Uzbekistan Airports and Changi Airports International (CAI) have inked an agreement to jointly develop Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport, the largest international airport of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the third busiest airport by passenger traffic in Central Asia in 2019.

Airlines in the CIS are on a growth spurt. Many benefit from traffic that would previously have been routed through Russia.

Uzbekistan Airways is quickly expanding its fleet with new-technology Airbus A320 neo-family aircraft, as well as more Boeing 787 Dreamliners. New entrant Qanot Sharq is flying new Airbus A321 neos.

In neighbouring Kazakhstan, Air Astana and low-cost offshoot FlyArystan are growing fast with A320 neo-family aircraft and 787-9 Dreamliners in the pipeline.

Uzbekistan, strategically located at the heart of Central Asia and the crossroads of Europe and Asia, has a bourgeoning tourism industry buoyed by its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Passenger traffic at Tashkent Airport, the country’s main airport, exceeded pre-Covid levels in 2022 to reach 5.0 million passengers. With robust traffic growth expected from its budding tourism industry, Uzbekistan Airports JSC plans to optimise the operations of the current Tashkent Airport as well as develop a new airport that would help advance its trade and tourism potential.

Under the agreement, CAI will provide consultancy and technical services to Uzbekistan Airports in the management and operation of the existing Tashkent Airport, which includes capacity optimisation, improving operational standards, commercial planning and traffic development.

CAI will also work with Uzbekistan Airports to develop and complete a feasibility study in relation to the new Tashkent Airport Project.

“Tashkent has a huge potential as an international hub connecting Europe and Asia. The existing airport has many limitations – with its location in the center of the city, there is simply nowhere to expand it.

At the same time, passenger traffic is fast increasing with the airport reaching its capacity and not having enough aircraft parking lots during peak periods. Therefore, we are working on the issue of building a new airport,” said Rano Juraeva, chairman of the board of Uzbekistan Airports.

Eugene Gan, chief executive officer of CAI, said: “Changi Airports International is pleased to collaborate with Uzbekistan Airports JSC. Uzbekistan is one of the fastest-growing countries in the Central Asia region with great potential for business and tourism.

We look forward to sharing our airport development and management expertise to optimise the capacity, operational standards and financial performance of the existing Tashkent International Airport as well as support the plans to develop the new airport, which is in the pipeline, to support Uzbekistan’s plans to grow its trade and tourism industries.”