Kazan International Airport (IATA: KZN, ICAO: UWKD) is an airport located in Tatarstan, Russia, around 25 km southeast of Kazan. It is the largest airport in Tatarstan, and the 15th busiest airport in Russia. Kazan Airport now serves not only Kazan, but practically all of the 3.8 million citizens of the region.
On 15 September 1979, Kazan 2 was completed. On 28 September 1984, Kazan 1 (located inside the city) was shut down, and Kazan 2 was renamed to Kazan Domestic Airport. On 21 February 1986, Kazan Airport gained international rank. This was a drastic announcement, because the USSR Council of Ministers only rarely allowed its citizens to fly out of the USSR.
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Tatarstan region separated from USSR's single Aeroflot airline and created Tatarstan Airlines. This airline didn't gain an efficient amount of investments in its 22 years of service, and its operating license was officially terminated on 31 December 2013.
On 26 October 1992, Kazan got its first international regular flight: Kazan - Istanbul - Kazan. This flight was (and still is) operated by Turkish Airlines and 145 annual trips are made to and from Istanbul, making itthe most popular international route.
In 2008, Tatarstan's president, Mintimer Shaimiev, after winning the bid for the 2013 Universiade Olympic Games, began creating a set of major reform projects of Kazan. Apart from repairing the streets, bringing in investments, integrating English language and improving the bus route system in Kazan, Shaimiev also began to completely redesign Kazan's airport. He designed the blueprints for Terminal 1A, and planned out the complete refining of the airport between 2008-2025. Shaimiev's successor and today's president of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, used the blueprints, which were made in 2009, to begin the construction of Terminal 1A and a complete redesign of Terminal 1 (essentially also a new reconstruction).
First, a new 3700 meter runway was built, and edge lights were added on both of the runways. This made it possible for the airport to operate 24/7. In 2012, a new airport fire station was built. In 2012 the construction of Terminal 1A began. Later that year, Terminal 1 began its own renovation. Terminal 1A was officially opened on 7 November 2012. Terminal 1 finished renovations on 22 June 2013.
Today, the new airport has more than 30 check-in slots and seven conveyor belts. It has three separate duty-free shops, selling merchandise such as alcohol, cigars and cigarettes, chocolates. It offers popular brands such as Costa Coffee. The airport can sustain around three million passengers. Further expansions and the creation of Terminal 2 will occur before the FIFA 2018 World Cup.
Following the Skytrax Airport and Airline Awards, Kazan Airport was nominated for 4 stars in 2014, and was called Russia's and CIS's best airport.