Mongolia Table of Contents
A billboard touting Mongolian Airlines
Courtesy Allen H. Kassof
In the late 1980s, Mongolia had 38,300 kilometers of air routes serviced by Mongolian Airlines (MIAT). MIAT was run by the Civil Air Transport Administration under the Council of Ministers. The directorate was headed by a military officer, and MIAT pilots had military rank. MIAT aircraft were used for crop dusting, for forest and steppe fire patrols, and for air ambulance services, in addition to carrying passengers, freight, and mail. Mongolia had eighty airfields, of which thirty were usable, and ten with permanent-surface runways. MIAT's air fleet included 22 major aircraft--19 An-24s and 3 Il-14s--and an assortment of smaller aircraft, particularly An-2 biplanes for local service. MIAT offered international service from Ulaanbaatar to Irkutsk and Beijing. Aeroflot also connected Ulaanbaatar with Moscow, Washington, and New York. Regular air service between Ulaanbaatar and Moscow, on the Soviet airline Aeroflot, had begun in 1945. Mongolia coordinated international air operations with other Comecon countries under an agreement signed in 1966. The Civil Air Transport Administration also cooperated with the Soviet Ministry of Aviation. Domestic routes offered service to all towns, cities, and aymag centers. In 1985 civil aviation carried 11.6 million tons and 6.4 million ton-kilometers, or 0.1 percent of freight turnover. Air transport carried 600,000 passengers and 293.1 million passengerkilometers , or 20.7 percent of passenger turnover. Efforts to modernize the civil aviation system during the Eighth Plan included building a new air terminal and reconstructing the runway at the Ulaanbaatar airport, providing modern air traffic control equipment to airfields, and improving air safety.
Data as of June 1989