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Airport in Southern Russia's Krasnodar Receives First Flight Since Start of War

Krasnodar’s Pashkovsky Airport. Basel Aero (CC BY-SA 4.0)

An airport in southern Russia's Krasnodar region on Friday received its first flight since closing down early last year as Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian civil aviation authority Rosaviatsia said.

Rosaviatsia banned flights to 11 airports in southern and western Russia on the day President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into Ukraine, as fighting along the border posed air safety risks.

Authorities said Krasnodar’s Pashkovsky Airport received a passengerless test flight from the city of Mineralnye Vody, located in the neighboring Stavropol region, early Friday.

Local media shared footage of the Russian-made Sukhoi Superjet 100 landing and taxiing at the airport.

“Performing a test flight without passengers… is needed to check all aspects of the interaction between flight dispatchers and airport services,” Rosaviatsia said in a statement.

Pashkovsky Airport's operator said it was ready to resume flights pending government approval.

“Their work will be thoroughly analyzed for final decision-making,” Rosaviatsia chief Dmitry Yadrov said.

Russia's civil aviation authority said the country's Transportation Ministry had issued 1.5 billion rubles ($17.1 million) in subsidies to keep Krasnodar’s airport in working condition during its nearly two years of downtime.

Krasnodar is a major city of more than 1 million people, located east of annexed Crimea and south of Ukraine's partially occupied Donetsk region.

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