Construction is set to begin next year on the infrastructure for an extensive aerospace facility at Russia's Ulyanovsk Vostochny airport which will house aircraft assembly, component manufacturing and maintenance operations.

The facility, located near airframer Aviastar's plant, will have the status of a special economic zone.

Speaking during the MAKS Moscow air show, joint-stock company Special Economic Port Zones investor specialist Mikhail Dogadov said: "This year we're developing the project, next year we're going to start building the infrastructure."

The first stage of construction will be for the initial firms backing the scheme, which include Volga-Dnepr Technics, FL Technics and Viking, the new manufacturer of DHC-6 turboprops.

Ulyanovsk's regional authorities presented these early investors with certificates during the MAKS event.

Residents of the zone will benefit from lower taxes and exemption from customs duties, as well as cheaper land provision.

The first stage in the expansion covers 120ha to the west of Ulyanovsk-Vostochny's runway - a strip which is 5,100m (16,730ft) long - and will feature maintenance and repair operations, production and logistics areas, and a customs terminal.

Another 520ha has been set aside for a second expansion phase. Special Economic Port Zones said the activities on the site will include component production for the Sukhoi Superjet and Irkut MS-21 aircraft.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news