AAirport Astana is one of the most modern airports of Eurasian continent. Its history has begun from 1930 when airport was built 3 kilometers away from Akmolinsk city (now – Astana). There was a square field for aircraft take-off and landing, adobe 8-room station with a small waiting hall, a two-room house for pilots and fuel storage on the airport territory.
From December 1, 1931 the regular air traffic was established between Semipalatinsk and Akmolinsk (day of enterprise establishment). At the water flood period, the aerodrome was closed. Communication between aerodrome and city was by phone, ferry (there was no bridge over Ishim river), by foot path..
In the first few years the air traffic was ad-hoc by character, the timetables used to be as follows “aircraft departure on Monday morning” or “on Wednesday at sunrise”.
Transportation of passengers, mail and cargo was carried out by aircrafts: К-4, К-5, PR-5, P-5, P-2.
IIn 1934: the regular flights were established, with the following routes::
1. Alma-Ata – Bertras – Karaganda – Akmolinsk – Atbasar – Kustanai – Sverdlovsk.
2. Karaganda – Petropavlovsk – Kurgaldzhino – Akmolinsk – Zhana Arka – Presnovka.
In the beginning of 1946 the first group of Po-2 aircrafts arrived to Akmolinsk for regular service. The group belonged to Karaganda aviation enterprise.
The following routes were opened for passenger and mail transportation: Akmolinsk – Kurgaldzhino – Zholymbet – Aksu – Bugumbay – Bestube – Astrakhanka – Balkashino – Blagodatnoe (settlements of Akmolinsk region). In 1946 operations division was organized consisting of 2 persons.
In 1946 aviation began to render services for the national economy – medical aviation.
At the end of 1947- at the beginning of 1948, the fleet consisting of three Po – 2 aircrafts was formed at the Akmolinsk airport base. This fleet was part of air group which was based in Karaganda.
The airport was equipped with modern equipment (for that days), construction development has started: a Finnish house for radio station, three buildings and a garage were built. The total number of staff amounted to 40 – 50 persons. The airport has begun servicing heavier types of aircraft LI-2 in addition to light aircraft.
AAfter extension of the runway in 1951 airport accepted aircraft IL-12, and later – IL-14. In 1954 air squadron was established on the link base. Air fleet was replenished with aircraft YaK-12, AN-2. The airport starts round-the-clock operations.
United Air Squadron of Akmolinsk was established in May 9, 1959. In 1959, aircraft AN-2 was additionally allocated for to United Air Squadron of Akmolinsk, which allowed increasing coverage of local air routes.
Akmolinsk airport became the 3rd class airport on October 16, 1960.
In 1961 the first own aircraft LI-2were received, which began regular flights by routes: Akmolinsk – Stepnogorsk, Akmolinsk – Kustanai.
On November 4, 1963 the airport of Tselinograd (formerly known as – Akmolinsk) accepted the first aircraft IL-18 in new terminal, located 18 km far from the city.
aircraft IL-18 in new terminal, located 18 km far from the city.
On December, 1963 aircraft IL-18 began to operate on regular flights. The airport terminal was at a building stage, therefore the adapted 2-storeyed building served as air terminal, where the Air traffic control service has been located
On February 28, 1966 the new air terminal was transferred into operation, and in June of the same year all services of united aviagroup relocated to the new airport. The old airport which exists since 1930, in 1966 was transferred to sport club DOSAAF.
On April 21, 1969 the aircraft park of Tselinograd aviagroup has replenished with the first aircraft AN-24. With reception of aircraft AN-24 the volume of passenger, mail, and cargo transportation has sharply increased. People began to fly to many cities of the former Union on own airpark.
Beginning from 1975 the aircraft TU-154 has firstly landed on our runway. Since this moment regular flight by aircraft TU-154 on Alma-ata – Tselinograd – Moscow route and back has been opened.
Historical mark for Akmola (Astana) aviators was the change of the capital. Airdrome reconstruction begun and finished in a relatively short time: the runway with artificial covering was extended for about 3500 meters; taxiway and apron were also expanded. Replacements of light system and the radio navigating equipment; the VIP building was constructed, the airport complex was reconstructed.
From 2002 to 2005 the large-scale international project of airport reconstruction has been carried out. Solemn opening of new passenger terminal building was celebrated on February 2, 2005.
Now Astana International airport has a category of the International Civil Aviation Association – IIIА. And also accepts and renders services for aircraft of all types without restriction on take-off weight – IL-76, AN-124, B747-400F.