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Aircraft First: Developing the Aviation Sector in the Arctic
10 April 2019
11:00—12:30
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Development of Arctic aviation is key to the success of the whole region

Aviation in the Arctic is one of the fundamentals of the transportation system that ensures connection between regions, connection with mainland, and helps solve many life support issues — Anton Koren, General Director, Center for Strategic Development in Civil Aviation Inc. (AVIACENTER).

In the north, in the Arctic, helicopters remain a key element of the economy — Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Director General for Civil Helicopter Sales, Russian Helicopters.

The Russian Arctic accounts for 30–40% of all domestic flights; up to 80% of Arctic flights are socially important. <…> Use of aircraft in the Arctic is aimed at ensuring safety, supporting business projects and developing territories. <…> Along with marine transportation, aviation must play an important role in providing people with passenger, cargo and postal services in the Russian Arctic — Igor Kovalev, Head of Scientific Project Research Management Complex, Professor Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute.

The state plays a key role in development of the aviation sector in the Arctic

The state plays a huge role in creation of airdrome and airport infrastructure, its maintenance and development. <…> The state plays a fundamental, systemic role as both investor and operator. Almost all aviation projects are implemented with the participation of the state — Anton Koren, General Director, Center for Strategic Development in Civil Aviation Inc. (AVIACENTER).

ISSUES
A large-scale modernization of aircraft fleet is needed in the region

The state support alone cannot solve the problem, because there are commissioners who impose requirements for aircraft. <…> They need to set goals to use more modern machines — Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Director General for Civil Helicopter Sales, Russian Helicopters.

For aircraft exploitation in the Arctic we need to understand that over the last years more than 40% of the Arctic ice has melted. And under such conditions we continue using the aircraft that were flying 10, 20 or 30 years ago — Nikita Kuprikov, Director, Polar Initiative.

Such approach will allow us to make a breakthrough neither in Russian economy, nor in the Arctic. <…> The Antonov An-2 took off for the first time in 1946 near Sverdlovsk, and since then nothing has changed both in navigation systems and engines. As a matter of fact, we have nothing to fly in the Arctic — Sergey Kotkin, Deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

The state of regional aviation and infrastructure in northern regions must be put into question — Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chairperson of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Member of the State Duma Committee on Regulations and Organization of Work.

It is necessary to develop air service with the Arctic region

The air connection between the eastern and the western parts of the Arctic region is underdeveloped. This throws back our sustainable development — Tero Vauraste, Chairman, Arctic Economic Council; President, Mariadi Oy.

The key indicator for aircraft is the number of flying hours, and if we look at operating hours of airports, this is really sad. For example, in Magadan they work eight hours a day from Monday to Friday. <…> It means that airports are used only 24% of the time; so how can we talk about efficiency? — Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chairperson of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Member of the State Duma Committee on Regulations and Organization of Work.

Lack of federal subsidies for regional air transportation

Today regional passenger flights are not financed from the federal budget; this burden fully falls on the regional authorities. We repeatedly put forward initiatives to make an amendment to the executive order 1242 and extend it to helicopters. We hope that sooner or later we will get results — Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Director General for Civil Helicopter Sales, Russian Helicopters.

Limited capabilities of regional business to acquire aircraft

Today regional business cannot afford a new plane or a new helicopter — Olga Epifanova, Deputy Chairperson of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Member of the State Duma Committee on Regulations and Organization of Work.

Imperfection of the legal framework for using pilotless aircraft

Today we have a very weak legal framework for using pilotless aircraft for civilian purposes; either we need to close the region which is incredibly difficult and counterproductive, or we have to do something. We would like to draw attention of lawmakers and executive authorities — Mikhail Peresadin, Deputy Director General, Ural Works of Civil Aviation.

Long certification periods

We have a pretty serious problem, which is machine certification period — Sergey Isayenko, Deputy General Director, Public Joint Stock Company Ilyushin Aviation Complex.

SOLUTIONS
Use of domestic components for aircraft production

We have produced fourteen L-410 aircraft; in early 2020 another 22 aircraft will be supplied to the state and civilian aviation. <…> We have implemented most production operations. When we have engineering documentation for airframe, we can produce it under any sanctions, limitations or breaks of relations. The key components – engine, electronics and other important systems, including landing gear – give us confidence that production of this in-demand aircraft [L-410 — Ed.] will not stop one day — Mikhail Peresadin, Deputy Director General, Ural Works of Civil Aviation.

Generation of demand for Russian aircraft

EMERCOM of Russia created ten rescue centres in the Arctic. We offer to equip them with our helicopters. We are a Russian producer, and our machines are the most suitable for Russian harsh conditions — Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Director General for Civil Helicopter Sales, Russian Helicopters.

One of our strategic tasks is to ensure integrated safety of rescue operations in the Arctic. Apart from Arctic military centres and passenger flights, our Ministry, EMERCOM of Russia, focuses on creating a network of rescue centres and equipping them with machines, including aircraft — Nikita Kuprikov, Director, Polar Initiative.

Creation of a development roadmap for integrated transport system in the Arctic

It is necessary to build up a concept and a roadmap for development of an integrated balanced air transport system in the Arctic as a foundation for planning and development of air transportation system, conducting scientific research, technology development, creation of unique and cutting-edge aircraft — Igor Kovalev, Head of Scientific Project Research Management Complex, Professor Zhukovsky Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute.

Development of international cooperation

All Arctic states put forward proposals and want to unite efforts to jointly use mechanisms of their national funding to jointly participate in international projects — Tero Vauraste, Chairman, Arctic Economic Council; President, Mariadi Oy.

Implementation of new technologies

Lately we have focused on creation of pilotless systems; one of such systems with the code name VRT-300 is designed to be used in the icebreaking fleet — Dmitry Danilov, Deputy Director General for Civil Helicopter Sales, Russian Helicopters.

The material was prepared by the Russian news agency TASS