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14 Jul, 2008 03:20

Business Aviation market looks to the skies

Russia’s National Business Aviation Association says the country’s economy loses millions of dollars without developed commercial aviation. Over the past three years Russians business bought about 250 jets for $3 Billion dollars, although most aircrafts

Russia’s aviation sector is notorious for its problems. The absence of specific legislation for private and business jets, red tape, and high taxes for imported aircraft.

Businessmen complain Russian legislation is full of irrelevances, such as the need for a business jet operator to have no less than two aircraft and issue tickets. As a result, an industry that is booming at over30% a year is operated from abroad where aviation legislation is more favourable. Now aircraft operators say the situation at home might be changing.

Leonid Koshelev of the National Association of Business Aviation says a change of government approach is promising.

Now the government is coming and asking ‘Why isnt this aviation flying and developing in this country. It could be a lot of business for everybody' And even saying that 'we as government are ready to invest in infrastructure to develop all that' And the next question they are asking is ‘But there doesn’t seem to be rules now for the people to fly, and addressing us as the association saying, are you willing to help to develop those rules’

Andrey Shnyrev of the Transport Ministry says that several years ago, the number of private jets didn’t exceed 100 and the market was too small to deserve special attention.

Now the situation has changed. The market got bigger. We got loads of appeals and complaints. We saw that the problem existed and people were getting fed up with flying semi legally. Now they want to operate officially. To register jets here. We are working on it at the moment.

Business jet owners say the industry is just waiting for clear operating rules. They hope that in the near future the government will provide an environment that will let Russian operators thrive in this lucrative market.