Russia May Start Blacklisting Passengers, Pilots

Airplane pilots who violate work rules and unruly passengers could be blacklisted in Russia under a bill now in the State Duma, Andrei Andreev, chairman of the Duma Air Transport Committee, said on Tuesday.


The bill was introduced by the Liberal Democratic Party in early April. On Monday, Vitaly Saveliev, the CEO of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, said blacklists for pilots fired for violating work rules and for misbehaving passengers should be adopted in Russia.


One of the bill’s authors, Duma Deputy Yaroslav Nilov, said the document still needs to be updated to clearly spell out the reasons for blacklisting a pilot.


Andreev said he expected the bill to advance to the full Duma soon.


Aeroflot’s CEO also spoke of the need to allow air carriers to hire pilots from former Soviet countries. The shortage of pilots in Russia had become acute in the past decade and is hampering growth of the national aviation market


Russian air companies need to add at least 700-800 pilots a year, according to Yevgeny Bachurin, the former head of Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya. There are currently about 10,000 commercial pilots in Russia, but each year an estimated 1,000 leave for jobs abroad or retire.


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