Uzbekistan is considering establishing a separate structure for airports and issuing tenders for the operation of the airports by investors with the aim of enhancing the level of service, according to Deputy Prime Minister Aziz Abdukhakimov.
Uzbekistan may issue tenders for the operation of airports by investors;
It is shifting its stance on the private sector as it belatedly moves away from inherent Soviet bloc thinking;
There is already a foreign loan agreement in place at Tashkent, and the new terminal will be operated by the state airline.
Mr Abdukhakimov added that there is “serious intent” in relation to air services, with plans to enhance the effectiveness of the deployment of the national aircraft fleet and for the attraction of foreign carriers to expand the network. Uzbekistan also plans to evaluate the government regulation system for air services. (Investors are always looking for light-handed regulation, of course).
Uzbekistan is the only double-landlocked country (i.e. it is surrounded by other landlocked countries) in Central Asia and thus is highly dependent on air services. Uzbekistan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north; Kyrgyzstan to the northeast; Tajikistan to the southeast; Afghanistan to the south; and Turkmenistan to the southwest.
The population, based on 2017 data, is estimated at 33 million.
In the aviation sector, there are 12 airports currently with international scheduled service. The largest is Tashkent Isram Karimov International with 3-4 million passengers per annum (no official figures have been released in the last three years), which would logically be the primary target for any investors. It is the third busiest airport in Central Asia after the Almaty and Astana airports in Kazakhstan.
Source: The Blue Swan