Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sheremetyevo Director Sacked As Airport's Problems Persist

The Transportation Ministry has dismissed Vasily Akporisov from his post as general director of the city's troubled Sheremetyevo International airport, a Russian government official said Wednesday.


Karl Ruppel, deputy director of Russia's Federal Aviation Service, made the announcement at a press conference, Interfax reported, but cited no reasons for the move.


A spokesman for the Transportation Ministry said he had no information regarding the dismissal.


One analyst said the decision does not come as a surprise.


"We have been expecting this for six weeks now," said Paul Duffy, an aviation consultant.


Akporisov was appointed to head Sheremetyevo in August 1995 amid hopes that he would be able to initiate a major housecleaning at the country's biggest airport, which has been plagued by budget shortfalls and aging infrastructure. But Duffy said Akporisov was unable to deliver on such hopes.


"He was appointed to solve a lot of the problems at the airport, but he has not succeeded in doing this," he said.


Duffy added that Akporisov was unable to gain control over mafia groups that prey upon various aspects of the airport's operations, such as taxi and bus services.


Duffy said Akporisov failed to collect debts worth millions of dollars owed to the airport by companies such as Aeroflot and Transaero. In addition, he was unable to create a bus system linking Sheremetyevo 1, 2 and Vnukovo airports, largely because he could not weaken the mafia rings that control parts of those airports, Duffy said.


Akporisov, a former lieutenant general in naval aviation, unsuccessfully tried to enlist the military in his efforts.


"He worked very hard, but in the end he did not get enough support from the government," Duffy said.