History of Pulkovo Airport




Originally the airport was named Shosseynaya Airport, by the name of a nearby railroad station. Construction began in January 1931, and was completed on June 24, 1932, with the first aircraft arriving at 17:31 that day, after a two-and-a-half hour flight from Moscow carrying passengers and mail. Shortly Airport starts serving new destinations, primarily in the Russian North-West: Petrozavodsk, Pudozh, Ukhta, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk.




A three-storey terminal of the airport was constructed in 1937–41 by architects A.I. Gegello, N.N. Lansere, however because of the World War II, it was first opened in 1951 only.

During the World War II the airport was the frontline in the Nazi Siege of Leningrad. There were no flights since 1941. The nearby Pulkovo hills were occupied by the Nazis and were used by the long-range artillery for daily bombardments of Leningrad. The airport was cleared of the Nazis in January 1944, and resumed cargo and mail flights after the runways were repaired in 1945.

In February 1948, after the war damages were completely repaired, the airport resumed scheduled passenger flights.


Shosseynaya Airport operations fully resumed, supporting flights by 14 national and 15 local airlines. 6305 passengers, over 333 tons of mail and 708 tons of cargo were handled.




In 1951 the airport terminal was redesigned to handle larger aircraft. In the mid-1950s the new extended runway was completed, airport can handle larger aircrafts such as Ilyushin-18 and Tupolev-104 jets.




The airport serves destinations in all the USSR Republics as well as some foreign countries. Since March 1964, there have been 60 airlines operating in Leningrad, connecting the city with nine European capitals.


ICAO category 1 standards were implemented in 1965, making way for international operations.




On April 24, 1973 the airport was given a new name Pulkovo after a village used to be near. The new Pulkovo-1 terminal designed by architect Alexander Zhuk was opened on May, 1973 to handle the domestic air traffic. This building is considered nowadays as a masterpiece of the Soviet postmodernism architecture. The old pre-war building of the airport became Pulkovo-2 terminal for international flights only. Two terminals of the airport are located about 6 kilometers away from each other. The second runway was constructed at this time.


April 11, 1986

Old pre-war terminal is expanded — two modern buildings (Arrivals and Departures) are built next to it. The new construction doubled the capacity for international flights.

21st Century

21st Century

The decision to reconstruct the airport is made by the Administration of Saint Petersburg.

September 2007

British architecture company Grimshaw wins a competition held by the City to build a new terminal at St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Airport.

April 2008 — June 2010

NCG Consortium is awarded a 30-year concession. Starting April 29, 2010 NCG runs the airport under the Public-Private Partnership Agreement and focuses on Grimshaw architectural design implementation.

NCG (Northern Capital Gateway) is a consortium, set up by Russian VTB Capital Plc (VTB), international Fraport AG Company and Greek Copelouzos Group.

November 24, 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin took part in the groundbreaking ceremony for Pulkovo Airport’s new terminal Wednesday. The new terminal is set to make the airport into the biggest airport in the Baltic region and an international hub. The new terminal is due to be completed by the end of 2013.

May 26, 2011

NCG hires a general contractor — a Joint Venture of Astaldi (Italy) and ICA (Turkey).

December 4, 2013

On December 4, 2013 the new Terminal 1 at Pulkovo Airport began operations. The first flight was carried to Dusseldorf by Rossiya Airlines at 10:30 am. The total area of the terminal exceeds 110,000 sq. m and it has a maximum capacity of 17 million passengers per year.

February 3, 2015

The legendary building “Pulkovo-1” was opened after reconstruction. The first flight FV 6124 was carried from Moscow by Rossiya Airlines at 11:00 a.m. on February, 4.