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Pulkovo Airport Prepares for Takeoff

Published: October 16, 2013 (Issue # 1782)



  • Volunteers have the chance to get a sneak peek at the new terminal as well as find unique photo opportunities.
    Photo: Yekaterina Kuzmina / Vedomosti

  • Just a few of the 110 new passport control points at the new terminal.
    Photo: Yekaterina Kuzmina / Vedomosti

  • Airport volunteers crowd around one of the new check-in desks awaiting instructions on where to go next.
    Photo: Yekaterina Kuzmina / Vedomosti

On the overcast autumn morning of Oct. 8, at least 200 St. Petersburg residents arrived at the city’s Pulkovo airport knowing they would not fly off to exotic destinations.

However, the prospect of the airport as a destination did not deter them. In reality, all 200 of the people were volunteers, whose task it was to test the long-awaited new terminal of the city’s airport, now in the final stages of preparation for an early-December opening.

Cheerful students, armed with the inevitable iPads, focused adults and inspired ladies of different ages all donned reflective orange safety vests and construction helmets to explore the new terminal.

To the sound of jackhammers being used nearby, all of the participants of the test crew were given simulated flight tickets to different destinations such as Kaliningrad, Moscow, Frankfurt, Pula, Yerevan or Prague.

Having received suitcases filled with newspapers, the volunteers quickly and smoothly completed all pre-flight procedures, including security inspection, check-in, pre-flight inspection and boarding. Some of the participants received cards with a special mission developed by the company responsible for testing the new facility and played unaccompanied minors while others carried containers used to transport pets. The memo handed to all of the volunteers, however, asked participants not to simulate drunk or misbehaving passengers.

“This is our six-year-old unaccompanied minor,” a Pulkovo employee said to the women staffing the check-in desk for the Prague flight as they pointed to a young woman of 25. The girl smiled shyly and was then handed over to a staff member responsible for her care.

Many volunteers were impressed with the size of the new terminal where some of them ended up getting lost because of inadequate or missing signage.

“It’s almost like the airport in Dubai!” commented 69-year-old volunteer Nina Kuznetsova, waiting to board the flight to Prague.

“This airport also produces the impression of space thanks to its shiny metal and colossal size. I am pleased that we have it now and it will be nice to fly to St. Petersburg! Our city is worthy of such an impressive airport!” she said. Despite her advanced age, Kuznetsova is not only engaged in real estate activities but also participates in various volunteer projects.

Andrei Smirnov, a 27-year-old sales specialist who came with a friend to test the new terminal, was also impressed by the size of the building, but noted that at the moment there were not enough signs to make finding the way easy.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, July 31


Develop your leadership abilities during a lecture by famous Russian author and coach Radislav Gandapas. The event starts at 9 a.m. at 5 Lodeinopolskaya Ulitsa. The price for entry is 20,500 rubles ($570).


Relax and enjoy a Parisian atmosphere with some romantic and laidback jazz tunes during the Night of French Music at Lenny Jam Cafe, 63 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 250 rubles ($7).


The Women’s Business Club is hosting a Beauty Brunch where participants are invited to discuss the latest news in the beauty industry and listen to lectures by professional stylists in the business.



Friday, Aug. 1


Bikers from all around the world will gather to take part in a parade, extreme shows and rock concerts during the International Biker Festival that revs its engines today and runs through Aug. 3 near Olgino Hotel, 4/2 Primorskogo Shosse.


The Peter and Paul Fortress will be turned into an open-air cinema today and tomorrow as part of the 5th International Short and Animation Film Festival. A huge screen across the fortress walls will air short films non-stop with board games, photo sessions and other activities also on offer for visitors. For more information, visit www.opencinemafest.ru



Saturday, Aug. 2


Gatchina Palace Park Museum will host its second annual Night of Light, an impressive audio-visual show across the night sky. Tickets are 600 rubles ($16).


If graphic design is more your thing then check out Illustration Day, where you will be able to visit an exhibition, attend lectures by professionals and even show experts some of your own work. The event starts at noon at Zona Deystvia, 73 Ligovsky Prospekt. The entrance fee is 350 rubles ($10).



Sunday, Aug. 3


History lovers shouldn’t miss the chance to see reenactments of World War I battles in Pushkin at noon. Besides exciting war scenes, visitors can enjoy live music, historical costumes, an equestrian show and a fancy-dress parade starting from the Moscow gates.


Garage Sale, the popular and growing flea market where nothing is priced over 500 rubles ($14.11), starts today at noon in Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt. Be sure to get in early to score a bargain. Entry costs 50 rubles ($1.40)



Monday, Aug. 4


Continue the working week with a calm and steady mind with a free yoga lesson at 7 p.m. in the Bukvoyed store at 23A Vladimirsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Aug. 5


Visit The Romanov Dynasty doll exhibition today, where more than fifty porcelain dolls depicting Russian rulers, and made by Olina Ventzel, will be on show. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31 in Sheremetyev Palace, 34 Fontanka Naberezhnaya.



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