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Small aviation took wing

The system of regional air transportation of the Far East emerged from a protracted peak

In the development program of the Far East, special attention is paid to the development of the transport system of the Far Eastern Federal District (DFO), and primarily of aviation communications. From the middle of the 1990 to the beginning of the 2010-ies, the system of intraregional air transport was in deep crisis, almost the entire infrastructure of local airports declined. Until 1990 year in the Far East, there were about 470 airfields and landing areas, now they are left 140. The prices for tickets at some point became sky-high, and from one subject of the federation to another one often had to travel through Moscow, Novosibirsk or Krasnoyarsk due to the lack of local flights.

Small aviation took wing
The state has taken a whole range of measures to reverse the situation. So, one of the important steps was the government decree # 1242 from 25.03.2013 "On granting subsidies from the federal budget to air transport organizations for regional air transportation of passengers in the territory of the Russian Federation and the formation of a regional route network of the Russian Federation", which introduced a new procedure for subsidizing transport territory of the Far Eastern Federal District. The document was repeatedly elaborated. In 2018, according to Rosaviatsiya, in accordance with Resolution No. 1242, 108 directions will be subsidized from the federal and local budgets, in the co-financing 65 of them, the subjects of the Far Eastern Federal District participate. The program will be attended by the airline "Aurora" (part of the Aeroflot group) and most other Russian carriers. The list of routes, as practice shows, can be adjusted taking into account real requests. So, in 2017, by the order No. 1242, the subsidies were subsidized along the 131 route, although in the original version of the document adopted at the end of 2016, only 102 directions were indicated.

Most likely, the number of routes will be expanded and now. The working group, created at the initiative of the presidential envoy in the Far Eastern Federal District, Yury Trutnev, sent relevant documents to the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Air Transport Agency. In the opinion of the authors of the appeal, for the Far East it has also become an urgent necessity to introduce separate state programs for subsidizing air transportation in addition to what the government list provides. Only in this case it will be possible to increase the flight map, to purchase new aircraft for local airlines, to bring the land structure of the Far Eastern airports in line with modern requirements.


Any subsidies are allocated after a comprehensive assessment of the airline's capabilities. It is important in this case everything - the reliability and responsibility of the carrier, its reputation in the market, the condition of the fleet of aircraft, the qualification of personnel, the opportunities for training and much more. There are few such companies even in today's long list of players in regional air markets. In the Far East, they can primarily be attributed to the airline "Aurora", created by Aeroflot in 2013 on the basis of regional carriers. The controlling stake is 51% of the airline's shares - and today belongs to PJSC Aeroflot-Russian Airlines.

The company shows an annual growth in traffic volumes on average by 20%. Only in Primorye on inland flights "Aurora" for nine months increased passenger transportation by 46% compared to 2016 year, the number of flights grew by 67%. In November 2017, Aurora carried a five-million passenger account from the day of its foundation. "This is practically equal to the population of the entire Far East of Russia. The result was achieved due to the use of an effective system for constructing a route network, the development of intraregional directions and the operation of its own fleet, "explained General Director of JSC Avrora Avrora Konstantin Suhorerebrik.

In the fleet of the base Far Eastern carrier 24 aircraft, including ten medium-haul Airbus A319, eleven DHC-8 and three intra-regional DHC-6 aircraft. "Aurora" is a universal company operating in three segments at once. On a regular basis, flights to foreign countries are carried out, which is the "neighbor" for the Far East: Seoul, Busan, Harbin, Dalian, Beijing, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sapporo. Inland destinations "Aurora" are routes to Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Magadan, Yakutsk, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk, Blagoveshchensk, Tynda, Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Aircraft of the airline also perform regular socially significant flights on local air lines in the Sakhalin region and the Primorsky Territory to remote settlements on small planes. Larger machines simply can not sit on the existing strips under the An-2, which in the last century built in 600 distant villages. The map of such flights is expanding. So, 21 December 2017, flights were launched in the Primorsky Territory twice a week along the new route Dalnerechensk-Vostok-Dalnerechensk (the village of East is equal to the regions of the Far North). The route was for Aurora the tenth regular in-country flight, which is carried out in cooperation with the Primorsky Krai administration as part of the regional air transportation development program in the Far Eastern Federal District.


The strategy of Aurora provides for various schemes for expanding its presence in the market. As an option, for example, the transfer of Aurora to the external management of Khabarovsk Airlines is being discussed as a feeder carrier that will continue to fly under its own brand, but under the commercial management of Aurora. "Aurora" with this scheme of interaction expands the route network and can rely on subsidies for social transportation, and "Khabarovsk Airlines" receive a considerable income.

According to the Minister of Industry and Transport of the Khabarovsk Territory Sergey Ivashkin, the region is interested in cooperation, although a final decision has not been made yet.

The option used by the Primorye authorities is also likely: in 2014-2015 the region purchased three DHC-6 aircraft for the airline and subsidizes flights for beneficiaries. In November, the governor of Sakhalin, Oleg Kozhemyako, suggested creating a unit on the basis of Aurora to service local airlines. In the Aurora itself, it is noted that the creation of such a unit indicates the attention of the authorities to the solution of the problem of air communication with small settlements (with a population of 200 to 3 thousand people) that do not have airports with artificial runways.

The idea, according to the local administration, found support in the Russian government. Now, according to Oleg Kozhemyako, Aurora is undergoing capitalization in order to buy planes for flights to the Kuril Islands - an extremely popular destination with an average load of 90% flights.

As explained in the airline "Aurora", the maximum in the Far East for her remains the restoration of the map of flights from the times of the USSR, and for this will be taken all possible measures.

The machine for any airfields On local lines, the DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter is most often used. It is an "air worker", unpretentious and reliable. With the length of the body 15,8 m and the span of the wings 19,8 m for take-off and landing, he needs a strip with a length of only 360 m. Thanks to this, the DHC-6 can be operated on any Far Eastern airfields, which its closest competitors such as L-410, Cessna, Beechcraft are not capable of. According to expert estimations, in such models of aircraft the economy and reliability are optimally combined: safety of flights remains at a high level, and the cost price of one chair-kilometer is the lowest in comparison with "classmates".


On local lines, the DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter airplanes are most often used. It is an "air worker", unpretentious and reliable. With the length of the body 15,8 m and the span of the wings 19,8 m for take-off and landing, he needs a strip with a length of only 360 m.

Due to this, DHC-6 can be operated at any Far Eastern aerodromes, which its closest competitors such as L-410, Cessna, Beechcraft are not capable of. According to expert estimates, in such aircraft models, economy and reliability are optimally combined: flight safety remains at a high level, and the cost price of one seat-kilometer is the lowest compared to “classmates”.
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