Uzbekistan Airports Joint Stock Company (JSC) and Changi Airports International (CAI) have inked an agreement to jointly develop Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport, the largest international airport of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the third busiest airport by passenger traffic in Central Asia in 2019.


Under the agreement, CAI will provide consultancy and technical services to Uzbekistan Airports JSC in the management and operation of the existing Tashkent Airport, which includes capacity optimisation, improving operational standards, commercial planning and traffic development.


CAI will also work with Uzbekistan Airports JSC to develop and complete a feasibility study in relation to the new Tashkent Airport Project.


In a statement announcing the partnership, CAI noted that Uzbekistan is strategically located at the heart of Central Asia and the crossroads of Europe and Asia.


It said that passenger traffic at Tashkent Airport, the country's main airport — has also been on the rise — exceeding pre-Covid levels in 2022 to reach 5.0 million passengers.


The statement added that with robust traffic growth expected from its budding tourism industry, Uzbekistan Airports JSC plans to optimise the operations of the current Tashkent Airport as well as develop a new airport that would help advance its trade and tourism potential.


"Tashkent has a huge potential as an international hub connecting Europe and Asia. The existing airport has many limitations — with its location in the center of the city, there is simply nowhere to expand it," said Rano Juraeva, chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Airports JSC.


"At the same time, passenger traffic is fast increasing with the airport reaching its capacity and not having enough aircraft parking lots during peak periods. Therefore, we are working on the issue of building a new airport. We have invited the best airport in the world, Changi Airports International, to be our consultant to help us develop a feasibility study, taking into account the creation of an international hub and the use of the most modern airport technologies in the construction of a new air harbour," he added, noting that CAI will also provide consultancy to optimise the operation of the existing airport in terms of aviation and non-aviation activities.


Eugene Gan, chief executive officer of CAI, said Changi Airports International is pleased to collaborate with Uzbekistan Airports JSC.


"Uzbekistan is one of the fastest-growing countries in the Central Asia region with great potential for business and tourism. We look forward to sharing our airport development and management expertise to optimise the capacity, operational standards and financial performance of the existing Tashkent International Airport as well as support the plans to develop the new airport, which is in the pipeline, to support Uzbekistan's plans to grow its trade and tourism industries," he said.


The agreement was exchanged between Rano Juraeva, chairman of the board of Uzbekistan Airports JSC, and Eugene Gan, chief executive officer of CAI, at the Uzbekistan Overseas Market Workshop organised by the Singapore Business Federation in Tashkent on May 24.


In a statement announcing the deal, Changi Airport said the exchange was witnessed by Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Khodjaev and Singapore President Halimah Yacob, who was in Uzbekistan for a state visit.