ArmInfo. A delegation of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia will visit the Czech Republic (Olomouc) to discuss the reconstruction of the Stepanvan Airport.
According to the official website of the government, the corresponding decision was signed by RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on September 27. According to the document, on October 11-13, 2021, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Armen Simonyan and expert of the Department of Railway, Water and Air Transport Policy Vardan Chilingaryan will be sent to the Czech Republic (Olomouc) to discuss the issue of reconstruction of Stepanvan Airport, and also get acquainted with the production of new types of aircrafts on the spot.
To recall, in October 2007, then head of the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Armenia Artyom Movsesyan, referring to the fate of the non-functioning airport in the Armenian city of Stepanavan, said that it was not profitable and at this stage there was generally a question of its expediency. "The airport is currently not operating because its operation is not profitable, and it is not advisable to continue to maintain a company that accumulates debts. It seems to me that the airport will be liquidated, and its property will be used for other purposes," Movsesyan said.
However, the Stepanavan Airport in the Lori region of Armenia in 2013 was transferred to the Ministry of Territorial Administration by a decision of the Armenian government. It was reported that repair work at the Stepanavan Airport will be completed in 2016. "To service the airport, we need heavy helicopters and light aircraft. Currently, negotiations are underway with the Russian and Swiss sides," former Minister of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situations (MTAES) of Armenia Armen Yeritsyan said at the budget hearings.
At the beginning of 2019, the Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia announced that it had opened a criminal case on the fact of abuses committed during the repair of the Stepanavan Airport in the Lori region. The violations consisted in the fact that the contractor company carried out the work not with its own money, but with public funds. According to the information of the supervisory authority, in March 2014, on the basis of a government decision, an agreement was concluded between Newtech Shin and the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Armenia to carry out repair work and capital construction at the airport. According to the agreement, the company was supposed to carry out the work at its own expense, but in the end, the officials of the Ministry of Emergency Situations handed over metal plates and other building materials to it for 255.6 million drams (about $ 525 thousand). The company used part of the materials for repairs, part was returned to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Sputnik-Armenia writes. However, as a result of the check, the prosecutor's office did not find 478 units of slabs worth 7.5 million drams (about $ 15 thousand). A criminal case was opened under clause 1 of part 3 of article 179 and part 2 of article 308 of the RA Criminal Code "Large-scale embezzlement", "Exceeding official powers, leading through negligence to grave consequences."
In July 2021, the press service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia reported that Deputy Minister Armen Simonyan received representatives of the Czech company Balus Tech. According to the information, during the meeting, director of the company Vladimir Nemets presented its activities and planned programs in the field of aviation in Armenia. In particular, the parties discussed the reconstruction of the Stepanavan Airport, as well as the organization of the production of small aircrafts on its territory. Armen Simonyan welcomed the initiative of the Czech company and expressed readiness for further cooperation. The parties decided to hold another meeting for a more detailed consideration of the project of the Czech company, which, if implemented, will be submitted to the Armenian government.