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16th Oct 2003, 18:52
Russians Disgruntled By New EU Safety Checks On Aircraft
Aviation Daily10/16/2003

New, tighter safety checks on non-European Union aircraft operating in the EU are designed to exclude Russian-built aircraft from the EU, a Russian aviation official claimed in an interview yesterday with The Moscow Times.

"This is another measure aiming to push Russian-built aircraft from the European market," said Sergei Masterov, deputy head of the flight safety department at the State Civil Aviation Service.

Last week, the European Parliament voted in favor of a new "directive on the safety of third-countries aircraft using Community airports" that it wants to implement throughout the EU within two years. The parliament's report states Western Europe and Australia have the lowest accident rates, with Eastern European operators showing an accident rate nearly 50 times higher than Western Europeans.

"The figures also show that Western-built aircraft are significantly safer than Eastern-built ones. The fatal accident rate per million flights is, for example, 0.11 in Western Europe but in Russia rises to 2.68" for the period 1994-1998, the European Parliament stressed. Masterov replied that the period scrutinized by the EU, during the emergence of many new airlines in Russia and the establishment of the post-Soviet rule, was transitory.

In 1994, an Aeroflot Airbus 310 crashed near Novokuznetsk, killing 70 people, after the pilot's teenage son inadvertently disconnected the autopilot. Masterov also said Russian accident statistics include private aircraft and helicopter crashes. -MT

16th Oct 2003, 21:39
If 1994-98 is "transitory", is it unfair to suggest that Russia is still in that state? If they're still in transition nine years after the implementation of democracy, how much real difference can an extra four years make?

How developed do Russian airline SOPs have to be to stop teenagers getting into the cockpit and tinkering with the bl**dy controls?