Photo from UNIAN Deputy Infrastructure Minister Yuriy Lavrenyuk says the passenger flow at Ukrainian airports has doubled since 2016. "Without a doubt, the rapid development of aviation was one of the most tangible results of the work of the Ministry of Infrastructure for 2016 – 2019. For the period of 2016 - 2018, the passenger flow at Ukrainian airports increased by 100%. While in 2015 it amounted to 10 million passengers, in 2018, this figure reached 20.5 million, growing further. Fourteen new air carriers have entered the Ukrainian market. The share of discount carriers is almost 30%. In addition, over 10 regional airports have resumed operations," he said. According to Lavrenyuk, the passenger flow at the Boryspil International Airport in 2018 was up 72% against 2015. This was due to the transformation of the airport business model of and a strategy to develop an international hub there. Now the share of transfer passengers has reached 30%, which is the main sign of the hub, while over 50 carriers now fly to from Boryspil. Terminal F has been successfully reconstructed at the Boryspil Airport, which now hosts discount carriers exclusively. As for the Lviv International Airport, passenger flow there in 2018 increased by 180% against 2015. The total number of carriers operating to from Lviv on a regular and chartered basis in the period of 2015-2018 increased from 14 to 21, including four discount carriers. In addition to the rapid growth in passenger traffic, the volume of freight and mail shipments by air is also increasing. In 2018, this figure reached +40% compared to 2015. Lavrenyuk said in addition to state airports, regional airports were also developing actively. "To develop regional airports, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine in 2016 approved the State Target Program for the Development of Airports for the period until 2023. According to this program, the government allocated over UAH 1.7 billion (US$68.2 million) for the reconstruction of the runway at the Odesa Airport, which will be able to accept almost all types of aircraft in line with ICAO standards. The new runway will allow accepting heavier types of aircraft, including a Boeing-767, which will double the passenger flow, while the capacity of the new runway will be almost double that of the existing one. It is also planned to install light-signal, radio-navigation and meteorological equipment to meet ICAO&#39;s Category III (ICAO). Read alsoPassenger traffic in Kyiv airport up 16%, to 1.3 million in Jan-June Lavrenyuk also said the new terminal of Odesa Airport, which was built as part of a public-private partnership, had already been partially commissioned this year. The capacity of the new terminal is 1000 pass hour, a full launch of the terminal is planned before the end of this year. It is expected the terminal will be able to serve about 3 million passengers a year. According to Lavrenyuk, within the framework of the target program, UAH 287.74 million (US$11.5 million) is also allocated for completing reconstruction of the Lviv Airport. However, to increase passenger traffic and the number of flights, it is necessary to fund the completion of construction projects, which were launched in preparation for Euro 2012. In addition, on the initiative of the Ministry of Infrastructure, in June 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine allocated UAH 200 million (US$8 million) for the reconstruction of the runway at the Dnipro International Airport. As for the airports of Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Poltava, and Kherson, positive shifts are also seen there. "The construction of a new terminal at the Zaporizhia Airport was started in 2017 and about 90% of works has now been completed. It should be opened already this autumn. The runway has been repaired at the Mykolaiv International Airport, the apron has been restored, and the terminal was partially repaired, navigation systems were restored, and an aviation security service is now operating. An international border crossing point was opened at the Poltava Airport in 2017, and international flights have already been launched this year. Also, according to the airport development program until 2023, UAH 29.9 million (US$1.2 million) is allocated for the reconstruction of the runway at the Kherson Airport," the deputy minister said. Lavrenyuk emphasized the restoration of flights from Kyiv to Uzhgorod Airport, the successful audit of the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in 2018 and obtaining a certificate of compliance with EU standards are no less important steps. Read alsoUkSATSE receives EASA certificate as national provider of air navigation services "The EASA certificate is the basis for obtaining rights from the Slovak side to provide air traffic services in the airspace of Slovakia, which is necessary for deploying aircraft to perform operations at Uzhgorod Airport. Now the Ukrainian and Slovak sides have begun work on the preparation of the draft Agreement between the two Governments on determining the conditions for the use of a certain part of the airspace of the Slovak Republic. The relevant draft was agreed with the executive authorities of Ukraine and forwarded to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to be transmitted to the Slovakian side. The Agreement will contribute to the restoration of full-fledged work of the Uzhgorod Airport," he said. In addition, as an alternative to the Uzhgorod Airport, the Ministry of Infrastructure is considering a possibility of building an airport in Dnipro based on a former military airfield at the expense of state funds and investors. One of the mechanisms for attracting state funds is the inclusion of the construction of the Mukachevo Airport in the State Target Program for the Development of Airports for the Period until 2023. Lavrenyuk said for the further development of the aviation industry, the government plans to develop discount routes by foreign and domestic air carriers, both in international and regional traffic, to continue the reconstruction and restoration of regional airports by attracting funds from state and local budgets, as well as private investment, to approve the Aviation Transport Strategy until 2030, and to sign and implement the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA) deal. "Ukraine has every chance of becoming a powerful air hub between Europe and Asia. We will make every effort to fully restore operations at all regional airports in Ukraine," Lavrenyuk added.