This text is translated into Russian by google automatic human level neural machine.
EastRussia is not responsible for any mistakes in the translated text. Sorry for the inconvinience.
Please refer to the text in Russian as a source.

"Czechs" and "Canadians" over the Far East

How will local aviation develop in the east of the country, studied EastRussia

In the Far East, local airlines use the order of 100 aircraft, most of which have a low residual service life and are to be decommissioned within six to seven years. In the absence of proposals from the domestic aircraft industry, the choice to upgrade the fleet was decided by itself - mainly in favor of Canadian and Czech aircraft. However, the policy of import substitution forces the carriers to review the existing strategy.

"Czechs" and "Canadians" over the Far East

Today regional air transportation is on the rise. According to Rosaviation, since the beginning of the year a number of Far Eastern companies have demonstrated a steady growth in passenger turnover. For example, 7,5 thousand people (+ 5,3% to last year's level) used "Khabarovsk Airlines" services in January-February, "Polar Airlines" - 9,4 thousand (+ 16,4%). The percentage of seats occupied by these enterprises increased by 6,5% and 11,9%, respectively, to 59,4% and 53,1%.

The positive dynamics is also maintained by the largest air carrier Aurora in the Far East. For the first two months the company carried 208,9 thousand passengers, including on internal lines - 158,5 thousand, which is 9% higher than last year's result.

"Aurora" consistently expands the network of inter-regional and local transportations (2017 million people flew 1,1 in its airplanes on these routes). This is especially evident in Primorye, where the regional program for the development of the transport complex has been implemented for five years already. Due to it, by the 2021 year, more than 60 thousand people are planned to be transported in the local message (2016 th was 30 thousand), and to restore and put into operation 22 landing sites (today their 13).
In addition to the development of the airport infrastructure, the question arises of updating the air fleet. According to Minvostokrazvitiya, the demand of carriers in the new fleet is 122 units, including 74 aircraft and 48 helicopters. The total amount of funds needed to upgrade varies between 30 billion rubles. At the same time, the department notes, serial production of aircraft for a number of types - with a capacity of up to 9 and up to 50 places - is still not available in Russia.

In the conditions of actual lack of proposals from the domestic aviation industry, renewal in the last decade was actively pursued by foreign equipment. Part of the carriers when replacing obsolete An-24 ships, An-26, An-28 relied on the turboprop short-range aircraft of the Bombardier DHC family of Canadian production. The largest fleet of such vessels is at the disposal of the Aurora. These are 11 DHC-8 aircraft, including five DHC 8-Q400 series (70 seats), four DHC 8-Q300 (on 50), two DHC 8-Q200 (on 37).

With the support of the Primorye budget, the Aurora fleet was replenished with three more Canadian-made aircraft - DHC-6 400 Twin Otter with a capacity of 19 passengers. Today they operate ten regular intra-regional flights, and also serve interregional routes from Kavalerovo and Dalnerechensk to Khabarovsk. In just three years of operation (the first DHC-6 400 arrived in Primorye in 2014), they transported 84,7 thousand people.

As noted in the airline, the Canadian aircraft is unpretentious and created with an eye to operate in hard-to-reach areas. Due to its technical characteristics DHC-6 can be used on small airfields, it is suitable for take-off and landing on unprepared ground areas, and also, which is important for airfield infrastructure, on short runways (runways).

Another universal aircraft for local airlines is the twin-engine L-410 (L-410), once designed by the design bureau of the Czechoslovak plant Let Kunovice (now the asset of Czech Aircraft Industries). It can also be operated on unprepared soil, grass and snow areas. Like the DHC-6 400 Twin Otter, L-410 is designed to carry 19 passengers. In the park of "Khabarovsk Airlines" there are five Czech-made aircraft, they are responsible for arranging routes from Khabarovsk to Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Chumikan, Ayan, Bogorodskoye, and Herpuchi.

L-410 is also ordered for Kolyma. With the support of the budget of the Magadan Region, the airline "SILA" and the State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK) signed an agreement last year to supply two aircraft of this series - the first to enter the region earlier this year. "We are planning to purchase another third side so that the Kolyma fleet is stable and reliable. This will allow us to develop intraregional aviation, expand the volume of passenger air transportation, "- says Magadan Governor Vladimir Pechenyi.

As the head of the region admitted, the purchase of DHC-6 400 would be too much of a burden for the regional budget. For comparison, the cost of the Czech plane is $ 5,6 million, while the Canadian one is $ 8,3 million (according to the State Customs Committee, the price of DHC-6 400 can reach $ 10 million).

