Chelyabinsk Airport (IATA: CEK, ICAO: USCC) is an airport in Russia located 18 km north of Chelyabinsk. It services large airliners and can park up to 51 aircraft. It also serves as a secondary hub for Ural Airlines and Yamal Airlines.
Passenger flights to Chelyabinsk were served by Chelyabinsk Shagol Airport from 1938 and until it was repurposed for military only use.
The current Chelyabinsk airport, initially called Balandino Airport, was opened in late 1953 with a passenger terminal and a dirt runway. The runway was paved in December 1962. A year later, the first jet plane (a Tu-104) arrived to the airport.
A new terminal was built in 1974 which remains in service to this day as one of the terminal buildings. In 1994, the government-owned airport was privatized and started its first international flights.
Passenger traffic reached 1.1 million and declined heavily during the 1990s. In 2013, the airport handled 1.2 million passengers, breaking the Soviet-time record.
The new, longer runway was built in 1999 while the old runway was repurposed as a taxiway. The airport is accepting heavy aircraft including Boeing 747 and An-225.
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