The launch date was not chosen at random: on June 14 the main sporting event of the year – the FIFA 2018 World Cup – begins in Russia. The high demand for aircraft parking, primarily related to the beginning of the football tournament, necessitated the introduction of the new apron at the appropriate time.
On June 7, permission from the Federal Air Transport Agency to enter new parking places was received. On the morning of June 13, a corresponding order was signed by A-Group Director of Operations, Igor Lozgachev.
At noon that same day, the new apron at FBO Sheremetyevo officially entered into service, and at 12:02 the first aircraft (an Embraer Phenom 100) landed. It was given an honour escort with follow-me vehicles to a new parking lot: 85T. The second aircraft (a Gulfstream G550) arrived at 12:45.
The new apron features a convenient location, right next to FBO Sheremetyevo Terminal A and hangar No. 2. This provides comfort for passengers, cutting-edge service, and minimal taxiing time. The new apron’s surface area of 72 000 m2 (775 000 square feet) permits the accommodation and handling of approximately 25 different classes of aircraft, including helicopters. Most of the parking lots permit self-powered taxiing for airplanes.
All airport services are completely prepared for operations on the new apron: ATC, ground handling, towing, airfield services, etc. Procedures were worked out in advance, all corresponding NOTAMs have been issued, and all updates to the aeronautical and airfield documentation have been completed.
Igor Lozgachev, A-Group Director of Operations, comments: “This large-scale project is unprecedented in Russian business aviation. I would not say it was easy; we had to face some difficulties, and as the beginning of the World Cup approached, we had to find extra energies and significantly accelerate the work. But, as always, we have managed it at the highest level. Today we are receiving flights and some planes are already on the new apron. But we move on: soon we will straighten and optimise taxiways by expanding in front of hangar No. 2, adding some new parking lots.”
A-Group CCO, Sergei Ryzhov, adds: “With the launch of the new apron, we are ready to fully fulfill the demand for business flights to Moscow. It’s quite a long time now since all slots issues at our airport were completely solved. New highways and junctions have been built, so traffic jams are also in the past. Our new apron will definitely give a new development impetus to the FBO. Welcome to Moscow!”
It’s also worth mentioning that besides apron parking, A-Group also provides hangar storage in its three hangars in Moscow, with a total surface area of 16 500 m2 (enough for up to 32 middle jets). In St. Petersburg (A-Group FBO Pulkovo) there are two more hangars with a total surface area of 6400 m2.