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New airport, new future, says President

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, July 15
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili visited Poti Airport, which is under construction, on July 13. This airport, equipped with a modern French radar system, will enable the Georgian side to fully control its airspace. It will also be able to receive planes in any weather conditions due to its modern civil aviation system infrastructure.

The President of Georgia spoke of the importance of installing the radar system. “Some people used to call the Poti-Batumi-Kutaisi project with Mestia and Anaklia branches utopian but everything will become clear in spring 2012. This will be an airport like we had in Sokhumi, with its long runway. This is how Georgia's geography is being changed by creating lots of new jobs,” Saakashvili said, explaining that the airport is also effectively Batumi Airport as it is just half an hour from this city by the new road. “Poti should become the town of employment – it had faced lots of difficulties but every problem can be easily resolved now and this airport will become an important keystone not only for Poti but rest of Georgia,” said the President, explaining that the project aims to attract investment and to encourage Georgia to integrate with the world.

Saakashvili remembered that during the August War in 2008 Russia used strategic aviation to blow up the Georgian radar system and the whole airport infrastructure. “They blew us up and destroyed us, but we have rebuilt everything better than it was before. I’m very glad that the first important step for the revival of the airport has been made. It’s laying the symbolic stone – the heart of the building. I want to congratulate the Head of the Supervisory Board of Georgian Air Navigation Giorgi Karbelashvili, who doesn’t speak much but does a great job,” the President said, adding that Karbelashvili was the first to reinstall radars after the war.