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Designers Wanted for City-Sized Airport

Airport operator Basel Aero, a subsidiary of billionaire Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element, will begin accepting bids on Sept. 6 to design Krasnodar's Pashkovsky airport.

The winner will get a contract for 30 million rubles ($910,000), Basel Aero said in its call for applicants.

The plan to build the airport, which has potential to become a major aviation hub in southern Russia, calls for up to 9 billion rubles in investments through 2043, Vedomosti reported.

The airport is a Basel Aero joint venture with Singapore's Changi and Sberbank, the likeliest source for the project's financing.

The project basically means the creation of a city centered around the airport, a source in Basel Aero said.

The company wants to develop the area between two existing runways, acquire more land and eventually build a third runway to replace one of the existing ones, a step that has not been included in the federal program for the development of civil aviation until 2020.

The new airport, which is scheduled to be completed in 2017, will be designed to serve up to 21 million passengers per year, more than eight times the number of people who flew through the Krasnodar airport in 2012.

A company source believes the bidders will be consortiums of Russian and foreign companies such as Grimshaw, Lufthansa Consulting or France-based Egis, which confirmed it will send a bid.

Basel Aero's large project intensifies the struggle between Deripaska's Krasnodar airport and fellow oligarch Victor Vekselberg's Rostov-on-Don, both of which aim to become the main aviation hub in south of Russia.

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