Russian airlines will slam the "windows" in a foreign sky

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Russian airlines will slam the "windows" in a foreign sky
Russian airlines will slam the "windows" in a foreign sky
9 August, 20:45
The network of foreign flights for Russian airlines has been reduced to just a few countries, but the remaining destinations, including flights to the CIS countries, may be closed this fall.

Yekaterina Maksimova

The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (hereinafter referred to as ICAO) has officially confirmed that a report on violations in Russian aviation will be submitted to the next ICAO General Assembly. The status statement of the organization is quite enough for any state, including the CIS countries, to put air traffic with Russia on hold.

ICAO has already notified almost 200 states of Russia's non-compliance with aviation law. In particular, we are talking about a violation of the Chicago Convention on the Registration of Aircraft. ICAO will discuss the state of affairs in Russian aviation from September 27 to October 7. And there is an almost 100% guarantee that, following the results of the assembly, the international organization will issue a verdict: foreign-made aircraft operated by Russian airlines do not meet safety requirements.

What threatens the ICAO decision

Even before that, the International Civil Aviation Organization put up the so-called “red flag” to the aviation authorities of Russia and officially requested information related to the re-registration of the “sanctioned” Airbus and Boeing. Also, ICAO asked to voice the position of Russia regarding the performance of technical support functions for these aircraft. In order for the world expert community to calm down, Russia had to show that all these issues have been resolved, but this is not so.

In this case, ICAO is obliged to notify the member countries of the organization that Russian aviators do not fit into safety standards. This is exactly what will happen in the fall. The status and position of ICAO is more than enough for those few states that still receive aircraft from Russia (Turkey, UAE, Thailand, Israel, Armenia, etc.) to have every reason to close their skies to the castle.

Andrey Patrakov , founder of the AIM Group international network of experts, clarifies that ICAO cannot prohibit foreign countries from cooperating with Russia.

“She only notifies. And the aviation authorities of each country, on the basis of this verdict, decide for themselves how to treat this. But the meaning of ICAO is precisely that all states meet the standards. Air legislation is different for everyone and for international air traffic it is necessary to harmonize it. Those who follow ICAO will receive an official warning: Russian aviation does not meet international safety standards. And the same Turkey, Egypt, or even friendly Belarus, absolutely legitimately, referring only to a notification from ICAO, can stop letting our ships in,” Andrey Patrakov explained.

There is a way out, but not yet found

The “Black Label” from ICAO for Russia is a debut (only Eritrea and Bhutan have such a stigma). Prior to the start of the NWO, there were no problems with foreign aircraft that Russian airlines bought on lease. The passenger fleet, if we omit all the complex technical and legal issues, was not registered in Russia. And foreign aviation authorities were responsible for flight safety, because almost the entire fleet was registered abroad. Of the domestic on board, if exaggerated, there were only passengers, pilots and fuel.

There is no point in recalling how rapidly and dramatically events in civil aviation developed after February, but in fact there is no certified developer organization in Russia now that is obliged to take on the technical support of foreign-made ships.

Andrey Patrakov believes that the problem can be solved in at least one way: by appointing a developer within Russia, who, according to the aviation rules (FAP, part 21), will act as the so-called type certificate holder for all foreign aircraft and engines in the Russian Federation.

“Whoever certified the aircraft is responsible for it. Previously, Airbus and Boeing were engaged in this, but since March 2022 they have ceased their duties unilaterally. To which our aviation authorities did not respond. In a good way, the Federal Air Transport Agency should revoke the certificates and land all aircraft on the territory of Russia. Next, appoint a competent and certified developer within our country,” Patrakov explained.

The interlocutor of Novye Izvestia, who wished to remain anonymous, agrees with Patrakov's opinion and claims that it is difficult to do this, but quite realistic. He recalled that in 2014, similar problems arose with the Ruslan transport aircraft, when cooperation with the Antonov Design Bureau (Kyiv) was interrupted.

“Then we created a whole design bureau, certified it and gave it to Ruslana for maintenance. Yes, the process was both slow and difficult, but since 2017 the company has become self-sufficient to solve the problem. Simply put, we completely cut the umbilical cord of Ukrainian developers and the problem was solved,” the interlocutor shared.

Andrei Patrakov adds that with this option, even ICAO will not have any questions for Russia. “Documents of the organization say: if the country of origin for some reason stopped escorting its aircraft in the country of the operator, then the country of the operator has the right to appoint its own developer for these functions. This is the provision of ICAO, I do not see any contradictions,” Andrey Patrakov summed up.

According to experts interviewed by Novye Izvestiya, it will be necessary to invest from several to tens of millions of dollars in creating a new structure that would completely replace technical support from Airbus and Boeing. At the same time, the average cost of a Western-made aircraft is about $100 million. There are more than 500 such aircraft left in the fleet of our companies. “The question is rhetorical: is it profitable to invest or turn all these aircraft into “bricks” that will stand on the ground and, like donors, wait for cannibalization. We simply nullify their cost if we do not provide them with technical support,” said one of the interlocutors.

Not without politics

Aviation expert Oleg Panteleev believes that another issue is most acute for civil aviation now: dual registration of ships. The expert explains: aircraft that were previously registered in the registries of third countries, for example, in Bermuda, were transferred to Russian registration numbers (amendments were made to the aviation legislation of Russia in the spring, allowing the re-registration of aircraft without the consent of the owner, - ed. ). At the same time, part of the aircraft from foreign registries remained not withdrawn.

“And the question is not to create some kind of design bureau, not to endow the domestic bureau with some powers, but to form a legal position that would allow us to recognize the actions of the Russian side in placing the aircraft of our airlines in the Russian register that is fully consistent with world law enforcement practice. , air law. And this would solve a very large number of problems, ”Panteleev expressed his opinion. He added that experts in international air law have already carried out such work and formulated Russia's position. “They will resist - this is their headache”, - added Oleg Panteleyev.

A representative of a Russian airline from the TOP-5 list asked not to be named, but suggested that no one would hear a note of protest from our country, both for political reasons and for commercial reasons. “Everything is clear with sanctions pressure, but as for the re-registration of aircraft from the registers of “unfriendly countries”, this process is very complicated. Lessors need to write off equipment, draw up a pile of documents, sue, cover losses with insurance, etc. This could take years”, - our source said.

Oleg Panteleev adds that the task of maintaining the suitability of foreign-made aircraft with various modifications and upgrades is indeed worthwhile in general.

“But when it comes to legalizing the installation of any new non-original gaskets, hoses, fasteners on foreign-made aircraft, that is, relatively simple things, then the competence of Russian companies is quite enough to now competently support this kind of replacement”, - summed up Oleg Panteleyev.

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