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Wheels of luck and wings of hope

Yakutia has developed a development strategy for all types of transport - road, rail, water and air

Wheels of luck and wings of hope
Special project Yakutsk Initiative

"Only by plane can you fly." This can be said about almost half of our country. There is romance in the song, problems in life. It is difficult to build new houses and factories, develop deposits, just live a normal and comfortable life if your town or village has poor "transport accessibility". There are many such places in Russia, for example, in Yakutia, which is one-fifth of all Russia in area and less than one hundred and forty-fifth in terms of population. On a significant part of its territory, everything is like a classic: "there are no roads - only directions."

In the republic, which has been steadily rising in recent years in various ratings of Russian regions (first of all, when assessing the investment climate), the development of transport is given special importance. It is no coincidence that the largest transport companies in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia Airlines, Polar Airlines, ALROSA, Lenskoye United River Shipping Company JSC, and Yakutia Railways JSC) are included in the list of backbone enterprises of federal significance. Their work is really important for the whole country.

The administration of the republic has proclaimed the strategy of spatial development of the region as one of the main priorities for the near and long term. The head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev, has repeatedly emphasized in his keynote speeches that ensuring the republic's transport connectivity for the implementation of such a strategy is the number one task. And time is running out, the construction and modernization of all elements of the transport infrastructure must be carried out as quickly as possible. The timing of the implementation of major projects in this area (such as a bridge over the Lena River in the Yakutsk region, reconstruction of highways, modernization of airports) is the next four to five years.

The Strategy for the Socio-Economic Development of Yakutia identifies driver territories on which a special stake is made. These are the Yakutsk urban agglomeration, the Western complex province, the North Yakut support zone, the Eastern mining province and the Southern industrial complex. For each of these territorial complexes, the issue of transport development also requires a special approach and effective solutions. In 2018, only 16% of the population of Yakutia did not experience problems with transport accessibility. By 2032, a goal has been set - to bring this figure to 87%, that is, the absolute majority of the region's residents.

In order for these figures to cease to seem fantastic and become reality, the development of all types of transport that currently exists in Yakutia is required. These are aviation, railways, river and sea shipping, road transport. There is only one type of transportation in Yakutia - on electric traction. No trolleybuses in cities, no commuter trains. But even without them there is a lot of work and trouble.


Aviation for the republic is the main mode of transportation; there is no alternative to it. Air transportation accounts for two-thirds of the total passenger traffic in the region, and emergency services are also used by aircraft. In Yakutia, there are three airports of national importance (Yakutsk, Tiksi and Mirny), over 30 airfields, plus about 200 helipads. However, there are only nine airports with artificial turf runways, and they leave much to be desired.

“It will shake a lot, buckle up,” the flight attendants say to the passengers during takeoff and landing.

At the end of 2019, on the eve of the coronavirus epidemic, Yakutia obtained from the federal center more than 38 billion rubles for the reconstruction of 16 airports, including in Olekminsk, Neryungri, Zhigansk and Verkhnevilyuisk. In 2020, construction of a new runway at Mirny airport was to begin. But the plans had to be adjusted.

The quarantine restrictions have taken a heavy toll on the aviation industry. Transportation fell sharply, and airline revenues fell. According to the Minister of Transport and Roads of Yakutia, Vladimir Sivtsev, passenger turnover decreased by 53% compared to the same period last year, cargo and mail were transported by a third less.

The government of the republic, of course, did not leave its aviation industry without support. AK Yakutia issued loans for 370,6 and 500 million rubles and a loan for 120 million. For the company Polar Airlines provided a state guarantee for 100 million rubles, and budget loans that were issued earlier were restructured for 200 million rubles. A state guarantee of 100 million rubles was provided for PJSC "LORP" and this enterprise was financed for 400 million rubles to deliver fuel to the regions of the Far North.

But the problems of the aviation industry were solved not only with the help of subsidies. The head of the region, Aisen Nikolaev, defended the position of Yakutia on the issue of creating a Far Eastern air carrier, expressing doubts about the advisability of creating one common airline. They were going to create it on the basis of Aurora, a subsidiary of Aeroflot, with the transfer of a controlling stake in the Sakhalin Region.

The head of the republic is confident that an alliance of already operating carriers can become much more effective, taking into account the interests of all carriers in the region and creating a single route network. At the same time, within the framework of the alliance, Nikolaev has repeatedly stated, the airlines of Yakutia, taking into account their experience, can become pivotal in the Far East in the operation of Russian-made equipment. The leadership of the republic also proposed creating a network of aircraft maintenance centers for such an alliance.

The position was expressed clearly, harshly and reasoned. Moscow listened to the opinion of the region. The discussion continues, no hasty decisions will be made. In addition, additional measures were introduced to financially support the aviation industry. On behalf of the Russian president, the government has increased the number of flights subsidized by the federal budget. There are 42 of them in the Far East, some of them lie over the territory of Yakutia.

In December 2020, an enlarged air traffic control center will open in Yakutsk - the 14th out of 15 such centers in the country. The center in Yakutia has already been built, equipped with the most modern automated air traffic control systems, primarily for security purposes. From there, dispatchers will control the movement of aircraft in the upper airspace, said the first deputy head of the Ministry of Transport, head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Alexander Neradko at a plenary session of the II Northern Forum on Sustainable Development. The forum was held in Yakutsk at the end of September and was dedicated to the development of the transport infrastructure of the northern territories.

