Fraport AG and its partners in the Northern Capital Gateway consortium have acquired the rights to operate, develop and modernise Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The 30-year concession will initially involve the construction of a new passenger terminal, expansion of apron areas and the modernisation of other infrastructure at the airport, which is the fourth largest in the nation.

Groundbreaking for the new terminal building will begin this year and is scheduled for completion in 2013.

Fraport will invest nearly €1bn ($1.32bn) during this period to operate and expand Pulkovo Airport into a major air transportation gateway in Russia.

Featuring two independent runways and one domestic and one international passenger terminal, Pulkovo Airport handled 6.8 million passengers in 2009.

Fraport holds a 35.5% stake in the Northern Capital Gateway consortium, whose other partners are VTB Bank of Russia with 57.5% and the Greek Copelouzos Group with a 7% stake.