New lights and safer runway for international airport in Khujand, Tajikistan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Tajikistan is often referred to as “remote” by the outside world, but with continuing EBRD investment in its infrastructure it is becoming more accessible. The international airport in Khujand, the country’s second-largest city, will be able to modernise and become safer for traffic – especially when weather conditions are challenging. For the first time in the country, the EBRD financing will be made available without a sovereign guarantee.

 The airport will receive an emergency upgrade of the runway and also acquire and install new high-intensity lights. Distance-measuring equipment and radio navigation equipment will also be bought and installed.

The EBRD is extending a senior loan of up to US$ 3 million to the Khujand International Airport. The works are estimated to cost about US$ 7.2 million, with the airport itself providing the rest of the financing.

“A safer runway, better lighting and radio beacons – all this is vital for the safety of passengers who land in Khujand – a city close to mountain ranges,” said Sue Barrett, the EBRD Director for Transport. “Modernisation of the airport means more flights will be possible and landings will be safer, especially in foggy conditions and during the winter.”

Most of the airport’s 700,000 passengers are migrant workers and businesspeople who bring remittances and business activity to the area, mainly travelling to and from Russia. The local authorities are looking forward to new business opportunities provided by the recently announced free economic zone of the Sughd region and the development of the mining industry in this area.

 Since the beginning of its operations in Tajikistan, the EBRD has invested about US$ 325 million in the country in about 70 projects.