Today Boryspil Airport is the largest and the busiest airport in Ukraine. It connects Asia with Europe and America. The unique for Eastern Europe and the only Ukraine’s hub with regular airliners to the continents, celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The history of Ukraine’s main air harbor commenced from six shelter tents. That way a military airfield was equipped near Boryspil in the late 50-ies of the last century. The first passengers landed there on 7 July, 1959. They were brought by the world’s only Tu-104 jet passenger airliner. Before that it was technically impossible to land an aircraft of such class near Kyiv. That is why the Soviet government decided to create the Civil “Kyiv” (Central) airport on the basis of the military airfield. The airliner successfully passed the route from the capital of the USSR to the capital of Ukraine and turned back. That flight was noticed in history of Ukrainian aviation as the first one in the Boryspil airport, which later becomes the busiest one.
During the Ukraine’s independence, the airport experienced its second birthday. It happened when diplomatic ties were established, and therefore the terminal had to reach a fundamentally new level. On 11 March, 1993 “Boryspil” becomes a state international airport. Mykola SHMATKA was appointed as its first director and he had been leading the flagship of the Ukrainian aviation infrastructure for more than a decade, it is the longest term among all his successors.
A few years later Terminal C was opened. It was specially designed for servicing the first summit of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. Subsequently, it received VIP passengers on a regular basis. In 1996, for the first time in the CIS territory, the cargo handling complex started its operation. It had a fully automated cargo storage and delivery system with 1,200 seats. In a year “Boryspil” airport was recognized as the best one among the airports of the CIS countries.
Probably one of the most ambitious and touching events in the airport history is the launching of the runway No. 1. It was timed to the 10th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence. Then the first officials of Ukraine, the CIS, Europe ( and Metropolitan Volodymyr ?) arrived at the airport. Among the invited persons there were 38 heads of aviation administrations of European countries.
“It was a sunny spring day. The legendary “Ruslan” and “Mriia” aircrafts were the first on the runway, – the director of the airport Museum Petro DANKOV recalls. – Although the French offered their supersonic “Concorde” aircraft for that purpose. The guests from European countries, being skeptical at first, were impressed with our airliners and the technical capabilities of the runway. They were looking at the world’s largest airplane with child’s enthusiasm. In addition, inside the airliners there were beautiful expositions, made by the hands of talented airport staff. I have no doubts that 26 May, 2001 was remembered as a real holiday by thousands of people.”
- Today the airport services almost 10 million passengers – more than 67% of Ukraine’s passenger air traffic.
- The first loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was obtained by Ukraine for the restoration of the runway No. 1.
- On the day of the Euro 2012 final match in Kyiv, Boryspil Airport set its own record – served 630 flights. The total number of passengers of those days was almost 40,000 people.
- Terminal D is the largest one in Ukraine in terms of capacity. It is capable of serving 3,000 passengers on departure and 3,000 on arrival.
- The ornithological service operates at the airport to avoid unwanted collisions of airliners with birds. Experts scare away birds with noise and light signals.
- More than 22 years ago the Boryspil Airport Museum was opened. The history of the main air gates of Ukraine was shown on photos and stored on electronic media. Director of the Museum Petro DANKOV is also the chairman of the Council of Airport Veterans
- Boryspil Airport has its own anthem. Its author – Mykola HALAMAY – is an artistic director of the airport chorus. The team took the title of National chorus in 1998.
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