Airport infrastructure remains insufficiently developed, which is hindering the potential of airlines
Airport turnaround times and optimizing the route plan are absolutely crucial. We of course see that the potential offered by the airport infrastructure is not being fully exploited. <...> For us, it is absolutely crucial that alternate airports are available, and that they operate 24 hours a day. Otherwise, we are unable to fly according to schedule, as we use a non-optimal path. The fact that alternate airports do not operate 24 hours a day is a major impediment. <...> If airport categories are improved, particularly those like Yakutsk – where we experience difficulties in the winter – or Blagoveshchensk <...> then we will be able to fly more, and with more regularity. This will not only help improve S7’s presence, but the presence of other airlines too — Anton Eremin, Deputy General Director, Siberia Airlines (S7 Airlines).
The objective is to sort out the regional airfield network, because this is currently hindering efforts to increase flights in the Far East. The new Baikal aircraft is in the pipeline. But flight infrastructure needs to be modernized. We are well aware of this. <...> One segment remains which can in principle be immediately revitalized or structured correctly – helicopter transport. Helicopter transport accounts for almost half of our route network. That does not translate into particularly large passenger numbers, but in terms of our operations, it is a lot of work — Konstantin Sukhorebrik, General Director, Aurora Airlines.
We see two main stumbling blocks. The first one is of course the aircraft fleet. In this regard, we are waiting for the Baikal [aircraft – ed.] The second one has to do with the engineering infrastructure at our airports. Unfortunately, it is in need of modernization. In times gone by, we had a great many airports in Amur Region. However, they do not meet today’s standards, and modern technology is not used there. And unfortunately, a lot of money is needed to modernize this infrastructure – not all regions can manage it. Therefore, I think that moving forward, we need to work with the government and discuss ways of supporting regions which are endeavouring to develop their internal flight network — Vyacheslav Loginov, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on the Development of the Far East and the Arctic, State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation.