Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan have inaugurated the Fuzuli International Airport in the Karabakh (Garabagh) region.
President Erdogan has become the first top foreign official to arrive in the newly built airport.
As part of the ceremony on Tuesday, the two countries’ presidents attended the air harbor’s ribbon-cutting ceremony, received its symbolic keys, and then toured the terminal.
President Ilham Aliyev broke ground for the airport in early 2021, a few months after the city of Fuzuli was liberated from nearly three-decades-long illegal Armenian occupation. The first state-of-the-art airport in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories has been constructed jointly by the Azerbaijani and Turkish companies within eight months.
President Aliyev believes the new airport would serve as an “air gate of Karabakh.”
To transmit radio call signals from the airport, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) installed there the ground-based VOR/DME navigation system. The European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, known as EUROCONTROL, has registered and approved the radio signs transmitted via the system.
Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) granted the Fuzuli International Airport a three-letter distinguishing geocode – FZL. It was also assigned the UBBF code by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The airport’s runway, spanning 3,000 meters in length and 60 meters in width, already received the first passenger and cargo flight on September 5 and welcomed the first overseas travelers on September 27. The runway can receive all kinds of aircraft, including large cargo planes and small-sized private jets.
The airport terminal, which includes luggage conveyers, registration desks, VIP halls, retail stores, restaurants, and other sections, is designed to handle at least two hundred passengers per hour. The airport’s apron can accommodate eight airplanes simultaneously, measuring 60,000 square meters (645,000 square feet) in size.
Armenia captured Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli district during the First Karabakh War in the early 1990s. Last year, Azerbaijani forces liberated Fuzuli from nearly 30-year-long illegal occupation and discovered catastrophic results of the Armenian vandalism. Not a single whole building remained in the city of Fuzuli, only fragments of walls.
Currently, the district is being revived as part of the Azerbaijani government’s large-scale campaign to restore and reconstruct the liberated territories.
The master plan for the city of Fuzuli, which is the district’s administrative center, has already been developed. According to the master plan, Fuzuli city will cover 1,936 hectares, and by 2040, it will be home to 50,000 people.
On October 17, President Aliyev broke ground for the “smart village” in the district. The project will be implemented using green and alternative energy and a “smart management” system. At the initial stage, a total of 450 houses will be built there. Also, the village will be surrounded by a “smart village” farm.