Civilian flights could resume even before end of war, Zelenskyy's chief-of-staff says

One of Ukraine's civilian airports may resume flights before the war ends, the head of the President's Office Andriy Yermak announced during a speech at the Hudson Institute as part of his trip to the United States.

In this context, Yermak emphasized the need to strengthen Ukraine's air defense.

"A reliable umbrella is needed. Its reinforcement in particular will allow us to reopen one of the airports in Ukraine. We already working on this with our partners," he said.

Yermak did not name the airport or the specific timing of its opening. According to Ukrainska Pravda sources, it could be a city in western Ukraine. The airport may be opened even before the war ends.

"It's a sign that a turning point. in the war is approaching. The next year will be decisive in this regard," added the presidential chief-of-staff.

Back in July 2022, the head of the Zakarpattya Oblast Council, Volodymyr Chubirko, announced the possibility of resuming passenger flights from Uzhhorod International Airport. At that time, the regional council allocated 26 million hryvnias ($717,632) for the airport.

A few days later, regional governor Viktor Mykyta denied Chubirko's statement. He emphasized that Uzhhorod Airport was not ready to resume flights in the near future because the skies over Zakarpattya Oblast were closed, as they were over the rest of Ukraine.

In August 2023, the Ukrainian airline Air Ocean Airlines proposed to reopen the airport in Uzhhorod. According to the company's chairman, Viacheslav Heriha, Air Ocean Airlines could launch flights from Uzhhorod if it is deemed safe to do so. The airport is located close to the Slovak border, and the plane enters the airspace of the NATO member state immediately after takeoff.

According to the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, restrictions on flights over Ukraine, as well as Moldova, Belarus, and Russia, will remain in place until 2029.

On April 11, 2023, Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise UkSATSE announced that flights in Ukraine would resume after the war ended. It later clarified that Ukraine would not open its airspace until it was 100% safe.