Sukhumi Babushara Airport (IATA: SUI, ICAO: UGSS) is the main airport of Abkhazia. It is located in the village of Babushara next to the larger village of Dranda and some 20 kilometers from Sukhumi, the capital of the autonomous republic.
The Sukhumi Babushara Airport in Abkhazia was built in the 1960s when Abkhazia was still a part of the Soviet Union.
Thanks to the city of Sukhumi’s proximity to the Black Sea, the airport was popular for domestic travelers looking for a beach getaway. At its peak, close to 5,000 people traveled through the airport each summer.
At the end of the 1970s, the concrete runways were thickened to enable the airport to receive heavy Il-76 aircraft. In the 1980s, a new airport building was built, while the runway was extended to enable Il-86 aircraft to land there.
Sukhumi Airport was capable of receiving any airbus-class passenger aircraft with a mass of up to 125 tons. There was even a runway 3.64 km long (one of the longest in the CIS) with a reinforced concrete surface and landing possible from 2 directions.
During the Georgian Civil War 1991 — 1993, the Sukhumi Babushara Airport airport in Abkhazia was heavily damaged and eventually abandoned.
In July 2019 Abkhazia has announced its intention to reopen its long-closed airport to international travel, Eurasianet News Organization reported. At a cabinet meeting on July 26, 2019, the Abkhazian authorities approved a number of documents related to the airport in Sukhumi, including one that would open it for joint civilian and government use.
Even though it might sound great to fly to Abkhazia, you simply can’t. The airport is closed for international traffic since the facility is not recognised by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
See other posts on the Abandoned Airport in Abkhazia here:
1 Abandoned Sukhumi Babushara Airport in Abkhazia
2 Aircraft Boneyard at Abkhazia Airport
3 Abandoned Ground support equipment at Abkhazia Airport