PROSPECTS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF REGIONAL TRANSPORT-TOURIST ROUTES ON THE BASE OF KOPITNARI AIRPORT
- 1 AkakiTsereteli State University, Kutaisi,Georgia
The King david the Builder Kutaisi (Kopitnari) International Airport is located in the Black Sea region of the South Caucasus. The Airport’s strategic geographic position and further improvement of the infrastructure allow for its transforming into the regional hub for providing transport services to travelers.
In the 1980s, the flights from this airport were carried out as inside the country (Tbilisi, Sokhumi, Batumi, Mestia), so outside country as well (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev). The Kopitnari Airport was opened after reconstruction in 2012. Its priorities are attraction to attract low-tariff airline companies and create a harmonic environment between the airline companies and airports. As of today, the flights from the Airport are carried out to Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia.
The Airport has the capacity to carry out domestic flights for small tourist groups to: highland ski runs in Mestia; well-appointed Black Sea beaches in Batumi; wine tours in Telavi and so on. Proximity to the trunk railroad and motoring highway are the opportune occasions to form the Kopitnari Airport as a synergic transport system.
Besdies, the Airport’s proximity to the Rioni River can be used for organizing there the short tour of the so-called “Travel of Argonauts to Kolkheti”, which was passed by the well-known traveler Tim Severin by his oared boat named “Argo” in 1984, and the place where he finally dropped anchor was near the Kopitnari Airport.