Inauguration of the second runway at Minsk National Airport
The second runway has been inaugurated at Minsk National Airport on 3 May. The ceremony was attended by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The ribbon was cut by Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko, Transport and Communications Minister Aleksei Avramenko, and Director General of Minsk National Airport Dmitry Melikyan. The event was attended by employees of the airport, Belavia airline, Belaeronavigatsia enterprise and organizations that participated in the construction of the new runway.
Lukashenko called the opening of the second runway an extraordinary
event. “Many experts persuaded me that we were not up to the task, that
we had never built runways and that we needed to invite a world-class
company. We almost reached an agreement with one of them. But when they
brought me a document for singing, it spelled out the amount worth of
$600 million. Thus the project was tabled then,” the President said
recalling the events.
The head of state recalled the 1990s when there was an endemic privatization. Many foreign investors wanted to buy all the airports in the country. “I decided against the privatization of the airports, including this one. The main gate to the country should remain in the hands of the state,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
According to the President, if Minsk National Airport had been privatized then, it would not be developing at such a pace today.
The President added that with the opening of the new runway the airport will not stop growing better. “We need to continue modernization efforts and make it more comfortable for people. We need to get this compound into shape, make it appealing. It seems nice but lacks appeal, as airports in other states have,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In honor of the opening of the second runway the airport employees gave the head of state a mock-up Boeing 767 300ER – air force one.
The President talked to the workers and thanked them for their contribution to the construction of the new runway. Aleksandr Lukashenko was also interested in their working conditions and salaries. The Belarusian leader noted that with the increase in passenger traffic, the salaries of airport employees will also rise. “Stability, however, is what matters most. If there is instability, no one will come here. We should remember this,” the head of state said.
“Thank you for what you did. It seemed impossible from the point of view of our government. Well done!” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.