Civil Aviation Day in Kyrgyzstan Date in the current year: October 7, 2024

Civil Aviation Day in Kyrgyzstan Civil Aviation Day in Kyrgyzstan is celebrated annually on October 7. This professional holiday was established in 1994 to recognize the special importance of civil aviation and its contribution to the economic development of Kyrgyzstan.

The history of civil aviation in Kyrgyzstan dates back to 1933, when the first airfield in the country was created according to the resolution of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Kyrgyz Autonomous Socialist Soviet Republic. It was located in the small village of Papenovka near Bishkek. The fleet was very small and consisted of three Polikarpov Po-2 (U2) biplanes that were mainly used for agricultural purposes.

In October 1933, pilot Nikolai Ieske and aircraft technician Yevgeni Balakshi made a flight over the Kungey Alatau mountain range at the height of 3.5 km. The anniversary of this event is now celebrated as Civil Aviation Day in Kyrgyzstan.

The rapid development of civil aviation in the Kyrgyz SSR began in the 1960s. Transport aircraft Antonov An-24 and Ilyushin Il-18 were put into operation, new airport facilities were constructed, and existing terminals of all airports in Kyrgyzstan were expanded.

In modern Kyrgyzstan, civil aviation is coordinated by the Civil Aviation Agency under the Ministry of Transport and Roads of the Kyrgyz Republic. The flag carrier of Kyrgyzstan is the Kyrgyzstan Air Company, operating as Air Kyrgyzstan. It is based at Manas International Airport in Bishkek and has a hub at Osh Airport.

Air Kyrgyzstan was founded in 2001 as Altyn Air. Following the bankruptcy of Kyrgyzstan Airlines in 2005, it took over as the national airline and received its current name. The airline is struggling financially (as of September 2020, it doesn’t operate any flights) and is on the list of carriers banned in the European Union. The currently operating air carriers (Air Manas, Avia Traffic Company, Sky KG Airlines and TezJet Airlines) are also banned in the European Union due to safety concerns.

Kyrgyzstan has five international airports (Manas International Airport, Osh International Airport, Issyk-Kul International Airport, Karakol International Airport, Batken International Airport) and six regional airports (Jalal-Abad Airport, Isfana Airport, Kerben Airport, Kazarman Airport, Naryn Airport, Talas Airport). The regional airports once used to be important, but today they don’t operate many flights, moreover, some of these few flights are seasonal.

Civil Aviation Day is the professional holiday of all civil aviation employees in Kyrgyzstan, including, but not limited to, pilots and co-pilots, flight attendants, flight engineers, air traffic controllers, aircraft mechanics, airport managers, airport security employees, airfield operations specialists, and more. It was established to highlight the importance of civil aviation as part of the country’s industrial and social infrastructure, the development and functioning of which are instrumental for ensuring national security and sustainable economic growth.

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