Plans to build a business airport at Khodynka, near Moscow, have suffered a setback following objections from a government agency and strong public opposition to the project.

The airfield, 10km (6 miles) from the Russian capital, is surrounded by aircraft industry enterprises such as Ilyushin, the Sukhoi Design bureau and MAPO MIG. Three years ago, the project received the status of presidential programme, meaning that the special programme office in Boris Yeltsin's administration was to supervise it. Promised Government financial guarantees on the $12 million investment needed have failed to materialise because of Russia's financial situation.

The State Nuclear Inspection has also objected, as the airfield approach path passes over nuclear reactors at a nearby research institute. To overcome the objection, there is a plan to build a new runway with a slightly changed orientation.

The Khodynka project is in direct competition with another proposal, to build a business airport at Tushino, which is also close to the Russian capital.

The existing paved runway at Tushino is intended to be lengthened to allow aircraft such as the Ilyushin Il-114 and Yakovlev Yak-42 to land.

Moscow chief architect Alexander Kuzmin is reported to favour plans to establish a business airport at Tushino.

Source: Flight International