The domestic terminal at Vnukovo International Airport.
Only one of the runways is currently used at Vnukovo Airport.
Vnukovo is only 28km from the centre of Moscow, making it popular with VIP travellers.
The 'V' shaped arrangement of the current two runways at Vnukovo International Airport.
Vnukovo Airport's older international terminal at night.

Vnukovo International Airport, which first opened in 1941, is situated about 28km from the centre of Moscow (11km from the ring road) and serves over seven million passengers (2008) including many VIPs visiting Russia. The airport is regularly used by President Vladimir Putin for making state visits.

Vnukovo ranks fourth in terms of passenger numbers among the Russia’s airports. It is co-owned by the City of Moscow and Vnukovo-Invest, has two passenger terminals that offer a total capacity of 3,000 passengers an hour with about 65,000 flights a year.

The airport has two intersecting runways of 3,000m and 3,060m in length. Each runway is 60m wide with a 10m-wide safety shoulder on each side. The runways joint capacity is 60 aircraft movements an hour. Vnukovo International has also been awarded Category II operational status by the ICAO, which enables it to continue its flight operations even in limited visibility conditions (at 209m above sea level it is Russia’s highest airport).

“Vnukovo International Airport is situated about 28km from the centre of Moscow.”

In 2003, an ambitious strategic reconstruction development program was launched by the Government of Moscow, after the transfer of the airport controlling stake from the Federal Government. This programme had the support of the Russian Federal Government and also the Presidential Administration.

The development programme will run until 2015 and is aimed at transforming Vnukovo International Airport into a highly competitive air transportation hub.

The airport currently has two passenger terminals (International terminal B and domestic terminal two), the general aviation terminal (for charter business flights), one cargo terminal and 60 aircraft stands. The old VIP terminal was demolished to make way for the new international terminal currently under construction.

A 2.5km two-level elevated highway that adjoins the facades of all Vnukovo’s mainline terminals and travels through the entire forecourt of the airport was constructed in 2008.

The major upgrades of airfield infrastructure have also been completed. The upgrades included the renovation of Runway 2 and the commissioning of a new air traffic control tower.

The works, which include cabling, wiring and IT system integration, will take place under an IT Division Action Plan for 2009. The plan also involves the enhancement of functionality and services of web check-ins and the installation of self-service check-in stalls throughout Terminal 1.

The upgrade phase of Runway 2 by ABB was completed in March 2009. The construction of a new mail and cargo facility is almost complete. The new cargo facility will provide 57,000m² of floor space and will be able to handle 150,000 metric tons of cargo a year.

Vnukovo International received an award in 2007 for succeeding in the implementation of state-of-the-art information technology. It was also the winner of an IT Leader award.

VIP terminal

In July 2007 a new temporary VIP terminal was launched in Vnukovo airport. The two-storey 2,000m² building located nearby the operating international passenger terminal has a metal fabric construction faced with metal panels on its facade.

The 720m² VIP hall is situated on the ground floor of the new building and has separate entrances for passengers and the airfield. The first floor of the building is intended for airport services.

The new terminal also has a separate driveway for vehicles and a car park for 50 vehicles. 35,000 VIP passengers will be handled a year. When the construction has been completed, VIP passengers will be served in specially equipped halls on the fourth level of the new terminal currently under construction.

Safedock systems

“The travel time from Kiev station to Vnukovo airport with the new express train is 35 minutes.”

In 2003 Vnukovo airport selected three Safedock® systems to increase the safety levels of its gate docking system. These were so successful that during 2006 an order was placed for two more Safedock systems.

The Safedock system uses 3D measuring technology to determine the docking movements of the aircraft during taxiing towards the airbridge. Safegate can ensure that the five Safedock systems employed in Vnukovo will provide a safe and efficient docking procedure.

The airport has also adopted GroundStar systems for the handling of ground operations during normal operation of the airport.


For nearly three years the project was in question, and decisions were delayed, but in June 2006, ADB signed the contract for the upgrade phase one of runway two of Vnukovo International Airport.

ADB supplied the equipment required to refurbish the second runway and two taxiways, including AGLAS (for control and monitoring of nearly 1,000 individual lights) and upgrade it to Category II. In addition, the airport reportedly wants to renovate and extend the landing strips.

The expansions included lengthening one of the two V-shaped runways (3,000m and 3,060m) to 3,800m and upgrading the instrument landing system from the present CAT II to CAT III.

The existing taxiways were extended as part of the expansion and new ones were also built, along with an extension to the cargo terminal and a multi-storey car park.

Apron works

The works to expand the apron have been underway since September 2006. The contractor placed the concrete pavement on the apron with the help of an efficient concrete paving machine, Power Pavers SF-2700.

“Vnukovo International Airport serves over seven million passengers.”

Involved in the works on this project were the construction teams of three companies: Progresstech Ltd, Progresstech-Center and Kyrgyz-Progresstech. In July 2006 a state-of-the-art batching plant was developed on the Progresstech-Center construction site. The plant, with a capacity of 160m³ an hour, is equipped with two-shaft mixer Simem MSO-6000 producing 4m³ of ready-mixed concrete in each batch. The working documentation for the apron expanding project was developed by Progresstech Ltd. The concrete pavement area laid is in excess of 240,000m².

Terminal construction

The Vnukovo Airport terminal A construction contract was awarded to the German-based company Obermeyer Planen + Beraten GmbH in conjunction with Transtroi of Russia. The cost to complete the project, by 2007/2008, was estimated at $300m. The new terminal is scheduled to open in April 2008.

The terminal has a total floor space of 201,000m² and passenger throughput capacity of 7,800 an hour, adding up to a capacity of 20–22 million passengers a year. The new terminal building is being constructed on the site of the existing domestic passenger terminal. The oldest of the Vnukovo passenger terminals, dating back to 1941, was dismantled in November 2005 prior to the start of the new terminal.

Terminal A will enhance the airport’s passenger throughput capacity. The airport will handle up to 20 million passengers annually by 2015.

The existing domestic terminal two, built in the late 1970s, continues in operation but will eventually be dismantled during the last phase of construction and replaced with the new terminal.

Baggage handling systems

In July 2007 Vanderlande Industries, a supplier of automated baggage handling systems, was awarded the contract for the baggage handling system for the new Vnukovo International Airport terminal. The contract, worth over €10m will allow the airport capacity to handle over eight million passengers in the new terminal.

The baggage handling system for Vnukovo terminal one consists of, in total, 140 check-in positions and 15 arrival TRIPLANAR carousels and will be installed in two phases; in phase one, 92 check-in positions and eight arrival carousels are foreseen.

“The old VIP terminal was demolished to make way for the new terminal.”

The system is equipped with 100% hold baggage screening. Sorting bags to the make-up area for the flights is performed with a HELIXORTER, a tilt tray sorter with a closed deck, with a complete back-up system. In total 52 destinations can be served.

For back-up of the sorting system two carousels are foreseen. Vnukovo already has a Vanderlande Industries system in operation at their current terminal.

Previous projects

In April 2004 the new international terminal B (cost $50m) was opened. In the future it will probably be converted to handle domestic flights. The terminal’s total floor space is 80,000m² allowing for the annual passenger throughput capacity of four million.

In August 2005 the Vnukovo Express was opened, which is an inter-modal, direct rail link connecting Vnukovo Airport with Moscow’s Kiev railway station. The travel time from Kiev station to Vnukovo airport with the new express train is 35 minutes.

In 2007 Vnukovo implemented a resource management system called GroundStar, from INFORM. The system plans management of stands in real-time as well as optimised staff and shift planning, deployment of staff and equipment in real-time.