1928 - the construction of the first aerodrome began at the location of the present-day Koltsovo Airport.
On 22 June, 1941, the day when the Great Patriotic War began in Russia, Koltsovo aerodrome witnessed the beginning of an ambitious project for constructing a hard-surfaced runway. A 1000 m long runway was built in a record-breaking time of only three months. In October 1941 the Scientific and Test Institute of the Red Army Air Forces, that tested new types of aircraft, was evacuated to Koltsovo.
On May 15, 1942 the first rocket-powered BI-1 fighter in the world took off from the aerodrome. This event marked the beginning of jet-driven flight era in the world. The BI-1 was piloted by captain Grigory Bakhchivandzhi. He performed six flights with the new aircraft unique for the time. The seventh flight proved to be his last one. The aircraft crashed while testing the maximum speed mode. In commemoration of this event a monument with a miniature aircraft was erected at the airport’s landside and a bust of Grigory Bakhchivandzhi, who was elevated to Hero of the Soviet Union, was installed in Aviatorov village.
On July 10, 1943 Koltsovo civil airport was founded. It was placed under the command of Moscow - Uelkal North-Western air traffic route. For the first time in Russia’s history one airport accommodated both military air forces and civil aircraft. In 1946 a temporary blind landing system was built by the airport’s personnel to provide for night flights. In 1951 the first reconstruction of Koltsovo airfield was completed.
In October 1954 a new passenger terminal was commissioned. Today this building with a spire accommodates the Business Aviation Terminal and has become a landmark of Ekaterinburg (formerly called Sverdlovsk).
In 1956 the second reconstruction of the aerodrome was completed. The runway was reinforced to fit the landing weight of new aircraft. From that year on the first passenger jet liner, TU-104, and IL-18 plane started to perform scheduled flights.
On January 1, 1963 Sverdlovsk united air division of the Ural Department of Civil Air Fleet was formed bringing together the airport’s fleet, the 120th air division and other services. 1987 saw the construction of the airport’s second runway.
In October 1993 Koltsovo was granted the status of an international airport.
On December 28, 1993, after the division and privatization of Sverdlovsk aviation enterprise two joint stock companies were created: Koltsovo Airport Open Joint Stock Company and Ural Airlines Open Joint Stock Company. As a result the airport obtained all the ground infrastructure including social facilities.
In 2003 a program aimed at developing Koltsovo as an airline hub was started under support of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, the government of Sverdlovsk province and Renova Group of Companies.
In 2005 - 2009 a major reconstruction of the airport was carried out. Two new terminals, an air navigation complex, a railway station, Angelo Hotel and Business Complex and catering facilities were built, while the business aviation terminal was reconstructed. After the new terminals were commissioned the passenger terminal area exceeded 80,000.000 m2 and the airport’s capacity doubled reaching 8 million passengers per year. The terminals house comfortable waiting areas, transfer and transit passenger areas, VIP lounges, restaurants, cafes, shops, pharmacies and a post office. Equipment of both Russian and world’s leading manufacturers from Britain, the USA, France and Germany was used to provide for the operation of the new air terminal.
In June 2010 a project for developing regional transportation in Koltsovo was started. Together with RusLine Airlines the airport launched flights to 5 new destinations and increased the flight frequency of 4 other destinations. In August 2011 the development of regional aviation in the Urals was given a new momentum. Embraer 120, a 30-seat airliner purchased by Koltsovo along with four other aircraft and leased to RusLine, performed its first flight from Koltsovo International Airport. Reestablishing the air connections lost during the post-soviet time the airport and the airline company offer passengers an affordable alternative to the formerly necessary transit through Moscow.
In 2012 Ural’s largest cargo terminal was opened in Koltsovo. The project was developed by Hochtief Airports, a German group of companies. The multimodal mail and cargo complex to be created at the airport premises will include not only a cargo terminal, but also a Russian Post automated sorting center that will raise the efficiency of mail handling.
One of the most important 2012 events for both Koltsovo and Russian aviation as a whole was the Routes CIS international aviation forum that took place in Russia for the first time.
Today Koltsovo international airport is one of Russia’s largest regional airports.