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Russia toughens safety requirements in aviation - 9 October, 2002

The requirements for flight safety and civil aircraft operation in Russia will be toughened soon, said first deputy Transport Minister Alexander Neradko. According to him, the urgent measures aimed at increasing safety of civil aviation have included over 12,000 inspector checks of flight organisation, aircraft maintenance, flight operation, ground facilities, and landing strips. They have made it possible to stop the activities of many negligent airlines.

The number of airlines was reduced from 296 to 242 in 2000-2002, the validity of 75 expert certificates was suspended, 81 aircraft were forbidden to operate, 307 licenses for national and 104 licenses for international flights were annulled.

According to Neradko, a major problem for flight safety and aircraft operation is illegally produced spare parts for aircraft. "Making hydraulic faucet, pumps, turbine disks is not a cut-and-paste job." He likened the use of illegally produced spare parts to drug-addiction. "But in this case, we punish the customer, stripping him of the license, and do not look for the manufacturer and the dealer," he said, stressing that the fight against illegally produced spare parts and their manufacturers will be enhanced.