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10 Sep, 2008 03:17

PM pushes for aircraft production to shape up

Russia may cut import duties for foreign aircraft components in a bid to boost the flagging domestic civil aviation industry. That's just one of the measures Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed when he met aircraft ma

Russia will invest over $500 million dollars into its civil aircraft industry in the next 3 years.  Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, says he expects Russian aircraft manufacturers to supply half of the airplanes for the domestic market and to become a noticeable player in the global one.

The huge Antonov aircraft carry up to 150 tonnes on board. They have no rivals in the outsize cargo market. Last year Russia’s leading civil aircraft manufacturer Aviastar produced 5 planes like this and those of Tupolev family. While Boeing and Airbus build over 400 aircraft each.

Russia's United Aircraft Corporation plans to produce over 430 planes by 2012. Prime Minister Putin says, more international competition may also encourage the industry.

“We made a decision to incorporate companies which produce aircraft components within the State owned Rostekhnologii Corporation.  Now its managers will have to make sure Russia produces enough modern components.  If these measures have no results we will have to cancel import duties on aircraft parts.”

Evgeny Shago, Chief of the Analytical Department at Ingosstrakh – Investment supports the move

“That’s one way to stimulate the aircraft industry.  Russian producers will lower their costs and an alternative will be found for Russian technological solutions, which are sometimes outdated, but have to be used in the production of aircraft.  This will lead to Russian companies choosing domestic aircraft.”  

Analyst say, the chance of reviving the industry was lost 3 years ago. Now the market is down because of high aviation fuel cost. Analysts believe increasing production is almost impossible. But industry insiders say, the main problem for production of civil aircraft is outdated design technology and production processes.