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Ashgabat airport increases cargo capacity with new terminal

New air cargo facilities have been introduced in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan after the opening of a brand new international airport terminal.

Built on a 1,200 hectare site, the terminal incorporates 190 buildings with facilities for both passengers and cargo, as well as a new flight training centre and food preparation areas.

Operated by the Turkmenhovayollary State National Service, Ashgabat will be capable of handling 200,000 tonnes of cargo per year, with the new facility covering an area of 17,174m2. The cargo terminal includes an air cargo ramp with five aircraft stands, two cooling facilities and warehousing space.

An ETV-system (Elevating Transfer Vehicle) will assist in cargo handling and transfer between storage areas and each of the four import and four export loading dock bays.

The cargo terminal will also house Turkmenpost, the state run postal service, with sorting halls and service rooms.

A new 3.8km runway has been constructed, while the existing runway has been refurbished and increased to the same length, allowing aircraft of all sizes to land and take-off on either runway.

Covering an area of more than 190,000m3, the main terminal building is said to have capacity for 14 million passengers per year and has been designed to resemble a falcon - Turkmenistan's national bird - in flight. It also cost an eye-watering $2.3bn to construct.

Once the cross roads of the Silk Road trading route, the aim is to once again see the country become an important staging post, transforming it as a transit hub servicing the Middle East and neighboring countries including Iran and Afghanistan.

President Gurbanguly Berimuhamedov hopes investment in a new sea port at Turkmenbashi and a transnational railway line that provides direct access between Uzbekistan in the north, and Iran in the south will make Turkmenistan an important link between Europe and Asia.

Last summer, Lufthansa Cargo added a call at the airport to its summer schedule. Cargolux also calls at the airport

 Article by Air Cargo News.net 

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