A new terminal at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport will not be operational for at least another year, the Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday.
Authorities had planned to permanently open the T-2 terminal in time for the 2018 World Cup, but Rosaviatsiya, the Federal Agency for Air Transport, failed to build a second runway to accommodate the new terminal's flights in time. Instead, the 38 billion ruble ($602 million) T-2 terminal opened for a month during the World Cup to handle the increase in traffic and has remained idle ever since.
Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich has reportedly appealed to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev for additional funding that would allow Rosaviatsiya to find a new contractor to complete the runway's construction, Vedomosti reported. In the meantime, the T-2 terminal will remain idle for a further year.
The second runway's original construction deadline was Nov. 30, 2016, but progress was halted when JSC “Construction Management No. 1” (SU-1), the firm contracted to build the runway, went bankrupt. The contractor was a part of the MDS-Group, which was owned by Sergey Solodovnikov and had expanded rapidly on government contracts in Tyumen during the 2000s.
But in 2015, suppliers filed around 40 bankruptcy claims against SU-1 and Solodovnikov was arrested on suspicion of misusing some of the 3.5 billion rubles ($55.5 million) in funds paid in advance for the runway's construction.
Despite this, the contract with SU-1 was not terminated until Nov. 16, 2018, as the airport’s management believed it would take too long to find an alternative contractor, Vedomosti reported.
A representative from Domodedovo Airport told The Moscow Times that it expects "Rosaviatsiya to complete the runway's construction and build airfield infrastructure under new circumstances requiring a contractor change. The airport has fulfilled its obligations to upgrade terminal infrastructure."