Saint-Petersburg ready for the airport hub competition ?
Launched in june 1932 the 24th, Pulkovo international airport of Saint-Petersburg celebrated its 80 years of running in 2012.
In 2006, local government approved the airport development program established to fit with the constant increase of passengers and infrastructures modernization needs.
The project « Pulkovo airport 2025 » includes a new passenger terminal construction, the development of adajcent infrastructures (express train lines) and the modernization of the aircraft maintenance areas.
The new terminal should be delivered by the end of 2013, then former terminal renewal works will start and should be achieved in 2014.
That project, estimated at more than 450 million euros, will cover 146,600 sq.m (380 km2) approximately 3,5 times the current area of the airport.
The new terminal was assigned to the british architectural bureau Grimshaw and Partners. They had to promote Pulkovo as an international level airport hub making it as safe as functional for passengers and equiping it with modern facilities in order to maximize airplane companies stay.
The job seems to have been well done.
« Pulkovo project was included into the list of 100 best innovative projects directed on improvement of city infrastructures around the world on the versions «Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition» KPMG companies. It was also awarded ranks of the best airport of CIS countries in the field of aviation marketing (Routes CIS Airport Marketing Awards), recognition and encouragement of the effective and innovative marketing actions which are carried out by the airports of CIS countries. » (source : skyscrapercity)
This prize gave « Pulkovo 2025 airport » project the right to be part of the international competition that took place in Abu Dhabi.
That development strategy strongly supported by the tourism industry and the city seems to appeal to new airplane companies, making Saint-Petersburg attractiveness stronger and promoting new air route openings.
November the 1st 2011, local operators and representatives of Emirates international companies celebrated the opening of the air route Saint-Petersburg-Dubaï. More than 100 world connections, essentially to the east, are now accessible. Other airplane companies followed the lead as Korean air.
Devoid of efficient mass transit, railway connections between the airport and the city will link, in a near future, territories.
Aeroexpress, the russian public transport company, and russian railways will be in charge of the constrution and the running of the network.
A speed line will link the airport to the Baltic station, one of the most frequented in the metropolis, with a train every 30 minutes. A second line will open to connect with Moscow station.
Aeroexpress started its terminal construction works, at Pulkovo airport, in autumn 2012. The opening is foreseen for 2014.
In this rought world competition between airports, Saint-Petersburg is doing a great job. However, we can wonder what are the actual perspectives of development for the airport.
In fact, Moscow, with its 3 airports, remains the central place for domestic and international flights in Russia. Moreover the main russian airplane companies have their maintenance facilities in the capital-city.
Then, shall we just consider Pulkovo as a second range airport competing with Helsinki airport and consorts for the northern european market ?