The Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Dimitri Kumsishvili, stated: "According to 2015’s data, the flow of passengers at Tbilisi International Airport exceeded 1,800,000. This spurred the implementation of expansion and the construction of a new terminal."

FactCheck

took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

According to the official information of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the flow of passengers at Tbilisi International Airport

has been rising annually since 2010.

Table 1:

 Number of Passengers at Tbilisi International Airport (2010-2016)

Year Tbilisi International Airport Difference in Percentage
2010 853,001 -
2011 1,076,289 26%
2012 1,253,464 16%
2013 1,482,237 18%
2014 1,620,058 9%
2015 1,887,838 17%
2016 (two quarters) 923,458 20%

Of note is that during the last years, the biggest growth in the number of passengers was registered in 2011 (26%). Additionally, the first two quarters of 2016 show a high growth trend. The number of passengers increased by 20% as compared to the same period of the previous year.

FactCheck

also took interest in international travellers (foreign citizens) and outbound tourism (Georgian citizens) at the airport.

Table 2: 

International Travellers and Outbound Tourism at Tbilisi International Airport (2010-2016)

Year International Visitors Outbound Tourism
2010 44,697 406,504
2011 598,737 477,552
2012 751,464 502,000
2013 926,706 555,531
2014 993,271 626,787
2015 1,252,640 635,198
2016 (two quarters) 639,121 284,337

As illustrated by the table, the volume of the flow of international travellers and outbound tourism has been rising annually. A significant part of the flow of passengers are international travellers and this is especially important for the development of Georgia’s tourism.

On 28 May 2015, TAV Georgia, which is the operator company of Tbilisi International Airport, and United Airports of Georgia signed a contract which envisages the rehabilitation of the take-off lane and runways as well as infrastructural development for the entire airport.

According to the information of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, TAV Georgia started to build a new terminal because of the increased number of passengers utilising the airport.

Conclusion

According to the information of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the number of passengers at Tbilisi International Airport increased by 17% in 2015 and reached 1,887,838. According to the first two quarters of 2016, an even higher growth was registered – 20% – as compared to the same period of the previous year.

Therefore, FactCheck concludes that Dimitri Kumsishvili’s statement is TRUE.

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