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SEVASTOPOL, May 21. /TASS/. Development and upgrading of Belbek airport in Sevastopol will be financed through Russia’s federal specialized programme, from the Defence Ministry’s budget and by private investors, Sergei Menyailo, the governor of the federal city of Sevastopol said on Thursday.
"Development of Belbek airport has three elements, namely, an overhaul of the runway, the setting-up of an infrastructure of commercial routes and construction of the air terminal compound," Menyailo said.
The Defence Ministry’s funding and the federal specialized programme will be used finance the first two positions while private investors will be asked to finance the air terminal compound.
The Governor said earlier the airport had begun preparations for accommodating commercial airliners that would take up several months.
The Defence Ministry and the government of Sevastopol signed an agreement on joint operations at and control over the airport last month.
The Belbek military airdrome in Sevastopol was commissioned in 1941. Its runway was overhauled in the second half of the 1980’s and it started receiving governmental jets.
Before Crimea’s reunification with Russia in March 2014, the airport was the home base of the Sevastopol brigade of Ukrainian tactical aviation.
Belbek received a license for international flights in December 2002. From 2002 through 2007, it provided services to about 50,000 passengers a year but the Ukrainian Defence Ministry then refused to prolong an agreement on joint operations there.
Dnepravia airline that belongs to the controversial oligarch Igor Kolomoisky resumed flights from Sevastopol to Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk and Moscow in 2010 but flight schedules were not stable and the airport received main revenues from servicing business flights.
At present, the airport has two terminals with a very moderate capacity for servicing slightly more than 100 passengers an hour. The passenger terminal still belongs to the oligarch Kolomoisky formally but the city authorities have placed it under their operative control for Kolomoistky’s debts.