Transportation and Telecommunications
Highways: In 1990 about 23,000 kilometers of
roads, of which 15,300 paved. One major highway connects eastern
and western population centers.
Railroads: In 1993, about 2,120 kilometers of
track in system inadequate to serve current needs. Major renovation
and expansion in planning stage, including 1,000 kilometers of
Civil Aviation: Seven airports, four with permanent-surface
runways. Main international airport at Ashgabat. Turkmenistan
Airlines offers connections to some European cities, Middle and
Far East, and southern Asia.
Inland Waterways: None.
Ports: Main shipping facility at Turkmenbashy
on Caspian Sea; three smaller Caspian ports, undergoing reconstruction
Pipelines: Critical part of economic infrastructure;
in 1994, some 4,400 kilometers in operation, with plans for new
natural gas lines westward to Bulgaria (4,000 kilometers) and
eastward to China (6,700 kilometers) before 2000.
Telecommunications: In poorly developed telephone
system, 28 percent of households with telephones, many villages
lacking telephone service entirely, and much outdated equipment;
modernization program began early 1990s. Two television broadcasting
centers relaying satellite transmissions from Orbita and International
Telecommunications Satellite Organization (Intelsat) to all cities
and rural centers. All broadcasting controlled by State Committee
for Television and Radio Broadcasting.
Data as of March 1996