Oral Ak Zhol Airport
From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia
Oral Ak Zhol Airport (Template:Lang-kk, Aqjol xalıqaralıq äwejayı, اقجول حالىقارالىق أۋەجايى; formerly known as Uralsk Ak Zhol and Podstepnyy during the Soviet era) Template:Airport codes is an airport in Kazakhstan located Template:Convert southeast of Oral (Uralsk). The airport is located south of the Ural (Oral) River. It is a small airport servicing medium-sized airliners. It has parking for 4 jets. This airport has two terminals – domestic and international. The airport also serves the nearby town of Aksai, which provides the majority of Ak Zhol passenger traffic, being the "capital" of the gas industry in West Kazakhstan. In the past, a weekly international charter flight was operated by Astraeus Airlines from Oral to London Gatwick/London Stansted; this was subsequently operated by Air Astana to Amsterdam; however the route was terminated, along with other Air Astana flights, due to the poor condition of the runway. The airport runway and facilities were inspected by Mott MacDonald to confirm that its substandard condition prevented the airport from accommodating larger jet aircraft. On 17 April 2013 the decision was made to transfer the airport's ownership back to the government for runway reconstruction.
Airlines and destinations
The No 12 municipal bus line connects Ak Zhol International airport with centrally located Uralsk train station. Service is available from 06:00 to 22:00 daily.
There is always a queue of available private taxi cabs at the airport parking lot.
Accidents and incidents
- On 15 April 2006 a British Airways Boeing 747 operating as flight number BA10 from Sydney to London via Bangkok with 354 passengers and 18 crew made an emergency landing at Uralsk Airport after a fire warning light went on in the cockpit. Although the only airport's landing strip is certified for operation of medium-sized aircraft the crew managed to perform a safe landing. There were no fatalities or reportable injuries, however the airport did not have the correct size of air stairs to reach the aircraft doors, the largest passenger aircraft that had operated on a regular basis previously had been a Air Astana Boeing 757. As the 747 was deemed too heavy for take-off smaller size aircraft were sent from Moscow and Bucharest to ferry the passengers to London.
- On 28 August 2009 an Itek Air Boeing-737-200 en route from Bishkek to Moscow performed an emergency landing due to oil leak on the port engine.
- On 17 November 2011 a Bek Air Fokker 100 operating as flight BEK-2011 from Almaty to Uralsk made an emergency landing in Uralsk after a go-around having a landing gear and cargo door failure alerts.