The State Aviation Service released the Airport Operator Certificate to the private company (LLC) Odessa International Airport, which is controlled by the local entrepreneurs Boris Kaufman and Alexander Granovsky.
Earlier the operator’s certificate for many years was issued to the public utility (KP) company Odessa International Airport. This year, at the end of July, the old certificate expired. It was extended for four months, until December 1, while the application for obtaining the document was no longer submitted by the public utility, but by the new private company.
According to the law, all airports in the country must have an operator certificate. They are issued by the authorized body: the State Aviation Service of Ukraine. This rather lengthy document (more than 500 pages) is usually prepared for several months and contains complete information about all the technical services of the airport, as well as information about the training of aviation specialists, whether they have certificates of completion of special courses, admissions, and so on.
As a result of the transfer of the certificate to a private trader, the Municipality of Odessa may consequently lose the control over the air gate of the City.
Meanwhile, the land on which the airport is located remains a municipal ownership and is used by the municipal enterprise Odessa International Airport KP and the State Directorate for the construction of Odessa International Airport, which is reconstructing the airfield.
The Odessa City Council did not take any official decisions on the transfer of the site to the LLC. Without such a decision, the State Aviation Service simply could not issue a certificate. Therefore, this wrong procedure may become the basis for opening criminal proceedings.
On July 1 of this year, a certain agreement 08/19 was signed between the LLC and the KP, in which the public utility announced its intention to transfer to the limited liability company the function of the operator of the Odessa airfield and also undertook to facilitate the issuance of an appropriate certificate to it. The validity of such a document is questionable.
So far, in Ukraine there was only one airport private operator: International Airport Dnepropetrovsk LLC, owned by Igor Kolomoisky.
Odessa International Airport LLC was established in 2011 with the consent of the Odessa City Council. Its founders were a City Council enterprise and Odessa Airport Development LLC (owned by the businessmen Boris Kaufman and Alexander Granovsky). The property of the KP was transferred to the new company. At the same time, the share of the municipality was only 25%; therefore the private co-owners received full control over the LLC.
The deal, which looks like a covert privatisation of a strategic enterprise, has been the subject of a criminal investigation by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau. The property of the airport was even at one time under arrest, but then law enforcement officers suddenly lost interest in the case, and it never came to court.