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Rotenberg Firm Finalizes Vnukovo Construction Deal

Infrastructure builder Transstroimekhanizatsia, or TSM, has signed a 7.45 billion ruble ($268 million) contract to renovate the main runway at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport, the company said Tuesday.

TSM, which won a tender for the reconstruction project in April, inked the deal, which will run through December 2012, with the Civil Airport Administration, the company said in a statement.

The contract includes rebuilding the first runway and taxi-ways, renovating the junction of the first and second runways and overhauling landing and navigation facilities.

Some flights will have to be diverted to Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports until work on the runway junction is complete, the company said.

Vnukovo is the smallest of Moscow's three main airports, but still handles 120,000 flights a year, the airport's web site says. The expansion is meant to allow it to increase that capacity.

Moscow's aviation infrastructure has been coming under increasing strain due to booming passenger numbers.

Vnukovo and the other two airports around Moscow — Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo — handled more passengers last year than in the previously best year of 2008.

Flights for top government officials, which are traditionally handled by Vnukovo, were transferred to Sheremetyevo ahead of the renovation project and will continue there until Aug. 1.

The move prompted concern that the over-burdened Leningradskoye Shosse that serves Sheremetyevo will face unprecedented jams during vacation season because the road will be blocked to make way for officials' motorcades.

While it is temporarily handling government flights, Sheremetyevo has recommended passengers use the express train from Belorussky Station to reach the airport.

TSM is a daughter company of Mostotrest, an infrastructure giant whose shareholders include Arkady Rotenberg, a former judo trainer of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

The firm is heavily involved in national infrastructure projects, including for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It managed to raise $388 million in a successful initial public offering in November.

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