Helicopter transportation should also receive a new impetus for development. Russian Helicopters holding, at the suggestion of Polar Airlines, is currently modernizing Ansat helicopters. The goal is to increase the range of flights and make them safer. These developments were recently presented at the XIII International Helicopter Industry Exhibition HeliRussia in Moscow. The holding and the air carrier entered into agreements on service maintenance and personnel training, as well as on the supply of seven Ansat helicopters in an updated modification.


Yakutia is a region for which water transport is of great importance. The republic has five large river ports and two sea ports in the Arctic zone (Tiksi and Cape Verde). In less than five months, which the navigation lasts there, it is necessary to deliver goods to all settlements of the republic. In 2020, it is planned to carry more than 1,2 million tons of cargo by water transport, including 323 thousand tons from the category of "life-supporting" along the Arctic rivers. Back in August, the regional leadership took this work under tight control in order to prevent disruptions in the northern delivery. In general, there is no lagging behind.

Waterways in Yakutia are more than 20 thousand km, including along such powerful rivers as Lena, Yana, Aldan, Kolyma, Indigirka, Olenek and others. The main water carrier in the republic is OJSC Lenskoe United River Shipping Company (LORP). It performs both sea and river voyages, has unique river-sea class vessels in its fleet, plays a leading role in organizing the northern delivery to the ports of the Northern Sea Route. A number of other companies - water carriers operate in Yakutia. Transport schemes include interaction with many constituent entities of the Federation, but the bulk of traffic is within the region.

The republic's leadership considers the development of water transport one of the key tasks. They pin great hopes on the commissioning of the high-tech Zhatayskaya shipyard - it will be launched in 2021 as part of the state program "Social and economic development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation." More than four billion rubles were allocated from the federal budget for this. Zhatayskaya shipyard will become a key tool for solving the most important task of updating the river fleet of Siberia and the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation. The business plan provides for reaching a production capacity of ten vessels per year by 2025. The updated river fleet and a modern shipyard will ensure uninterrupted transportation of goods in the Lena basin and in the northeast of the Arctic zone, including through the Northern Sea Route.

There are also original developments that owe their appearance to a new economic mechanism - the republican Technopark. Its residents, under the guidance of designer Yuri Ilyin, have developed and presented aero boats that can reach speeds of up to 100 km / h with an engine volume of only 1,5 liters. Prototypes were collected at their own expense. Now they hope to get the opportunity to launch such boats into serial production with the support of the government of the republic.

One of the most important issues is the cost of transportation. They are not cheap, and the regional government subsidizes tickets for residents of settlements that cannot be reached by other means of transport. Over this year, tariffs have increased, and the leadership of Yakutia considers it necessary to keep this issue under constant control in the interests of citizens. And not to allow private carriers to "cheat" the price of tickets.


In the summer of 2019, trains No. 328/327 "Nizhniy Bestyakh - Neryungri - Passenger" were launched. At first glance, ordinary news, in fact, means a lot for the inhabitants of the republic. The railway reached almost to Yakutsk itself. The key link of the transport junction comes into operation, where the railway, three highways and waterways converge. After the bridge across the Lena is built, one of the largest multifunctional hubs in the Far East will start operating there.

About 50 billion rubles were invested in this project, of which 16,7 billion are funds of the region itself, the rest is investments from the federal budget and Russian Railways. The return will be many times greater. Including - freight rates will decrease by 25%, people will have the opportunity to travel not only by plane and save on tickets (a compartment from Neryungri to Nizhny Bestyakh costs a little more than three thousand rubles, reserved seats are half the price, it is incomparable with air prices).

As the head of Yakutia, Aisen Nikolaev, said, regular railway communication will provide the republic with a 20 percent increase in ground passenger turnover. And what is very important - it will give people confidence that they are not cut off from the "mainland", from the rest of Russia.

The construction of a three-kilometer bridge across the Lena, which, in fact, will connect Eastern Siberia and the Far East (more than a quarter of the country's territory), will link three federal and five regional highways, the Amuro-Yakutsk railway, a river port and an international airport - for Yakutia this is, without exaggeration , project of the century. Design and survey work and the development of the necessary documentation are in full swing now.

It has already been calculated that with the opening of the bridge, the republic can count on an inflow of more than 200 billion rubles in the form of new investments. Plus significant budget savings on transportation during the "northern delivery" - about four billion rubles. And, of course, new jobs, revitalization of all spheres of the economy, growth in freight traffic, additional taxes to the budget. The socio-economic effect, according to calculations, should be 1,6 times higher than the amount spent on the bridge.

But one big project doesn't negate all others. Within the framework of the national project "Safe and high-quality highways", the republic is planning large-scale work on the reconstruction of local and regional roads, city streets, traffic intersections, bridges and other facilities. It should be borne in mind that half of more than 30 thousand km of Yakut roads operate only in the cold season, because these are winter roads. They are laid along almost every river and to any large settlement. But only if the water is ice and the land is not a swamp. It will take a lot of time to solve this problem. Now the republic plans to form a backbone road network in accordance with priority projects. These are such routes as "Vilyui", "Lena" (automobile AYAM, as it is called), "Kolyma", "Amgan", Namsky and Pokrovsky tracts. In the near future, they plan to repair 186 km of roads in the region, as well as more than 20 km of streets in its capital.

The leadership of the republic has set a goal - to bring 85% of Yakut roads to a standard state, to reduce the number of accidents by organizing traffic, high-quality markings, fences, road signs.

All this, of course, is not a matter of one year, but in Yakutia they are sure that soon people will see the first results of large-scale projects that have been launched and are successfully continuing in the transport sector. Without this, it is simply impossible to talk about the full development of the region.

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