25 November, 2022 seen 23The Sikvaruli waterfall (Waterfall of love) is located in Racha, near the town of Ambrolauri, Georgia The waterfall…
Ambrolauri Airport is a small regional airport serving Ambrolauri, a town in Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Georgia. The airport is owned and operated by United Airports of Georgia, a state-owned company. It has been open in its current form since January 2017 and can serve airplanes with up to 50 passengers capacity.
I first learned about this airport back in 2016, but first tried at the end of 2022, during a Fall break trip to Racha. We booked a round-trip flight here by Vanilla Sky and enjoyed a 35-minute flight from/to Natakhtari airport.
Ambrolauri Airport is located at the edge of Ambrolauri town, in the historic Racha region on the right bank of the Rioni between the Racha and Lechkhumi Ranges and at an elevation of 544 m (1,785 ft) above sea level. The region is of tourist interest and it is the cradle of one of Georgia's pre-eminent wine varieties, the Khvanchkara, named after the village of origin 10 kilometers west of Ambrolauri.
Since 2017, Vanilla Sky Airlines flies several times a week between Ambrolauri and Natakhtari Airfield near Tbilisi with a 19-seater Let L-410.
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili named Ambrolauri in 2010 as one of the new regional airports to be developed to stimulate tourism. In 2015, the Georgian Aviation Authority identified four old airports suitable to revive, including Ambrolauri.This was the first of the four to be developed, and by 2022 it also turned out to be the only one. In 2016 the airport got a new 1,100 m (3,600 ft) paved concrete runway and a terminal with an area of 600m² and space for approximately 50 passengers was built. The airport opened in January 2017.The terminal was designed and constructed in such a way it can easily be expanded if future demand deems that necessary. That moment hasn't arrived yet by 2022.
The annual passenger traffic was about 2,000 in 2022 or about 5.4 daily. I see this airport will grow to some 10,000 passengers annualy soon.