MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. A third runway has been put into operation at Sheremetyevo International Airport, a TASS correspondent reported from the scene.
Thanks to the new tarmac, the airport’s capacity has increased from 65 to 90 takeoffs and landings per hour. Sheremetyevo became the first airport in Russia with three runways.
"This is a long-awaited event for the entire Moscow aviation hub, for all our passengers, for all the residents of Moscow, the Moscow region, for all those who fly to Moscow and the Moscow region," Russian Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich said at the opening ceremony.
The decision to build a third runway at Sheremetyevo was made in 2009.
Initially, it was planned to make the new airstrip operational by the start of the 2018 World Cup but the launch of the new tarmac was postponed several times. The last time the opening was scheduled on September 1 but was postponed again.
Unlike the two old runways, the new one can operate independently, the minister stressed.
"Today, the two runways in Sheremetyevo operate in a dependent mode. They are located at such a distance from each other that two planes cannot land or take off at the same time - there must be an interval. But the third strip is absolutely independent making it possible for planes to land and take off without looking back at each other," he explained.
Aeroflot’s Airbus A321 flying from St. Petersburg to Moscow became the first airliner to land on the new tarmac. By tradition, the aircraft was welcomed with a water salute.
The third runway is 3,200 meters long and 60 meters, which makes it possible to land all types of aircraft, both Russian and foreign ones.
In addition to the new runway, in 2019 Sheremetyevo plans to launch its terminal C1 with a capacity rate of 20 mln passengers. In 2021, the airport is going to open terminal C2 having a capacity rate of 10 mln passengers.