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Flights for life

Why does the air transportation system in the Far East need to be updated?

In mid-December, the government of the Russian Federation designated new assignments for the development of the Far East and the Baikal region. Most of them were connected with the modernization of airports and the improvement of air transportation. EastRussia figured out why the Far East is another small airline, if there is already a "daughter" of Aeroflot "Aurora".

Flights for life
In particular, it was a question of new principles subsidy regional air transportation in the Far Eastern Federal District, allocation of additional funds for the reconstruction of airports, tax incentives for carriers operating on intra-regional flights. The orders were also related to the involvement of Sberbank and Vneshekonombank to purchase new aircraft for the Far Eastern regions, and the creation of a new regional carrier based on the Aurora airline, which is key for the Far Eastern Federal District. It is expected that first of all the new company will carry out flights in the Sakhalin region. Specific proposals for these instructions should appear by March of the year 2018.

Why was the question of creating a new air carrier? Does the Far East lack a "big" Aurora? According to data provided by EastRussia press service of the company, in 2017 passenger traffic volumes of Aurora increased by 13%, for the first 9 months of the year the airline carried 1,3 million passengers. Including on socially significant flights within the Sakhalin region (where it is planned to create a new airline now), Avrora transported about 50 thousand people, completed more than 1200 flights this year.

However, this does not cover all the needs of Sakhalin. Yuri Trutnev, the presidential plenipotentiary in the Far Eastern Federal District, on the government commission on the development of the Far East, called the topic of air transportation as a whole one of the most painful for the federal district.

- Of the 470 airports and landing sites that existed in 1991 year, essentially, one-sixth remained. At the same time, the Ministry of Transport reported today that they are doing everything possible within the framework of today's financing. But this is not so, because in 2013 within the framework of the state federal target programs, 106,1 billion was allocated for the development of the airport economy, of which more than 64 billion was simply lost - сказал Yuri Trutnev. - Disappeared due to the fact that projects were poorly prepared, state expertise was not conducted in time, and now the state expertise simply did not accept these projects. As a result, the money was redistributed, and the airports were not built or were not reconstructed. Accordingly, people do not have the opportunity to go to the hospital, to the maternity home, that is, it is a direct threat to the lives of people in the Far East. About 70% of the territory does not have sufficient aviation accessibility. Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev instructed to study this issue separately and to present him a report on how it happened, who is to blame, with proposals for punishing the perpetrators.

This problem is relevant for almost all the Far Eastern regions.

In the autumn of 2017, for example, residents of the Yakut city of Olekminsk sent a petition to the address of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. People complain that the airport in their city works from time to time. It was built back in 1941-1942 years as one of the points of the Alaska - Siberia route. Since then, its runway has a soil, rather than concrete pavement. And the airfield in any bad weather turns into a solid mess: planes can neither sit down nor take off. As the authors of the petition write, there are similar problems at many airports in Yakutia and other Far Eastern regions, but in Olekminsk the problem is particularly acute, since for the town aviation is, in fact, the only way to communicate with the outside world. The reconstruction of the airport in Olekminsk was supposed to begin three years ago under the program “Economic and social development of the Far East and the Baikal region before 2018”. But because of the crisis did not start.

- Of course, from afar someone will think that my native Olekminsk is a wilderness, which you should not pay attention to, - says Olga Evseeva, now a resident of Yakutsk, tells EastRussia. "But people live there, too." More precisely, in recent years, mostly leave: how to live in such conditions? In general, the situation is paradoxical: during the war years the airport was able to build in a short time, and nowadays the runway does not reach the concrete strip.

Of course, not everywhere the situation is as acute as in Olekminsk. But the problems, nevertheless, are unique in each region. It's hard to live for people, especially in remote places. And besides, without air traffic there is no normal implementation of those Far Eastern projects, of which there has been much talk recently.

- The state of the infrastructure of most of the facilities does not meet modern requirements, it becomes an obstacle in the implementation of investment plans and the development of tourist destinations. This does not mean that nothing has been done there, there are also quite positive examples related to the development of transport hubs, but, unfortunately, they are less than we can count on, сказал at the same meeting of the government commission Dmitry Medvedev.

All of the above and became an occasion to reflect on the creation of a new regional air carrier in the Sakhalin region on the basis of the Aurora.

