BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug.31
By Asif Mehman - Trend:
Azerbaijan has launched a process of rapid restoration of its territories [liberated from Armenian occupation] after the historic victory in the 44-day second Karabakh war (from late Sept. to early Nov.2020), Trend reports.
One of the priority areas within the process is the construction of airports.
First of all, the construction of the Fuzuli international airport began, the length of the runway of which is 3,000 meters, and the width is 60 meters. It's envisaged that the first test flight there will be performed on September 5, 2021.
Another airport is under construction in Zangilan. The runway of this airport will be three kilometers long. The air harbor will be able to receive all types of aircraft, including heavy cargo ones. The airport is scheduled to be commissioned by 2022.
A third airport is under construction in Lachin. The location of this airport is unique – it’s located 30 km from Lachin, 60 km from Kalbajar and 70 km from the city of Shusha. The airport's runway, which meets all standards, is three kilometers. Lachin international airport, which is being built by a local company, will also be able to receive all types of aircraft.
Benefits of future airports for Azerbaijan and the whole region:
Military importance of airports
In terms of military importance, the airport under construction in the Lachin district should be mentioned. It’s important to have an airport near districts, bordering on Armenia, which continues its provocations even after the Statement of November 10, 2020 [between presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Armenia’s prime minister to end the second Karabakh war]. Taking into account possible provocations of the Armenian side in the future, it’s necessary to restore the transport structure of the region.
The second Karabakh war was marked by the introduction of new technologies into the military sphere. In this regard, unmanned aerial vehicles deserve special mention. Modern wars are waged using UAVs and drones in addition to manpower. For example, the communication range with the UAV operator Bayraktar TB-2, which was effectively used by Azerbaijan in the second Karabakh war, is 150 km. The presence of airports in Lachin and Zangilan will expand the effective range of the UAV.
Benefits of future airports for cargo transportation
International airports under construction in the liberated territories will be important for cargo transportation, including international transportation. Given the industrial potential of the liberated territories, airports will play an important role in terms of the rapid export of industrial products to the world market, which will lead to the expansion of export opportunities for the region as a whole.
Given that the Zangilan airport will be connected with the Zangezur corridor, in this direction there will emerge great opportunities for the transportation of goods. First of all, the cost and time of cargo transportation in Azerbaijan in the direction of Nakhchivan will be reduced. Moreover, there will be no need to use the territory of a third country.
Along with Nakhchivan, cargo transportation to Turkey will also be simplified. For comparison: last year, trade with Turkey exceeded $4 billion. Considering that the Zangezur corridor will be integrated into the East-West transport corridor, this figure will certainly increase.
Benefits of future airports for regional tourism
There is a serious interest in Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region both from the Azerbaijani population and from foreigners. The beautiful nature, history, architecture, and antiquity of Karabakh attract many people, but, of course, first of all, it’s necessary to ensure the safety of people, therefore the liberated territories must be completely cleared of mines.
Experts highly appreciate the tourism potential of the liberated lands. The mentioned airports will allow full use of the existing tourism potential. The Lachin international airport deserves special mention: its proximity to the great natural beauty of Kalbajar and the cultural capital of Azerbaijan, the city of Shusha, will allow tourists to travel comfortably to these places.