A new international airport named after Soviet pilot and cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin has begun operating on a regular basis. The airport is located outside of Saratov, near the village of Saburovka.
The city had the Saratov Central Airport of federal importance, but even during Soviet times, the officials thought about relocating the airport because it was impossible to extend its runway due to the lack of space. The old airport will be closed today.
The project to build the new Gagarin airport complex was implemented as a private-public partnership. It consisted of three parts: a federal, a regional and an investment one. Total investments reached RUR 22 bln ($335 mio). The federal part provided for the construction of the airport with the runway and the necessary infrastructure; due to the investment part, the passenger terminal was built; the regional part (almost RUR 5 bln) was used to lay utility lines and build roads.
The name of the airport commemorates Yuri Gagarin’s landing in the Saratov Region after his historic flight.
“The new airport will not only replace the old one, it will also expand the region’s potential: in the future, it will be possible to quickly get to both Russian and foreign cities from Saratov,” economist Dmitry Afanasiev said. “This will improve the attractiveness of the region, including for investors.”