16 July 2024,   16:23
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New international airport may be built in Tbilisi - the Government’s initiative envisages the development of Georgia as an aviation hub

We are working on the construction of a new, modern, international-class airport realistically poised to become a hub. Such a statement made today the Prime Minister of Georgia.

“I would like to comment on and draw your attention to several topics. Firstly, I would like to bring up for discussion the main topics of the day. I would say that this is a quite ambitious decision on our part, but I believe that today we have enough capabilities and experience, and-most importantly-the goal of becoming the region’s aviation hub. We have said repeatedly that the country has the potential for this. And it is toward this goal that we started working. The Ministry of Economy has been working actively for a few months now. And, generally, I would like to offer my brief assessment of the existing airport. You probably agree that it is not satisfactory and doesn’t meet the challenges and our ambitious goals that I would like to discuss with you now. Of course, we plan and want to target a long-term project. It cannot be a 5- or 10-year project.

We have analyzed 2 options. One is the development and expansion of the existing airport, but let’s allow more qualified specialists speak about it. This airport has its downsides and limitations, and in reality does not offer much opportunity for significant development, especially if we want to become the region’s aviation hub-this airport, and its territory, do not allow for that. Consequently, we raised this issue at the Economic Council’s meeting. We discussed it and concluded that, if we want to care about the country with 20-, 30-, 50-, or even 100-year prospects in mind-and if we want to hand down to our future generations proper infrastructure and a well-functioning airport-a new location must be sought. And the former Vaziani Airfield in Tbilisi is an ideal location to this end.

On my instructions, the Ministry of Economy has been actively working in this direction over the past few months. To look over this project, we want to invite the best designers, builders, and architects, to inspect the location, and only then make a final decision. We are talking about the construction of a new, modern, international-class airport realistically poised to become a hub, as I mentioned earlier. It must be an international class, transit-logistic airport accommodating the needs of modern passengers. We also discussed the construction of good terminals, and so on. I will not go any further into this. We will discuss this topic in detail, and I believe that this is a very ambitious and yet necessary project for the country. Otherwise, the existing airport meets today’s requirements, of course. But if we want to plan a long-term project, the implementation of a new, ambitious project is in order.

Over the past few years, we have observed a 25% annual increase in the country’s passenger traffic, which is very good, of course. Georgia’s airports facilitate direct flights to 58 cities around the world, and we maintain regular flights to and from 31 countries. This is why, like I said before, we are now launching a study. We will invite leading global aviation consulting companies to engage in the process, and we will conduct a detailed study, and then we will make a final decision. Tbilisi and the country deserve one of the best airports”, - said Irakli Garibashvili.

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