President Ilham Aliyev participated at the groundbreaking ceremony of a new terminal building at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport.
President Ilham Aliyev was warmly welcomed by the ceremony participants.
The president of the Azerbaijan Airlines closed joint-stock company, Jahangir Asgarov, informed the head of state that an air terminal for passenger transportation in Azerbaijan was built in 1933. An air terminal that meets international standards was built and put into operation on the initiative of the great leader Heydar Aliyev in our republic in 1999. In just a few years, runways and taxiways were reconstructed at Baku airport, flight control systems were modernized, radio navigation and meteorological equipment were updated and other measures were taken.
It was noted that in 2003, Azerbaijan's civil aviation entered a new intensive stage in its development. Nakhchivan international airport, which meets international standards, was put into operation in 2004. As part of the state programme for the socioeconomic development of regions, airports were built in Ganja, Zaqatala and Lankaran one after another in 2006-2008. Apart from that, as part of the complex development of civil aviation in our republic, it is planned to complete the construction of Qabala international airport in autumn this year.
It was reported that the plane and helicopter pool was updated in order to bring passenger and cargo transportation in line with modern standards. Apart from that, it is planned to buy new modern planes in 2011-2014. Currently, planes of the Azerbaijan Airlines closed joint-stock company fly to 13 countries, including 23 cities, while 19 companies operate flights to Azerbaijan from 33 cities in 15 countries.
It was noted that the swift socioeconomic development programmes being implemented by President Ilham Aliyev, who prioritizes the worthy position of our country among the most developed countries of the world, have played an important role in the development of civil aviation. The construction of a new air terminal complex at Heydar Aliyev International Airport is one of the most important measures taken in this field.
It was noted that the purpose of the project was to improve the quality of passenger and cargo transportation services and bring flight safety in line with international standards. After the new project is implemented, it will service three million passengers per year. The area of the air terminal, which will meet the most modern standards, will be 58,000 square metres. After the new four-storey air terminal, which will be built in the shape of a triangle, is put into operation, international flights will be operated here, while the current terminal will be used for domestic flights.
It was reported that 18 escalators and 20 passenger lifts will be installed in the new terminal. The latest scientific-technical innovations used in international aviation will be used here. Services to passengers will meet the highest requirements at the new terminal which will attract attention with modern appearance. The use of the latest equipment will create comprehensive flight safety opportunities. Telescopic gangways capable of receiving eight planes at a time will be installed at the new terminal. With the construction of the new terminal, the existing air terminal will also be totally modernized.
It was noted that meteorological radar systems based on the latest technology will be installed at the five-storey building of the Flight Control Centre that will be constructed. The length of the runway at Heydar Aliyev International Airport will be 4,000 and width 75 metres. The apron and taxiways will be reconstructed.
After that, President Ilham Aliyev laid the foundation of the complex.
The head of state placed a capsule in the foundation and pushed the button on the concrete mixer.
Congratulating the staff of the Azerbaijan Airlines closed joint-stock company and builders, President Ilham Aliyev said:
- Good morning.
I greet you cordially.
Today is a very remarkable day in the life of our country. We are laying the foundations of a new airport in Baku. I hope that in the near future – in two years' time – a new wonderful and large airport will be put into operation in Baku. Some time ago, I issued relevant instructions on the construction of the new airport, because the current airport is no longer appropriate for the development of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is rapidly developing and the number of visitors to our country is increasing. Thus, there was a great need for a new airport and we very much wanted the airport to stand out for its functionality and beauty. I am sure that Baku will have the world's most beautiful airport.
In recent years, airports have been built in various cities of Azerbaijan – in Nakhchivan in 2004, in Ganja in 2006 and in Lankaran and Zaqatala in 2008. This year, an international airport will be put into operation in Qabala. The construction of a new international airport in Baku is already getting under way. Both local companies and specialists and companies of world renown are involved in this work.
In fact, an airport is a remarkable architectural monument. New beautiful buildings are being built in Baku and other cities of our country at the moment. Those buildings show the development of our country. Those buildings are becoming symbols of new Azerbaijan. Also, this airport - a gateway to our country - should reflect the development and current situation of modern Azerbaijan.
I am sure that Heydar Aliyev International Airport will stand out for its beauty and functional qualities worldwide. The building of the air terminal will be very beautiful, the runways will be reconstructed, a new four-kilometre runway will be built, all services at the airport will meet international standards and new greater conditions will be created for passengers.
Air transport is developing rapidly in our country. Our friends who represent air transport here are well-aware of this. Over the past seven years, new planes – 10 Airbus planes, ATR planes and 12 helicopters - have been bought. In the next three years, six Boeing planes will be bought. Two of them are latest Boeing 787 Dreamliners. The first Boeing 787 planes in the CIS area will be brought into Azerbaijan.
Of course, this initiative requires a lot of money, and the Azerbaijani state is providing this money. In general, the work that is being carried out in the transport sphere is very positive. Currently, a new international maritime commercial port is under construction in Baku, railways are being restored, roads are being built and sea and air transport is being developed.
Thus, the transport infrastructure in Azerbaijan is being totally modernized. It is no accident that Azerbaijan and Baku have already turned into a transit hub, including in the sphere of air transport. The volume of cargo being carried through Baku is on the rise. Large cargo planes are already coming to Azerbaijan, which expands our possibilities. Our geographic situation has allowed air routes, roads and railways to turn Azerbaijan into a transit hub.
Thus, the taking of all these complex measures will strengthen our country even more. On the occasion of this remarkable event, I congratulate Azerbaijani citizens. I assure you that this airport will be built very soon with the highest quality and we will meet once again at its opening.
I congratulate you once again.
After that, President Ilham Aliyev had a group photo taken with participants in the ceremony.
The head of state wished success to the builders and the staff of the Azerbaijan Airlines closed joint-stock company.