The newly built Kerki International Airport of Turkmenistan was put into service on 23 June 2021 in a ceremony led by President Berdimuhamedov.
Located on the left bank of the Amudarya River, Kerki is one of the oldest towns in Turkmenistan. In ancient times it was called Zemm. From 1999 to 2017 it was named Atamurat. The town is some 600km east of Ashgabat, about 300km south of Bukhara, and 350km northwest of Mazar-i-Sharif.
The airport was built by the Turkmen company Gündogdy under a contract awarded in February 2019. The facility allows for processing 100 passengers per hour.
The covered area of the passenger terminal is 2221 square meters. The height of the control tower is 31.7 meters.
The length of the runway is 2800 meters, making it suitable for nearly all kinds of airplanes.
The regional manager of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for Turkey, Central Asia and Azerbaijan, Ms. Funda Chalyshir, the Deputy Director for Monitoring and Control of the Air Navigation Bureau of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a UN specialized agency, Denis Gindon, and the Managing Director of Munich International Airport Ralph Gaffal participated in the ceremony through the video link.
The Kerki airport has received four-letter location code UTAE from ICAO. It has also received the Certificate of Conformity to International Standards issued by Munich International Airport.
The first aircraft to land at the airport was a newly acquired Boeing 777-200LR, followed by a military transport plane.
The opening ceremony of the Kerki Airport was given a beautiful touch — A young couple, just married in the Kerki town, and their wedding procession, arrived at the airport in a horse-drawn carriage. All of them boarded the Boeing 777-200LR, together with the president and the top officials, for the maiden flight from Kerki to Turkmenabat.
During the flight the atmosphere was festive with three important reasons to celebrate – the opening of the Kerki airport, the induction of a new Boeing 777-200LR, and the start of married life for a young couple. Quite naturally, the newlyweds were the centre of attention during the flight.
Live music was played for them and traditional refreshments were served.
The president had conversation with the bride and the groom.
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On arrival in Turmenabat the president and his team proceeded for the opening ceremony of a yurt-shaped building that has the capacity to seat 3000.
Similar structures have been built in all the provincial centers of Turkmenistan.
The president also visited a multidisciplinary hospital in Turkmenabat where he donated 10 fully equipped ambulances for the pediatric departments of the hospitals in each district of the Lebap province. The acquisition of ambulances was funded by the recently created Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Charitable Foundation for Assisting Children in Need of Guardianship.
The same day the president returned to Ashgabat. /// nCa, 24 June 2021
Here are some pictures from the event. All the pictures except two are copyright to TDH: