Airport Astana – today is one of the most modern airports on Eurasian continent. Its history has begun from 1930 when airport was built in 3 km far from Akmolinsk-city (now - Astana). There were square field for aircraft take-off and landing, adobe 8-room station with a small waiting hall, a two-room house for pilots and fuel storage on the airport territory.
From December 1, 1931 the regular air traffic began between Semipalatinsk and Akmolinsk (the day of enterprise establishment). At the flood period the aerodrome was closed. Communication between aerodrome and city was phone, ferry (there was no bridge), foot path.
In the first few years the air traffic was ad-hoc by character, the following was pointed in the timetable “aircraft departure on Monday morning” or “on Wednesday at sunrise”.
Transportation of passengers, mail and cargo was carried out by aircraft: К-4, К-5, PR-5, P-5, P-2.
In 1934: the regular flights began, they covered the following routes:
1. Alma-Ata – Bertras – Karaganda – Akmolinsk – Atbasar – Kustanai - Sverdlovsk.
2. Karaganda – Petropavlovsk – Kurgaldzhino – Akmolinsk – Zhana Arka - Presnovka.
In the beginning of 1946 the 1st link of Po-2 aircraft arrived to Akmolinsk for regular service. The link belonged to Karaganda aviation enterprise.
The following routes were opened for passenger and mail transportation: Akmolinsk – Kurgaldzhino – Zholymbet – Aksu – Bugumbay – Bestube – Astrakhanka – Balkashino – Blagodatnoe (settlements of Akmolinsk region). In 1946 operations division was organized consisting of 2 persons.
In 1946 aviation began to render services for the national economy – medical aviation.
At the end of 1947- at the beginning of 1948, the link consisting of three Po – 2 aircraft was formed at the Akmolinsk airport base. This link was part of air group which based in Karaganda.
The airport was equipped with modern equipment (for that days), the construction began developing: a Finn house for radio station, three buildings and a garage were built. Staff totals became 40 - 50 people. The airport has begun to service heavier types of aircraft LI-2 in addition to light aircraft.
After extension of the runway in 1951 airport accepted aircraft IL-12, and later – IL-14. In 1954 air squadron was established on the link base. Air park was replenished with aircraft YaK-12, AN-2. The airport starts round-the-clock operations.
In May 9, United Air Group of Akmolinsk was established. In 1959, aircraft AN-2 was additionally given to United Air Group of Akmolinsk, which allowed increasing of the local airways.
In October 16, 1960 Akmolinsk became the 3rd class airport.
In 1961 the first own aircraft LI-2were received, which began regular flights by routes: Akmolinsk - Stepnogorsk, Akmolinsk – Kustanai.
In November 4, 1963 the airport of Tselinograd (formerly known as – Akmolinsk) accepted the first aircraft IL-18 in new terminal, located 18 km far from the city.
In December of 1963 aircraft IL-18 began to operate regular flights. The airport terminal was at a building stage, therefore the adapted 2-storeyed building served as air terminal, where the Air traffic control service has been located.
In February 28, 1966 the new air terminal was transferred into operation, and in June of the same year all services of united aviagroup relocated to the new airport. The old airport which exists since 1930, in 1966 was transferred to sport club DOSAAF.
In April 21, 1969 the aircraft park of Tselinograd aviagroup has replenished with the first aircraft AN-24. With reception of aircraft AN-24 the volume of passenger, mail, and cargo transportation has sharply increased. People began to fly to many cities of the former Union on own airpark.
Beginning from 1975 the aircraft TU-154 has firstly landed on our runway. Since this moment regular flight by aircraft TU-154 on a route Alma-ata - Tselinograd - Moscow and back has been opened.
Historical mark for Akmola (Astana) aviators was the change of the capital. Airdrome reconstruction begun and finished in a relatively short time: the runway with artificial covering was extended for about 3500 meters; taxiway and apron were also expanded. Replacements of light system and the radio navigating equipment; the VIP building was constructed, the airport complex was reconstructed.
From 2002 to 2005 the large-scale international project of airport reconstruction has been carried out. Solemn opening of new passenger terminal building was celebrated in February 2, 2005.
Now the International airport Astana has a category of the International Civil Aviation Association - IIIА. And also accepts and renders services for aircraft of all types without restriction on take-off weight - IL-76, AN-124, B747-400F.