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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Plan Calls for Sheremetyevo to Manage Other Airports

The government may put state-owned Sheremetyevo Airport in charge of other airports in the country to improve efficiency and pool financial resources for their development, according to a plan being drafted by the Transportation Ministry.

Sheremetyevo, which is 100 percent state-owned, may become a management company for an undisclosed number of domestic airports in which the government also holds stakes, Transportation Ministry spokesman Timur Khikmatov said by telephone Thursday.

The plan reflects the government's push to control strategic sectors of the economy, including transportation. Earlier this year, the government said it wanted to combine several domestic airlines with Aeroflot, the country's largest carrier. It is also merging aircraft manufacturers to form the Unified Aircraft Corporation.

Russia's 185 airlines flew 35.1 million passengers last year, 3.9 percent more than in 2004. Their growth is constrained, however, by limited resources to expand fleets because of high duties on imported jets and insufficient domestic production of airplanes.

Khikmatov said there was no definite list of airports that would participate in the government plan. He said it might involve airports in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Sochi, Krasnoyarsk, Samara and Yekaterinburg.

"It makes sense to bring them together to turn this amorphous government collection into a stronger player on the international market," Sheremetyevo deputy chief executive officer Dmitry Kalinin said by telephone. He added that the plan was still at an early stage.