New terminal to transform air travel to Samarkand
The new terminal at Samarkand International Airport is expected to transform air travel to the country and potentially Central Asia.
It is the key project of the upgrade of the existing airport and will effectively provide Uzbekistan’s second biggest city with the modern, high-tech facilities it needs to meet future demand and potentially boost tourism to the country.
In addition to the new terminal, the soon to be completed modernisation of Samarkand International Airport (SKD) has involved lengthening and widening the main runway to 3,105 x 60 metres; and the construction of new remote aircraft stands and car parking lots.
Speaking earlier this year, Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, said: “The main goal should be the convenience of the airport for people. To do this, it is necessary to use ‘smart’ technologies, to make sure that the service is inexpensive, high quality and fast.”
Designed by KIKLOP Design & Engineering (KIKLOP) and being constructed by Enter Engineering, the spacious new terminal will be capable of handling 1,000 passengers per hour and boast architecture and features that showcase Uzbekistan’s history.
Gairat Nematov, executive director of airport operating company Air Marakanda, says: “The main building will resemble an open book in reference to the New Guragan Astronomical Tables, a manuscript published by the famed astronomer Mirzo Ulugbek in 1444.
“Translated into Latin, this work was used in observatories throughout Europe. In recognition of his achievements, the external roof of the terminal will display a sky map with some constellations recognisable from the air, especially when landing at night.”
When it opens in late 2021, the terminal will raise the airport’s capacity from around 460,000 passengers per annum to in excess of two million yearly.