Staunton,November 6 – Russia is currently tying itself in knots about the names to giveits airports and how to refit its only aircraft carrier (afterempire.info/2018/11/06/airports/),but what it really needs to do, Russian analyst Dmitry Milin says is to build moreairports rather than come up with names for the existing one or spend money onrebuilding the Admiral Kuznetsov.
“Russiadoesn’t need an aircraft carrier,” the analyst says. It doesn’t have a missionfor such vessels and they in essence become “’a big target’” in the event ofwar. Moreover, Russia hasn’t built one for decades and doesn’t know how tobuild one now (newizv.ru/article/general/06-11-2018/dmitriy-milin-rossii-nuzhny-ne-avianostsy-a-aerodromy).
What Russia does need and can build,Milin continues, “are airfields. Many, hundreds more even. Airfields which canbe used both for peaceful purposes and military ones.”
Given how enormous the country is andhow underserviced it is by highways and rail lines, airports are a key way oflinking the country together and providing the basic infrastructure for shiftinginvestments and workers in peacetime and soldiers in the event of war.If Russia built more airports, it would boostits GDP.
Just how far is Russia behind othercountries? The numbers tell the story: the US now has 13,513 airports; Brazil,4093; Mexico, 1714; Papua New Guinea, 561, Venezuela, 444; and Iran, 319.Russia in contrast has 228, down from 1450 in1991. It thus has today 60 times fewer airports than the US and fewer than halfas many of these facilities as Papua New Guinea.