Sheremetyevo Airport will get an underground tunnel connecting the airport's north and south terminals within 18 months, a news report said Wednesday.
Passengers will be able to connect between terminals using automated trains that will travel beneath the runways inside a 1.5-kilometer-long tunnel, Sheremetyevo officials told Vedomosti.
Currently, only the terminals on the south side of the airport — D, E and F (formerly known as Sheremetyevo 2) — are accessible by Aeroexpress trains running from Belorussky Vokzal.
Travelers who want to get to terminals A, B and C, the three on the north side, have to take an awkward detour around the airport by bus.
A lack of infrastructure makes the northern terminals unpopular with airlines, so those terminals are underused, an airport employee said.
The project is expected to cost about $40 million to $50 million. Funding of 250 million rubles ($8.3 million) has been allocated for design work. The airport will have to look for private investors to work in a public-private partnership, sources told Vedomosti.
Sheremetyevo general director Mikhail Vasilenko said the talks with potential private investors were under way, but he refused to provide additional details.
He added that by 2015 Sheremetyevo plans to build another terminal in the north able to handle 5 million travelers per year and that the connecting tunnel is an integral part of the airport's expansion plans, the report said.