Serving more than five million passengers a year, Simferopol Airport (officially Simferopol International Airport SIP) is the largest airport in Crimea. The airport has a domestic terminal and an international terminal, however Simferopol is not connected by any international routes, since most of the international community consider the Russian annexation of Crimea to be illegal.
Thanks to improvement works carried out on Simferopol International Airport in 2018, the airport can handle six and a half million passengers annually, with the potential to extend this to ten million in the long term.
A Brief History of Simferopol Airport
Simferopol has had a colourful history since being commissioned by the Council of People’s Commissars of the Crimean Autonomous Republic in 1936.
- 1936: Council of People’s Commissars of the Crimean Autonomous Republic allocates land for Simferopol Airport and construction begins. Flights between Simferopol and Moscow begin. In the years following, routes are established between Simferopol Airport and Kiev and Kharkiv.
- 1957: Terminal building built and lighting equipment installed on the then dirt runway.
- 1960: Concrete runway replaces the dirt runway. Parking facilities are added and the airport begins to operate around the clock.
- 1977: A second runway is built, designed for larger aircraft such as the IL-86 and IL-76. Simferopol Airport is the first airport in the Ukrainian SSR to operate a wide Ilyushin IL-86.
- 1989: The airport was designated as one of two alternative landing site for the Buran space shuttle.
- 2000: Old runway is taken out of service, as it is no longer strong or long enough to accommodate the increasing demands of the airport’s traffic.
- 2014: Airspace closed and international flights diverted due to Crimea Crisis. Interational routes were subsequently closed. In June, Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev signs a resolution to open Simferopol Airport for international flights, but as yet there are no takers.
- 2015: The Ukrainian parliament votes to rename Simferopol Airport the Amet-khan Sultan International Airport, in honour of Soviet war hero and pilot Amet-khan Sultan.
- 2016 construction begins on a new terminal building.
- 2018 new terminal opens boasting 16 gates and 55 check-in counters, able to handle more than six million passengers per year.
Airport Transfers from Simferopol Airport
A 24 hour, direct express route ran by Crimean Trolleybus, connects the airport with the city centre and Simferopol Rail Station. The service runs every ten minutes in both directions.
The Intercity Trolleybus lines 54 and 55 connect the airport with the cities of Alushta, Yalta and the south coast towns between. A direct bus also runs between Simferopol Airport and Sevastopol Bus Station.