September’s JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport once again provided a fascinating snapshot of how Russia’s business aviation market is continuing to develop. The overall impression from this eighth annual event is that, after a powerful growth surge, the market may be leveling off somewhat, but with every prospect of further expansion.
Russian Helicopters reported an increase in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion ($4 billion), for last year on the strength of a 10.7-percent increase in deliveries. “Last year we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. The backlog stood at 817 helicopters, worth RUB350 billion ($11 billion) as of December 31.
Avcom, Russia’s oldest dedicated business aviation company, has started establishing badly needed maintenance infrastructure in the Siberian cities of Irkutsk, Omsk and Khabarovsk. The group also has just secured approval from Kazhakstan officials to work on business aircraft registered in the country and now plans to open a technical base there as well.
The Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) has said that conditions for importing foreign-manufactured aircraft into the country have become significantly easier, removing one of key remaining barriers to the industry growth in this potentially huge market.
Construction of a business aviation center at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg, Russia, missed its target for completion last month, but builder and operator JetPort told AIN that the FBO is nearly done and the facility will open this summer. Called Pulkovo-3, the facility sits on a 24-acre lot that includes apron and parking places for 20 business jets. The 43,000-sq-ft, two-story business aviation terminal will be able to serve up to 1,500 passengers daily, the company said.
The crash of a chartered Yak-42 regional airliner on September 7 in Yaroslavl, Russia, that left 44 professional hockey players dead has prompted calls from authorities to take additional measures to encourage the country’s airlines to merge into bigger structures and replace aging Soviet airplanes.
Business aviation companies eager to tap Russian private and corporate wealth could be in luck here in Geneva this week because the country’s economy is bouncing back and Russians are once again shopping for aircraft. Russia’s economy is seeing growth rates as high as 10 percent–a figure that puts most of Western Europe in the shade.
Flight tests of the first production Sukhoi Su-35S to be built by JSC KNAAPO at Komsomolsk-na-Amur began on May 5. The initial test flight from KNAAPO’s Dzemgi facility lasted around 90 minutes, and was flown by Sergei Bogdan.
Investigators suspect a faulty air-speed indication as a possible cause of the crash of an Antonov An-148 in western Russia on March 5 that killed all six people aboard, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported. The investigation team has theorized that the pilots, misled by the faulty airspeed indication, inadvertently exceeded the aircraft’s aerodynamic limits.
Investigators expect, by this coming weekend, to release preliminary data gleaned from the flight recorders recovered from an Antonov An-148 that crashed in western Russia on March 5, killing all six people aboard, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reported today. Witnesses on the ground reported that the Russian-built regional jet began to break apart while in flight, before crashing onto a private lot in western Russia’s Belgorod region.
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