Manas International Airport
|Airport type||Joint (Civil and Military)|
|Elevation AMSL||637 m / 2,090 ft|
Manas International Airport (Kyrgyz: , Manas el aral?q aeroportu; Russian: ? , Mezhdunarodnyi Aeroport Manas) (IATA: FRU, ICAO: UCFM) is the main international airport in Kyrgyzstan, located 25 kilometres (16 mi) north-northwest of the capital Bishkek.
The airport was constructed as a replacement for the old Bishkek airport that was located to the south of the city, and named after the Kyrgyz epic hero, Manas, at the suggestion of writer and intellectual Chinghiz Aitmatov. The first plane landed at Manas in October 1974, with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin on board. Aeroflot operated the airport's first scheduled flight to Moscow-Domodedovo on 4 May 1975.
When Kyrgyzstan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the airport began a slow but steady decline as its infrastructure remained neglected for almost ten years and a sizable aircraft boneyard developed; approximately 60 derelict aircraft from the Soviet era, ranging in size from helicopters to full-sized airliners, were left in mothballs on the airport ramp at the Eastern end of the field.
With the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States and its coalition partners immediately sought permission from the Kyrgyz government to use the airport as a military base for operations in Afghanistan. Coalition forces arrived in late December 2001 and immediately the airport saw unprecedented expansion of operations and facilities. The derelict aircraft were rolled into a pasture next to the ramp to make room for coalition aircraft, and large, semi-permanent hangars were constructed to house coalition fighter aircraft. Additionally, a Marsden Matting parking apron was built along the Eastern half of the runway, along with a large cargo depot and several aircraft maintenance facilities. A tent city sprang up across the street from the passenger terminal, housing over 2,000 troops. The American forces christened the site "Ganci Air Base", after New York Fire Department chief Peter J. Ganci, Jr., who was killed in the 11 September terrorist attacks. It was later given the official name of Manas Air Base, renamed Transit Center at Manas in 2009, and closed and handed over to Kyrgyz authorities in 2014.
Around the same time the Kyrgyz government performed a major expansion and renovation of the passenger terminal, funded in part by the sizable landing fees paid by coalition forces. Several restaurants, gift shops, and barber shops sprang-up in the terminal catering to the deployed troops.
The airport terminal underwent renovation and redesign in 2007. The contemporary IATA codename FRU originates from the Soviet name of the city of Bishkek, then called Frunze. In 2012, the airport handled 1,056,000 passengers.
During its existence Kyrgyzstan Airlines had its head office on the airport property. On 2 January 2002 the airline moved its head office to the Kyrgyzstan Airlines Sales Agency building of Manas International Airport. Previously the head office was also on the grounds of the airport.
|Air Astana||Almaty, Nur-Sultan|
|Air Manas||Chelyabinsk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Zhukovsky, Novosibirsk, Osh, Perm, Tashkent|
|Avia Traffic Company||Delhi, Dushanbe, Grozny, Irkutsk, Jalal-Abad, Kazan, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk-Yemelyanovo, Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Zhukovsky, Novosibirsk, Osh, St Petersburg, Surgut, Voronezh, Yekaterinburg|
|Pegasus Airlines||Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen|
|Sunday Airlines||Seasonal charter: Phuket|
|TezJet Airlines||Batken, Jalal-Abad, Osh|
|Turkish Airlines||Istanbul,Ulaanbaatar (ends 1 January 2020)|
|Ural Airlines||Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Zhukovsky, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg|
|Fars Air Qeshm||Tehran-Mehrabad|
|Almaty, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Guangzhou, Islamabad, Istanbul-Atatürk, Shanghai-Pudong|
Media related to Manas International Airport at Wikimedia Commons