Dear forum members, dear friends!

First of all, let me give you most sincere congratulations and wishes of fruitful work from UEFA Operating Director Martin Kallen.

Kharkiv aeroforum should be regarded as an important stage of preparation of Ukraine for the UEFA tournament EURO 2012.

The uniqueness of the future championship is that this tournament will be the easternmost in the history of competitions since 1960.

The host countries of UEFA EURO 2012 are on average 1500 km away from the centre of the European UEFA fan market, which makes aviation practically the main means of transport by which members and guests will be able to get to host cities to take part in and enjoy the feast of football.

That is why airports and air transport are the foundation of UEFA EURO 2012 in Ukraine and without a proper preparation of these spheres it is difficult to imagine the tournament.

On this occasion, I would like to thank the general investor, Mr. Alexander Yaroslavskiy and his team who have made and continue to put in titanic efforts to transform Kharkiv into a major air center of Ukraine. I am convinced that thanks to his enthusiasm and consolidation of efforts of all participants of the preparatory process for EURO 2012 there will be soon built and put into operation a new runway.

All of this, I think, would be impossible without an adequate level of support from both central and local authorities. In many respects the experience of work of Kharkiv team is a model that should be implemented in all cities and regions that are preparing for EURO.

However, there are a huge number of issues still to be solved. And in first place here is planning and organization of operational activities. It is a prerequisite for the decent conduction of the championship, ensurance of human safety and punctuality of flights.

UEFA has repeatedly raised this question, and even right now there is an ongoing videoconference between Kyiv and Nyon, where UEFA leaders are discussing these issues with representatives of the IOC “EURO 2012 Ukraine” and the Ukrainian government. Unfortunately, in other cities we do not have such a situation as in Kharkiv, where infrastructure is prepared in advance and there is still time for operational planning. In those cities, we must conduct the operational planning process simultaneously with the process of building the infrastructure.

The burning question, which our attention was repeatedly drawn to by the UEFA heads, is a proper level of regular air traffic in Ukrainian host cities, especially with countries of Central and Western Europe, from where we expect the largest flow of both the UEFA family, and fans and guests of the tournament. Availability of advanced geography and sufficient frequency of regular service is a key component of the tournament mobility in the city.

The practice of previous continental football championships shows that most UEFA family members, its staff and corporate partners travel to host cities by scheduled flights, whose booking is possible through the global system of ticket booking. That is why the question of low development of such service in Ukrainian host cities (perhaps, except Kyiv) raises serious concerns in UEFA and requires a serious approach to its solution.

And, given that the issue of regular service is crucial not only for UEFA in the light of conducting the tournament, but primarily for our people to enable them to fully use the services of air transport, I would like to appeal to heads of the government, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine, The State Aviation Administration, to develop and implement a complex of measures aimed at solving this problem. First of all, it is Ukraine’s accession to international legal treaties that will make our country a full member of European and world aviation markets.

I wish that this forum would become a powerful impetus to the development of all spheres of Ukrainian aviation industry: airports, carriers, aviation industry and all those who work daily to ensure its proper operation.

Thank you for your attention!

AEROFORUM.UA