PM announces airport restoration in Kakheti

Kurdgelauri Telavi Airport. Photo by Irakli Garibashvili official website., 28 May 2014 - 18:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

After a 20 year break, Georgian and international tourists will soon be able to use the Telavi (Kurdgelauri) Airport to move inside Georgia.

Telavi Airport is located in Georgia’s Kakheti region, which is a one of the country’s more attractive places to visit with its unique wine culture.

Map of Georgian Airports. Screenshot of Google Map.

The Georgian Government said restoration of the Telavi Airport would benefit local people, boost the tourism market and develop internal air traffic throughout Georgia.

"Air travel within the country should be available very soon. In the first place, our people will benefit from this and tourists can also enjoy it. The region has great potential for tourism,” said the head of the Government, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili.

The idea to restore the failing airport came from the Prime Minister after he visited the Kakheti region earlier this week.

"In this region is a high concentration of unique historical and cultural monuments and unique nature, which attracts many tourists. We need to use [the region more effectively] and develop tourism in the region,” Garibashvili said.

During his regional visit, Garibashvili told Kakheti locals the airfield would be restored and a branch of the Tbilisi Aviation Institute would be opened in Kurdgelauri, Telvani Municipality, in the near future.

The local branch of the Tbilisi Aviation Institute would train commercial pilots and military Air Force pilots. Previously, students could only be trained abroad, which resulted in high expenses, the Prime Minister said. He believed the country would be able to save a significant amount of money by training pilots locally.

Garibashvili said strengthening Air Force infrastructure was a priority of the Government and Telavi airport was "a great place” to do this.

Representatives of the airfield said the restored airfield would renew flights to different cities of Georgia after being dormant for 20 years.

Meanwhile the Kakheti Region Governor said one of the priority areas for flights was the high mountainous region of Tusheti, which was famous for its ancient towers and spectacular landscapes. He said the demand to visit there was "quite high”.