(JTA) — Ukraine is planning to open a decommissioned airport near Uman for Jewish pilgrims.
The airport of Cherkasy Oblast, the central Ukrainian district where Uman is located, may be reopened as soon as next year, spokesperson Nicholas Sukhovoj told the Israeli Russian-language newspaper Vesti. The move would help alleviate traffic from the Odessa-Kiev highway that pilgrims currently use to travel to Uman, the burial place of Rebbe Nachman, the founder of the Breslov hasidic movement.
“The airport is in good condition and only needs lights on the runway,” Sukhovoj said.
Some 25,000 pilgrims, many of them from the Breslov movement, converge in Uman each year ahead of the Jewish new year to pray near the Rebbe Nachman’s grave.
The option of running extra trains to Uman is also being discussed, as many visitors reportedly face difficulties in reaching their destination.
Uman Mayor Peter Payevsky told the news site on Thursday that he expected more than 800 buses to arrive in Uman in the coming days, with 7,000 people due to arrive next Tuesday alone.