Closing airports in Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Kharkov: versions and details

Over the weekend in the three major cities of Ukraine – Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye and Kharkov – State Aviation Service temporarily closed airports. This fact has made an unprecedented sensation in society and in social networks and the media began to discuss different versions of what happened – from the threat of terrorist attack before receiving US aircraft with weapons. According to the head of the Ministry of Transport Denis Antoniuk, airport operations stopped for safety reasons.

“Limiting taken in conjunction with the” UkSATSE. “With regard to airports in other cities, the information on the threats to them there not”, – said Antoniuk.

When work resumes airports, has not yet spoken.

“It’s not the Americans” The Defense Ministry rumors that the airport is closed for receiving US aircraft with weapons denied.

“Information about the landing of NATO aircraft untrue. The Ministry of Defence has no relation to this closure of airports”, – said the press service of the defense department Valentin Buryachenko.

A representative of the General Staff Vladislav Seleznev commented:

“In Kharkov not landed the US military. There is expected to arrive a group of Russian officers – representatives of the Center for Monitoring and Coordination of the ceasefire. They arrive with a view to rotation, to replace their colleagues in Debaltseve Donetsk region, which are here since September – from the start of the tripartite contact group (decide on a cease-fire. – Ed.) “- he said.

“The threats of terrorist attacks” Unofficially, one of the law enforcement agencies said they had to close the airport because of the threat of terrorist attacks:

“We have the information about possible provocations and sabotage in the air over these objects”.

The information on condition of anonymity confirmed the airline pilot of “Ukraine”, which serves the president and other senior officials, “flight crew announced that all three airports are closed” under the anti-terrorism “- that is, due to enhanced measures to tighten the regime on the most important strategic sites”.

Occasionally in the terminal “A” to Airport “Kharkiv” came passengers: they were trying to get information from the representatives of the airlines to resume flights.

“In this situation, we are also affected, as well as passengers. As far as we know, the flights are to resume on Tuesday, and the other information we do not have” – briefly answered at the ticket office of the airport.

Not being able to fly, people tried to leave by train. As of yesterday in the schedule “uz” meant seven trains, which can be reached from Kharkiv to Kiev, and tickets for these trains was missing.

In Dnepropetrovsk airport yesterday was also not crowded – passengers warned of the cancellation by phone, but those who bought a ticket via the tourist companies, operators have organized bus trips to the airports of Kiev, where passengers flying in the right direction.

“Cashiers in the terminals operate, and the airport for passengers is not closed. But the flights are not fulfilled: closed airspace”, – said the representative of “Austrian Airlines” in Dnepropetrovsk Tatiana Sahan.

In the same mode of working and the airport in Zaporozhye.

How to solve Closing airports carriers regarded as force majeure, but the money for unused tickets returned to the client.

“To make a flight to Tel Aviv, we have sent the passengers to Odessa. But if the passenger would prefer not to, so the cost of the ticket will be compensated at the place of purchase. Tickets are sold until Monday, but perhaps the situation will change,” – said in one of the country’s major airlines.

Open, when it becomes calm

“Closing the airports can be explained by at least two reasons: security reasons of passengers and measures to prevent the use of these airports air forces of the enemy, – said Sergey Tomchani. – All three airfields are essentially the frontline, and execute them from flying in combat at as illogical. State Aviation Service long ago had to close them, so as not to jeopardize the life and health of passengers”.

Or, he said, the government could close the airport to reinforce their security – in particular for placing air defense systems and perimeter security.

Military expert Sergey Zgurets also inclined to believe that such measures from scratch does not take:

“If the security services went to the closing of airports, they were out good reason. But they will open as soon as the threat to cease to be a reality, because these airports are very important for the country”.

If law enforcement agencies have reason to believe that there is danger to life, then they have a right to close the airport, said the former first deputy head of of the Ministry of Transport Alexander Grechko.

“Information about the threat if it arrives at the airport, you must immediately transmit to the authorities. It often happens that even anonymous call about the threat of a terrorist attack for such an object enough to stop for a while all flights. Also civilian airport is entitled to close State Aviation Service, but only for by order of the security forces”,- said the expert.

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