the first post-Soviet airport built from scratch".