Minsk National Airport (formerly known as Minsk-2) (IATA: MSQ, ICAO: UMMS) (Belarusian: Нацыянальны аэрапорт Мінск, [natsɨjaˈnalʲnɨ aeraˈport mʲinsk]; Russian: Национальный аэропорт Минск) is the main international airport in Belarus, located 42 km (26 mi) to the east of the capital Minsk, geographically lying in the territory of Smalyavichy Raion but administratively being subordinated to Kastrychnitski District of Minsk. The airport serves as hub of the Belarusian flag carrier Belavia and the cargo carriers TransAVIAexport Airlines, Genex and Rubystar Airways.
Minsk National Airport
Национальный аэропорт Минск
Natsional'nyy aeroport Minsk
|Opened||1 July 1983|
|Time zone||EEST (UTC+03:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||204 m / 669 ft|
Sources: ACI's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report.
Construction of Minsk-2 airport began in 1977. In 1979, a new runway 3,640-m-long and 60-m-wide became operational. By 1981 the Minsk-2 aerodrome was able to handle aircraft and the airport opened in 1982. The first passenger flight was operated with a Tupolev Tu-134.
On 1 July 1983, the Second Joint Aviation Division of Minsk was established in accordance with the decision of the Ministry of Civil Aviation of USSR. This date is considered as the airport foundation day.
Development since the 1990sEdit
Regular flights began in 1983; by 1990 passenger traffic reached 2.2 million passengers. From 1991, the number of flights began to decline due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and other consequent changes. By 1997, the number of the passengers was 516,000, in 1998 – 480,000, in 2000 – only 400,000 passengers. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first million passengers was handled by Minsk National Airport in 2008. Due to the substantial growth in passenger traffic, 2008 became a significant mark for the airport.
In 2020, the growth was stalled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Additionally from May 2021 all Belarusian airlines, mainly Belavia, have been banned from operating into the European Union as part of newly established sanctions after the Ryanair Flight 4978 incident. Likewise, several European airlines cancelled their Minsk services over the conflict, e.g., Lufthansa.
Role in the 2021 border crisisEdit
In 2021, the airport became a major hub for illegal migration to the European Union. It was reported that several fly-by-night companies and two travel agencies got full access to the international zone of the airport and started to offer agent services for arrived migrants issuing visas on arrival. It was noted that these companies enjoyed the patronage of the airport staff and authorities, while other travel agencies were not allowed to provide similar services for real tourists.
The situation also affected airlines serving Belarus. Due to ongoing crisis Cham Wings Airlines terminated their flights from Damascus on short notice, stating they cannot distinguish between regular travellers and illegal migrants. In the same time, Turkish Airlines amongst others stopped selling tickets to Minsk to passengers with certain nationalities, e. g. from Yemen and Iraq after the European Union threatened sanctions against airlines which (unknowingly) participate in illegal migration. Belavia has also ceased ticket sales to certain nationals for flights from Turkish airports to Belarus upon the Turkish government's decision to support the European Union regarding the recent events. The same applies to all flights from Uzbekistan and Dubai, whose governments announced similar guidelines.
Minsk National Airport consists of one slightly curved, four-story passenger terminal building originally built in the style of brutalist architecture, which has since been modernized and expanded. The ground floor features the arrivals area while the second floor consists of the check-in hall with 43 counters and 13 departure gates, some of which are equipped with jet bridges. The airside features the usual duty free shops, an airport lounge and other passenger amenities as well as a branch of Burger King. The first and third floors are mainly used for administration and maintenance.
Airlines and destinationsEdit
The following airlines operate regular scheduled and charter flights to and from Minsk:
|Air China||Beijing–Capital (resumes 25 March 2022)|
|Azimuth||Kaluga, Krasnodar, Mineralnye Vody, Rostov-on-Don|
|Belavia|| Almaty, Baku, Batumi, Dubai–International, Istanbul, Kazan, Kutaisi, Moscow–Domodedovo, Moscow–Sheremetyevo, Moscow–Zhukovsky, Nur-Sultan, Saint Petersburg, Sochi, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tel Aviv, Yerevan |
Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, Hurghada, İzmir, Sharm El Sheikh
|Passengers||Change from previous year||Aircraft operations||Change from previous year||Cargo
|Change from previous year|
|Source: Airports Council International. World Airport Traffic Reports|
(Years 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014);
Official website (Years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018).