Meanwhile, as noted in "Aurora", for the operation of aircraft from the Czech Republic, serious investments in ground infrastructure are needed. “In the Amur Region, about 410 million rubles are allocated for the restoration of the Bomnak landing site with the reconstruction of the runway for flights on the L-650 through the FKP“ Airports of the Far East ”. There is an example in the Primorsky Territory, when in 2015 the site in Dalnegorsk was restored for 15 million rubles. with the construction of a passenger building. DHC-6 400 flights are successfully carried out there, ”said Dmitry Tyshchuk, First Deputy General Director of Aurora. 

In turn, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation supported the option of updating the fleet with Czech products, in contrast to the Canadian counterpart. “The design of the aircraft (DHC-6 400. - EastRussia) is geared towards solving the first problem - to obtain unique takeoff and landing characteristics. And the plane perfectly solves this problem: it really can land and take off from very limited areas, poorly prepared for flights or not prepared at all. However, when this task was being solved, the issue of transportation itself was sacrificed, - said Mikhail Bogatyrev, deputy director of the aviation industry department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. - The aircraft is equipped with a thick wing, non-retractable landing gear, which, after taking off from that limited area, creates problems with its drag, and therefore has an increased fuel consumption and low cruising speed. If you compare it with the L-410, the performance of the aircraft is lower, the economy is worse. "

According to Mikhail Bogatyrev, one more defect relates to the ship's interior. The volume of the DHC-6 400 passenger cabin is about 11 cubic meters. m, while the L-410 has 17 cubic meters. m, which makes the flight for passengers in a Canadian plane less comfortable.

However, the administration of the Primorsky Territory has repeatedly emphasized that the DHC-6 400 for a number of factors, including flight safety criteria and the cost of a passenger seat, was a more advantageous option in the same model range as Cessna, Beechcraft and L-410.

One of the trump cards in favor of the choice of Czech aircraft in the Ministry of Industry is the fact that Aircraft Industries today at 100% belongs to a Russian company - the Urals MMC. And the serial production of these machines is now being developed on the basis of the Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA). Last year, there was organized a large-scale assembly. In the future UZGA should adjust the output of the VK-800S engine (now the L-410 aircraft uses the General Electric Aviation engine), which can be used both with the domestic screw AV-410 and with the foreign AV-725.

As specified by aircraft builders, at the end of 2018 the resource tests of the unit will be held, and from 2021, he will go to the series. When constructing L-410, it is also supposed to replace foreign avionics with the domestic product as much as possible, and this work will be synchronized with another promising project in the field of regional transportation - the resumption of production of the turboprop aircraft IL-114 for 64 seats (as is known, the main manufacturer of this machine is the corporation " MiG ", the first serial ship is planned to be built in 2020-2021 years).

The GTLK also says that the L-410 is the most promising model. “In the case of the imported aircraft, we cannot influence the policy of the supplier company in any way, when it increases the price, closes / opens the supply, what will be the service, spare parts, etc. This is a complex issue that is discussed for decision making. We are inclined to believe that L-410 will win this story in terms of a set of parameters, ”said Sergei Khramagin, CEO of STLC earlier.

Obviously, the strengthening of Western sanctions is forcing Russia to reconsider the volume of supplies of imported equipment. In particular, in order to expand the route network with the Kuriles, the authorities of the Sakhalin Region, together with Aeroflot, originally planned to purchase five DHC-6 400 Twin Otter aircraft for Aurora. However, in connection with the concept of import substitution, Sakhalin governor Oleg Kozhemyako told reporters, a decision may be made to purchase domestic aircraft.

"Now in Yekaterinburg, L-410 airplanes are being manufactured, and we are studying whether they will be able to use runways on the islands of Shikotan and Paramushir, which will be quite short. If so, then, of course, we will take Russian equipment. Otherwise, we will ask the government to allow foreign aircraft to be purchased, "Oleg Kozhemyako said.

We add that on February 8, 2018 at the Yekaterinburg-Uktus airfield, a demonstration of the takeoff and landing characteristics of the L-410 took place. The vessel took off after the takeoff run of 430 m instead of the traditional 600 m, thereby approaching the capabilities of the DHC-6 400 (the required take-off and landing strip for the Canadian aircraft is 360 m).

"L-410 is our way to the development of regional aviation," Yevgeny Sergeev, director of the division "Aircraft" UZGA, believes. - This aircraft is suitable for small settlements with the harshest conditions of operation: cold winter, lack of prepared lanes for take-off and landing: snow-covered and shortened runways. "
October 17: current information on coronavirus in the Far East
Digest of regional events and latest statistics