- Avrora Airlines was originally established to ensure transport accessibility of the territories of the Far Eastern Federal District. Information on the creation of a new airline on the basis of Aurora for flight on local airlines, we perceive as an appeal of the state - an emphasis on existing problems of flights to small settlements with a population of 200-3000 people who do not have airports with artificial runways, EastRussia general director of the "Aurora" Konstantin Suhorerebrik. - First of all, this applies to residents of remote areas, where there is no reliable road or rail connection with regional centers. The quality of life of the inhabitants of these settlements is several times worse than that of the townspeople. Even an elementary opportunity to receive emergency or highly qualified medical care causes difficulties, not to mention other needs. In bad weather, when precipitation erodes often the only way to a settlement, people are actually cut off from the big earth. We are ready to take an active part in the development of local airlines. People and experience is.

Some time ago, the regional carrier - the subsidiary structure of the Aurora - appeared in Primorye. As Konstantin Sukhorebryk relates, this radically changed the situation in the region, primarily in terms of transport accessibility of remote settlements.

- Since 2014, a lot of work has been done in Primorsky Krai to restore and develop local air transportation. The Primorsky Territory Administration purchased three DHC-6 Twin Otter 400 aircraft with 19 seats, and the landing sites and air routes that existed in Soviet times were restored to the peak of civil aviation aviation activity, he said. - Sale of electronic tickets in remote settlements is organized. The effect of invested funds and efforts is a multiple increase in passenger traffic. This is an unprecedented case in the history of Russia's small aircraft.

In 2016, says Konstantin Suhorebrik, the passenger traffic volume of the airline Aurora in the Primorsky Territory on the DHC-6 aircraft was 26 806 passengers, which is 32% more than in 2015 (20 348 passengers). For ten months 2017-th on DHC-6 32 576 passengers were transported - by 42% more than during the same period of 2016.

- Now the airline "Aurora" performs nine regular intra-district flights to Primorye on three DHC-6 aircraft: from Vladivostok to Kavalerovo, Plastun, Ternei, Dalnerechensk, Dalnegorsk, Transfiguration, from Terney to Amgu, Svetloy, Edinka; one regional flight Kavalerovo - Khabarovsk. In the near future, expansion of the route network: the opening of new flights to the village of Vostok and the village of Serafimovka. The issue of purchasing the fourth DHC-6 aircraft is also being considered, "says Sukhorebryk.

Now it's Sakhalin's turn.

- The Sakhalin region is the only island region in Russia, and for it the transport problem is especially urgent. We need to develop flights between small settlements, and for this we need the aircraft of the appropriate class, "explained EastRussia in the press service of the government of the Sakhalin region. - Therefore, the governor of Sakhalin Oleg Kozhemyako and spoke at the government commission with the proposal to create a new air carrier. And he received support from Medvedev and Trutnev. The company will be created on the basis of "Aurora". Now the capitalization of this airline is in progress, the issues of buying boards for flights to the Northern Kuriles and Shikotan are being resolved. In addition, such a solution will create new jobs and increase tax returns.

So far, however, not all possible participants are ready to talk about the specific parameters of the project. It is known that this idea supported Chairman of the Board of Sberbank German Gref. Actually, the government of the Russian Federation now expects that the bank will finance the acquisition of aircraft for the new company. However, the press service of the Savings Bank correspondent EastRussia explained that this topic has not yet commented. Do not talk about specific figures and terms so far and in the regional government.

Concreteness is now exactly the Aurora. It is planned that for the intraregional traffic on Sakhalin, the same “workaholic” planes will be purchased, which are now working on all existing aerodromes and landing grounds of Primorye, including not the most equipped ones.

- Canadian DHC-6 Series 400 Twin Otter - unpretentious and reliable - created with a focus on operation in hard-to-reach areas. Due to their technical characteristics, these aircraft can be used even on small airfields: with the length of the hull 15,8 m and the wingspan of 19,8 m, the required take-off and landing strip for this aircraft is only 360 m, "says Konstantin Sukhorebrik. - Such parameters fall under the class of shortened takeoff and landing characteristics. At the same time DHC-6 is suitable for takeoff and landing on unprepared ground areas - and this is important, given that many runways for regional aviation in the Far East are ground-based.

The work to create a new regional airline on Sakhalin should begin in the spring of 2018. By March, all the parameters of this project should be fully understood.
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