Russia considers measures to improve regional air safety

The government is examining ways to boost air safety in the regions, Russia’s deputy transport minister said on Tuesday.

Four plane crashes since June mean Russia has the highest number of air-related fatalities in the world for 2011.

Ageing aircraft and poor maintenance, as well as a lack of properly-trained crews have been blamed for the crashes.

Deputy Minister Valery Okulov said that state guarantees for loans to buy new aircraft were among the options being considered to improve the situation.

He said the issue would be discussed with the Finance Ministry.

Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya suggested on Tuesday banning aircraft that lack modern flight simulators.

Russia’s most recent air crash wiped out virtually the entire Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice-hockey team and occurred when the side’s chartered Yak-42 plane went down near the Volga city of Yaroslavl shortly after takeoff on September 7.

In June, a RusAir Tupolev Tu-134 plane crashed in northwest Russia’s Karelia region, killing 47 people.

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