Government Allows Foreign Pilots to Work in Russia

Vladimir Savelyev, 12.12.2013 16:38
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Russian government has approved the bill “Concerning amending certain Russian laws as regards allowing foreign citizens to be employed as air crew members by Russian air companies”, said Minister for Open Government affairs Mikhail Abyzov.

Amendments will be made to the Air Code of the Russian Federation and to the law “Concerning the legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation”.
 
According to Abyzov, it is a temporary law that will be in effect until 2019.
 
Currently Russian airlines are experiencing a severe shortage of pilots in command (
PICs). This state of affairs hampers the expansion of the carriers’ destination networks and leads to higher salaries for PICs, some of which amount to as much as 400 thousand rubles a month.

In August the government proposed to introduce a quota for 200 expatriate pilots a year, who were to be assigned to airlines depending on traffic volumes.

The Economy Ministry of Russia considers this quota insufficient for the Russian aviation industry. For instance, this year’s demand for
PICs is about 160 people for Aeroflot and a yearly supply of 100 pilots for the next 2-3 years for UTair. Disregarding new aircrafts, Transaero needs 125 pilots a year.

Andrey Polozov-Yablonskiy, the Advisor to Chief Executive Officer of Aeroflot, told TRN that the 200-pilot quota does not cover the company’s yearly demand. He says that not only will foreign pilots eliminate the air personnel deficit in Russia, they will also contribute to improving flight safety.

“Since foreigners are more familiar with landing conditions in their countries of occupation, it will be easier for them to communicate with air traffic controllers,” he says.

Roman Gusarov, the editor-in-chief of www.avia.ru, told TRN that the 200 figure was specified in the initial drafts of the amendments over a year ago.

“To my knowledge, this quota is the same for this bill. Two hundred pilots a year is an acceptable number for the industry’s current needs. However, if the economy falters, and the traffic volumes drop, this number will become excessive,” he noted.

Gusarov considers the assignment of the quota to airlines a very important and still unresolved issue.

Rossiya Airlines told TRN that foreign citizens should also be granted the right to work as first officers.

Страны, регионы и города: Russia
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