Moscow Vnukovo airport, home to Russia's main business aviation centre, is to open its second runway for business departures only in 2009, amid unprecedented demand for business traffic.

The use of the second runway, which is now under maintenance, is in anticipation of a further increase in business traffic from the Vnukovo 3 general aviation terminal, which saw 15% growth in 2007.

This will allow business traffic to operate without interference from scheduled commercial traffic and government air service flights, which operate from Vnukovo terminals 1 and 2, according to Maxim Fedosov, deputy director of customer services at Vipport, the ground services management company at Vnukovo.

Vnukovo also plans to open a dedicated helicopter operations facility, including a small hangar, by 2009 in response to demand from private operators of VIP helicopters. There are now around 65 such helicopters in Russia.

The planned new facilities are indicative of the boom in Russian business aviation services. Vnukovo signed a letter of intent in November to set up a maintenance facility with Jet Aviation for Beechcraft, Bombardier and Gulfstream business jets, with a line maintenance hangar to be complete by the end of the year.

Vnukovo handled around 14,000 business flights last year, with peak movements now reaching up to 100 a day.

Source: Flight International