Turkmenistan inaugurates the most advanced airport in the Middle East

Written by Frank Calviño

BID bestows the International Star Award for Quality unto the new Ashgabat Airport. 

Turkmenistan president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov inaugurated the biggest and most modern airport in Eurasia on past september 17. The new Ashgabat International Airport is a pharaonic work with capacity to handle up to 1,600 passengers per hour. The airport has a closed-area of 350,000 m2 and include a passenger terminal, VIP terminal, cargo terminal with a capacity to handle 200,000 tonnes of freight per year, as well as a new air traffic control tower (ATCT), a maintenance hangar for three narrow-body aircraft, new fuelling stations, catering, fire brigade, flight simulation, repair and maintenance buildings, parking space for 3.000 cars, a civil aviation school and a medical center. The airport has also a new 3,800m long runway to serve wide-body, double-deck jet airliners such as the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747-8. 

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But perhaps one of the most interesting features of this new airport is the biometric controls systems implemented in the customs and in the luggage registration. Passengers with electronic or biometric passports issued or recognized by the turkmen government will access the airport boarding gates through a fully automatized system, without having to interact with a single human customs officer. Inside the airport hallways holographic and laser projections show flight schedules as well as general information for all travelers. 

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The project, although panned by several western countries for being considered an “extravaganza”  – mainly because of its 2.3 billion dollars budget and for being developed for a country that provides almost zero travel visas – it has received international praise for representing a quantum leap in technological prowess for the turkmen civil aviation. 

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Built in the shape of a Lacyn falcon, a turkmen national bird, the airport is a masterpiece of architecture by itself. And as such it has already received several international awards, being the most renowned a World Guinness Record award for holding the largest gold girdle in the world, and the Business Initiative Directions International Star Award for Quality, in recognition to its superb design and functionality. Business Initiative Directions is an international consultancy firm committed to the world of Quality Culture, who has recognized with its Quality Awards international civil works and projects such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.

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Frank Calviño

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