Production of Austrian-Russian Utility Plane to Start in 2016

ULYANOVSK, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian and Austrian plane makers will start joint production of a new light utility aircraft in 2016, officials said Thursday.

The agreement between Russia’s Ural Civil Aviation Works, a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec, and Austria’s Diamond Aircraft International was signed in June, on the first day of the Le Bourget air show near Paris.

The manufacturing will take place in Russia’s Ulyanovsk Region, in a special economic zone currently being created at the Ulyanovsk-Vostochny international airport.

“We are delighted that the decision has been made to produce regional jets, including in the Ulyanovsk special economic zone, and that a budget of 7 billion rubles [$215 million] is envisaged for the purpose by a draft governmental decree,” the Ulyanovsk Region administration quoted a Russian presidential envoy as saying in a statement.

Russia has suffered a massive decline in regional air services since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. The nation has huge demand for air transport in remote areas where there are no rail or road links, especially in Siberia.

The Russian government has recently made the revival of regional aviation services a key priority, and has started a program to redevelop airports and subsidize air services.

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