Reconstruction of Uman military airfield into a contemporary international airport will turn the city into an international multicultural tourist center. Such reconstruction is both economically feasible and technically and legally possible. Dmitriy Gilgur, President of VimesVC Ltd (UK), ordering party, presented the conclusions of the working group that developed pre-project proposals, at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
The airfield reconstruction will allow servicing not only military but also civil and business aircrafts. The airport must take care of about 20% of the total predicted tourist flow. Under the Uman Transformation Concept, the airport reconstruction will increase the tourist flow rate by 1.5 – 2 times. “With the most modest forecast, if we have a 1,5 coefficient of the tourist flow increase, in 3-5 years the annual traffic through the airport will be about 138,000 passengers,” said Anatoliy Shengait, coordinator of Jewish pilgrimage to Ukraine, lawyer, senior engineer of the project, co-author of proposals. “Now tourists do not come to Uman because of travel difficulties. Many are asking for such an airport to be built. We discussed it, and people are willing to pay twice as much for such a ticket,” said Hillel Cohen, President of International Charity Foundation “Hatzalah” (Ukraine-Israel), co-author of proposals.
The enterprise needs about € 72 million investment to become profitable. “This amount covers pre-project development, the development of the project, examination, and certification of the airfield. This is a preliminary estimation. It can decrease during construction,” said Viktoria Boyko, engineer, and economist on aviation, senior specialist at “Ukrspetspoekt”, project advisor. The economic efficiency of the project will depend not only on the airport itself but also on revenues from non-aeronautical activities, said Ms. Boyko. “We calculated that this would range between from 20% to 40% for 20 years. Given the seasonality factor, it is very important for this airport,” she added.
The project payback period is from 17.5 years (pessimistic forecast) to 13.3 years (optimistic forecast) from the beginning of airport operation. In case of the maximum implementation of the schedule specified in the activity chart, this period may increase, but not more than by 15%. “With timely implementation, both pessimistic and optimistic development versions can be considered positive,” noted Viktoria Boyko. She added that the calculated indicators of economic efficiency can only be achieved, if other important elements of the Uman Transformation Concept, such as an amusement park and tourist service center, are built. “It is also necessary to implement a number of marketing activities. It may be a creation of an airline company in Uman to serve the passengers,” added Viktoria Boyko.
Ms. Boyko stressed that the highest economic efficiency rates can be obtained only if the investor and the state jointly build, own, and co-operate the enterprise. “The state-private partnership is, probably, the most optimal form of implementation for the project,” said Dmytro Siromakha, deputy director on legal issues & organization at “Ukrspetspoekt”, project advisor.
Oleksandr Zaporozhets, Ph.D. in technical sciences, director of Ecological Security Institute, National Aviation University, reviewer of proposals, emphasized that the airport construction will not have an adverse impact on the life quality of the inhabitants of the suburbs. According to the forecasts, the aviation noise level after the reconstruction will meet national and international criteria and will be acceptable for a comfortable life of the population. “There are many measures that are taken at the airport and in the city in order to reduce the aviation noise impact down to a level that will be perceived positively by people,” he said.
“Currently Uman military airfield is operating. For it to operate in the civil aviation interests we agree to take a whole set of measures. The Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, the General Staff, the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and the Ministry of Economy know about these measures. I think that we will work together to implement them,” noted Colonel Pavlo Yavorskyi, representative of the Air Forces Command.