Kazakhstan plans shake-up of national air infrastructure

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Kazakhstan's government has decided to set up a single management company to operate the nation's airport infrastructure in an effort to further improve aviation safety.

Citing a recent presidential decree, the transport and communications ministry says the proposed company will consolidate airport management and development in the country.

Minister Askar Zhumagaliyev adds that it should assume responsibility for raising customer service quality and implementing international standards.

He identified several systemic problems with Kazakhstan's aviation industry, including the precarious state of many runways; limited throughput capacity at passenger terminals; low flight frequencies; and above-average fuel costs.

Working together with ICAO auditors, the government has proposed about 40 amendments to Kazakhstan's legal landscape - most relating to airline certification and air safety oversight.

"This legislation will lay a foundation for the future national flight safety programme," says Zhumagaliyev. "Alongside strict safety measures, it envisages establishing a designated agency to carry them out on a daily basis."

He expects that runways at all of the 18 Kazakh airports will be modernised and brought up to ICAO standards over the next three years. Throughput capacity of the country's Almaty and Astana airports should double, he says, allowing traffic to grow by at least 10% a year.

The ministry also plans to carry out blanket re-certification of all domestic carriers and aircraft involved in providing commercial air services in the country.