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Strong demand for cargo capacity in Moscow has seen Sheremetyevo International Airport launch the development of an additional 380,000 tonnes-a-year cargo terminal.
Construction is set to begin next year. Freight terminal operator Moscow Cargo has reported a 35% upturn in volumes since the first site opened this year.
Chairman of Sheremetyevo Alexander Ponomarenko said the strong demand was the result of a rising worldwide trend in air freight traffic.
“Thus it determines [our] strategic development goals,” he said, “to establish [Sheremetyevo] as the leading European hub for global cargo flows.
“We face and welcome this challenge, together with our key partners, PJSC Aeroflot, Volga-Dnepr Group and other cargo operators.
Mr Ponomarenko said the airport was targeting 700,000 tonnes handled annually by 2024, with development of the new terminal specifically geared towards achieving this.
The existing complex was completed in August, with all cargo operations relocated to the facility within two months of opening. It is equipped with automated storage and processing capability that covers 60% of processes and has seen cargo cycle times drop by almost two hours.
Sheremetyevo has also seen the volume of transfer cargo on international flights increase by some 80%, handling some 250 tonnes a day.
A spokesperson for Moscow Cargo said the facility could handle multiple types of special cargo, including temperature-sensitive, dangerous goods and live animals.
Russian daily Kommersant has noted that one of the investors in the new development includes Arkady Rotenberg-owned TPS Avia Holding. Mr Rotenberg has been the recipient of personal sanctions from both the EU and US, related to events that took place during the Ukraine crisis.