The airport is located 42 km (26 mi) east of Minsk, and is linked with the city with a toll-free (for non-BY registered cars) highway. Free short term parking is available in front of the terminal. Minsk National Airport is linked to the capital by the M2 motorway. Bus, train, taxi and parking services are provided. The airport is served by buses 300Э and 173Э departing from Centralny bus station.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On 1 February 1985, Aeroflot Flight 7841, a Tu-134AK operated by Aeroflot with registration number SSSR-65910 en route to Leningrad Pulkovo airport, crashed into the forest shortly after takeoff, killing 55 out of 73 passengers and 3 out of 7 crew members on board.
- On 6 September 2003, an aircraft Tu-154 operated by an Iranian airline Kish Air hit trees in heavy fog as it was on approach en route from Tehran to Copenhagen. None of the 38 passengers and 4 crew members on board were injured.
- On 26 October 2009, S-Air Flight 9607, operated using a BAe 125 RA-02807 crashed on approach to Minsk National Airport. All three crew and both passengers died.
- On 23 May 2021, Ryanair Flight 4978, operated using a Boeing 737-8AS with 171 passengers on board, traveling in Belarusian airspace en route from Athens to Vilnius, was intercepted by a Belarusian MiG-29 over Belarusian airspace and forced to land at Minsk National Airport. Upon landing, the Belarusian KGB arrested two of the passengers, opposition activist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega. The other passengers were allowed to reboard the plane to depart for Vilnius after seven hours.
- UMMS. "Minsk National Airport". airport.by. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Показатели деятельности предприятия | Национальный аэропорт Минск". airport.by. Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
- "История аэропорта | Национальный аэропорт Минск". airport.by (in Russian). Archived from the original on 28 June 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Национальный аэропорт "Минск": 35 лет | Национальный аэропорт Минск". airport.by (in Russian). Archived from the original on 13 April 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Минск (Аэродром)". ekskursii.by. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
- "Airport History - Minsk National Airport". Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "EU imposes new economic sanctions on Belarus over 'hijacked' flight". the Guardian. 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
- hessenschau.de (German) 25 May 2021
- "Treasury Holds the Belarusian Regime to Account on Anniversary of Fraudulent Election". United States Department of the Treasury. 9 August 2021. Archived from the original on 9 August 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
- "German minister faults airlines on Belarus migrant arrivals". AP News. 14 October 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
- "Hundreds of migrants present at Minsk airport: report". polandin.com. 30 September 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
- "Migrants jam-pack Minsk Airport, head to border cities Hrodna and Brest, sleep on streets (pics, videos)". Belsat TV. 11 October 2021. Retrieved 30 October 2021.
- Марина Волкова (20 October 2021). "Прямо сейчас в аэропорту Минска на мигрантах нелегально наживается несколько турфирм. Мини-расследование KYKY (речь о миллионах!)". kyky.org (in Russian). Retrieved 30 October 2021.
- spiegel.de - Syrian airline ends flights to Minsk (German) 13 November 2021
- faz.net - "Turkish Airlines cooperates with the EU" (German) 12 November 2021
- haberturk.com - "Belavia, Türkiye’den Belarus’a Irak, Suriye ve Yemen vatandaşlarını taşımayacak" (Turkish) 14 November 2021
- belavia.by - Belavia news 14 November 2021
- belavia.by - Belavia news 18 November 2021
- airport.by - Airport Map retrieved 16 October 2021
- airport.by - Season Timetable retrieved 16 October 2021
- aeroflot.ru - Minsk retrieved 1 December 2021
- airchina.com - Flight schedules retrieved 1 December 2021
- azimuth.aero - Flight map retrieved 1 December 2021
- en.belavia.by - Timetable retrieved 1 December 2021
- irishtimes.com - EU agrees sanctions on Belarus after forced landing of Ryanair flight 24 May 2021
- "Timetable". www.tez-tour.com. 1 December 2021.
- flydubai.com - Route map retrieved 1 December 2021
- turkishairlines.com - Flights to Minsk retrieved 1 December 2021
- utair.ru - Timetable retrieved 1 December 2021
- uzairways.com - Map retrieved 1 December 2021
- turkishcargo.com - Flight Schedule retrieved 16 October 2021
- "Показатели деятельности предприятия - Национальный аэропорт Минск". Archived from the original on 4 July 2019. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
- Airport Council International's 2005 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2006 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2007 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International Archived 11 August 2016 at the Wayback Machine's 2009 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2011 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2012 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2013 World Airport Traffic Report
- Airport Council International's 2014 World Airport Traffic Report
- "Transport - Minsk National Airport". Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- "ASN Aircraft accident Tupolev 134AK CCCP-65910 Nezhivka".
- "Kish Air aircraft strikes trees during landing".
- "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 27 October 2009.
Media related to Minsk National Airport at Wikimedia Commons