Expensive and non-working Uzhhorod airport: Why was a regular flight canceled?

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Mykola Tyshchenko

More than 160 million hryvnias from the state budget (for capital expenditures) and almost 8 million hryvnias from the regional budget (for maintenance) have already been spent on the work of the Uzhgorod International Airport this year.

Manages a utility company Oleg Kotsyuba, which was appointed in May 2021. He was appointed to the position by the then head of the State Administration Oleksiy Petrov, who previously worked in the SBU, and then as the deputy of the same Petrov.

Therefore, it is worth understanding why millions are allocated for the maintenance of the airport, and its functionality, due to the activities of the management and related people, is questionable.

At the beginning of the summer, the representative of the president (as he calls himself) in Transcarpathia, Mykola Tyshchenko, violently informed that the Uzhgorod International Airport fully worked, regular flights to Kyiv resumed. This happened after there was no normal air service for more than 5 years, because the airport did not have the appropriate equipment.

When Mykola Tyshchenko undertook to solve this problem, it was announced that the airport would be fully operational and that flights would be able to be carried out both in the dark and in difficult weather conditions. But it didn’t work out. According to experts familiar with the work of the Uzhgorod airport, there is still no technical support there: starting from a deicer, a machine that cleans ice from a ship, a bus that picks up passengers (they were involved from Uzhhorod public transport), a fire engine, ending with navigation equipment that fully and did not work.

The main reason for the suspension of flights by Windrose is precisely the impossibility of landing planes in case of fog or heavy rain. Already three times in the last period, the company’s planes had to land in Lviv instead of Uzhhorod.

Of course, this causes significant inconvenience for passengers, they are not sure that they will fly to Uzhhorod. That is, in the winter period, the probability of landing a plane is significantly reduced and the airline cannot guarantee the provision of services to passengers. That is why the reason for the carrier’s refusal is quite understandable.

The question arises for the people who are responsible for the operation of the airport or the people who undertook to solve this problem at the level of Kyiv.

But at the moment it looks like it was nothing more than a temporary PR during the activity of People’s Deputy Tyshchenko in Transcarpathia.

The head of the airport, Oleg Kotsyuba, seems to have tried to attract additional equipment from Boryspil, as if some of it was obtained, but as it became clear from the result, it was not enough.

Meanwhile, the airport did not even inform about the suspension of flights and the reasons for such actions. Although he reports on the exchange of experience with other airports, on the installation of iBox and other minor issues. And there probably won’t be any flights until spring (as stated in the Windrose company), until the weather conditions improve.

The conclusion from this situation is very simple: instead of a comprehensive solution to the issue of the airport’s operation, the authorities turned it into PR for PR’s sake, and not thorough work to solve the possibility of Transcarpathians in mobility and flights at least to Kyiv.

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