Abakan Airport Doesn’t Need Neighbors

Abakan Airport Doesn’t Need Neighbors

Photo: https://pulse19.ru/

A huge area around the air hub will get a special status. This is required by new legislation. However, the updated rules violate the interests of thousands of ordinary citizens and entrepreneurs.

Now there are disputes over the areas adjoining the aerodrome in Khakassia. According to the Federal Law No. 135 adopted in 2017, every airfield must have a special adjoining territory, a kind of a security zone that should ensure the safety of flights and the local population. The major requirements relate to permanent facilities.

They can be placed in the aerodrome territory only upon approval by Rospotrebnadzor. The territory is also divided into seven subzones. In some of them, almost any economic activity is prohibited. "According to the law, the airport operator should develop a plan that will address the issues of flight and public safety. Then it has to be approved by the Federal Air Transport Agency, and then we need to discuss it at the level of a constituent territory of the Russian Federation. According to the schedule, the matter is to be settled in July. But there's a setback," - the Chief Engineer of Abakan Airport JSC Aleksei Kilin told www.wek.ru.

The pause is understandable. Simple logic says that first it was necessary to build an airport at a distance, then install "sanitary" cordons around it instead of passing the law on the aerodrome territory and thereby push the residential buildings and industrial installations in the vicinity of the airport into the category of the illegal. And that's exactly what's happening now.

If you accept the project without any reservations and compromises, the authorities of Khakassia will have to simply clean up the area around the air hub by demolitions and evictions. What is more, it is unprecedented for the Republic of Khakassia. As the government of Khakassia explains, Abakan and Chernogorsk, as well as a significant part of Ust-Abakansky district, will turn up in the aerodrome territory. In other words, these municipalities become zones with the special conditions for utilization. First of all, the restrictions will affect housing development. At present, a huge district of private households is now located around the airport. Other subzones have limitations on the number stories in buildings. Officials have already estimated that about 2 thousand shareholders who bought apartments in high-rise blocks under construction will come to face with problems, because those buildings will have to be demolished.

The city of Abakan is the center of business activity in Khakassia. And now a huge chunk of territory is being torn out of it. There will be no chance there, for example, to process garbage, breed cattle or cultivate land. Although it is in this sector where almost the entire volume of vegetables in Khakassia is produced. As stated by the deputy governor of the region, Irina Voinova, the ban can embrace everything within a radius of 15 km around the airport. "A working group has been set up under the government of the Republic of Khakassia. It assesses the impact of the decision to establish an aerodrome territory. We are developing a position for negotiations with the management of the Federal Air Transport Agency. We need to find a compromise solution for the coexistence of the airport and nearby populated localities," she said. Let us add that negotiations with the Federal Air Transport Agency are scheduled for the second half of November.

Logic suggests that all regions will face this problem. Yemelyanovo airport in Krasnoyarsk, for example, stands side by side to townships and villages. Dacha cooperatives almost abut the runway. Irkutsk airport generally operates within the boundaries of the regional capital. As www.wek.ru reported earlier, the issue of its removal away from the city has been discussed for the past few years. There is no specific result. So far, the authorities have opted for repairing the existing facility. Experts point out that the good intentions of initiators of the law in practice lead to a completely different result and it is not for the first time.

Experts say that Russian airports were given a deadline to map out the aerodrome territory until January 1, 2018. But at that time, only ten out of two hundred companies did it. The new legislative requirements are based on good intentions – to protect the population from noise and harmful substances. In practice, as it happens all the time, the Federal Law No. 135 brings problems only. And the danger is not as large as it seems. The probability that a plane falling on your dacha or rural house is much lower than of a car crashing into it. And the share of aviation fuel in urban air pollution is hardly of any serious significance.

"Russian legislation doesn’t differentiate between big and small airports. If the airport is located on a small island, then by law there may not be any space left for housing construction. In some cases, living near the runway is much safer. This applies, for example, to research stations in the Far North, where a person's life may depend on an extra kilometer. The law needs to be adjusted so that all the parameters of each particular airport are taken into account when delimitating aerodrome territories," says Olga Zatsepina, an environmental design specialist.

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