26  May  2011
Baikal Airport Returns to its Native Land

METROPOL Group finalized the purchase of Baikal International Airport in Ulan-Ude from the Austrian MAI (Meinl Airports International) and is ready to start the development of its newly purchased asset.

First of all, Baikal’s Board of Directors was completely changed: Deputy General Director of IFC METROPOL Irek Salimov was appointed the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Chief Representative of METROPOL in Buryatia Aleksandr Lentsov was appointed the airport’s General Director. The other members of the Board of Directors included Bair Tsyrenov (International, Regional and Public Relations Director of IFC METROPOL) and Boris Danilov (Director of the Fund for Protection of Lake Baikal). The Government of Buryat Republic will be represented in the airport’s Board of Directors by the Ministry for Transport, Power Industry and Infrastructure Development Sergey Kozlov.

A working group is formed within METROPOL Group to deal with panning and elaboration of changes to be introduced in the Ulan-Ude airport in the near future. Although METROPOL is not planning any significant reconstructions in the airport this year, cosmetic repairs of the premises, which are already well under way, will be completed by the 350th anniversary of the voluntary annexation of Buryatia to Russia (the event will be celebrated in the summer of 2011). According to the design project, the exterior and interior of the airport terminal building will be dominated by the national colors of Buryatia: yellow, white and blue. More comfortable environment will be created for passengers, including new cozy armchairs, plasma displays, bar counter and free wireless Internet access in the waiting area. Modern equipment is now being purchased for the air traffic control service and car park.
“We will make the airport not just clean and good-looking, but also comfortable,” Head of METROPOL Group Mikhail Slipenchuk comments on the purchase. “We will change the logistics and passenger flow, and our plans for the future include reconstruction of the building.”

Subject to prospective broadening of the Republic’s international relations with neighboring countries – China, Mongolia and Japan – and taking into account the growing interest of the travel industry in the Lake Baikal, an up-to-date airport meeting international standards is an important element in the economic development of the Buryat Republic.

The Austrian company Meinl Airports International has controlled a 100% share in OJSC Baikal Airport (also known as Mukhino Airport before rebranding) since September 2007.

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