Before Perestroika, there were around 1,500 airports and landing fields in Russian territory. Now there are only 260 of them. For a country covering an area of more than 17 million km2, which ranks first in the world in terms of territory, it is a mere drop in the ocean. The number of air passengers has dropped from 140 million to 80 million per year. Despite all the discussions about the necessity of restoring general aviation, local airports continue to close, and their employees are dismissed or forced to retire. A small airport in the village of Lopshenga on the Onezhsky Peninsula is one of the few surviving local airports, but it is being used less and less frequently. No matter how poor the quality of roads, local residents prefer land transportation to flying. Nonetheless, the airport, which is located right by the White Sea, is still in operation. Its chief Ilya Ikonnikov, who is also the air traffic controller and accountant, has been working in Lopshenga since 2012. Before that, he worked in Onega, but the airport there fell to complete desolation, and the staff were dismissed. The fate of the airport in Lopshenga is also hanging by a thread. However, the chief is not ready to change his job or career field: «It is my service. If one church is closed down, you are assigned to another. Until it closes, I will continue to serve it. Only instead of a church, I have an airport.»