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Small aircraft heavy wings

For a year and a half, aviation fuel has been traveling to some northern airports in Yakutia. During this time, its price doubles, but not only the "golden fuel" pulls the small aircraft of the north down.

Against the background of statements by federal officials about the need to develop intraregional aviation in the Far East, including to increase the transport accessibility of the population and popularize domestic tourism, one of the largest infrastructure operators of the FKP "Airports of the North" faced serious problems. The cuts in government funding threaten its smooth operation and prevent the government enterprise from lowering tariffs, which are among the highest in the country.

Small aircraft heavy wings
Photo: FKP "Airports of the North"

The State Assembly of Yakutia (Il Tumen) has prepared proposals to the State Duma (for the Committee on Regional Policy and Problems of the North and the Far East) on the issue of increasing the availability of air travel for citizens living in remote areas. The speech, among other things, concerns the issue of state support for FKP "Airports of the North": the deputies are concerned about the decreasing volume of federal subsidies to this enterprise in recent years.


Information: FKP "Airports of the North" is a subordinate enterprise of the Federal Air Transport Agency. The company unites 31 airports and 2 landing sites in the Republic of Sakha and the Magadan region. Of these, 17 are located in the Arctic Circle. The enterprise is a recipient of subsidies allocated by the Federal Air Transport Agency for financial support of costs associated with its operation, at the expense of the federal budget. The volume of subsidies in 2019 amounted to RUB 1 billion 123 million. (+ 6% by 2018), in 2020 - 1 billion 41 million rubles. (-7%), in 2021 - 952,9 million rubles. (-nine%).


The sky-high price of flights

Earlier, Il Tumen's press service, referring to the chairman of the parliament, Pyotr Gogolev (on June 17, he resigned as speaker, heading the Constitutional Council of Yakutia), reported that the reduction in subsidies leads to an increase in airport taxes, since Airports of the North imposes its costs on services to air carriers. For example, today the rate on takeoff and landing is 17 times higher than in the central part of the country in the northern part of Yakutia, and four times higher than in the regions of the Far East.

Together with the high cost of aviation fuel, the ticket price is influenced by the airport service tariffs. For example, the cost of a flight on the Yakutsk - Batagay route will currently cost from 17,7 thousand rubles. one way, on the route Yakutsk - Saskylakh - from 32 thousand rubles. If you increase subsidies to the "Airports of the North" with a subsequent reduction in airport taxes or even zeroing them for airlines, tickets will become up to 15% cheaper, the parliament believes.

Polar Airlines confirmed the information about the high prices of the state-owned enterprise. “The cost of airport tariffs and taxes on the territory of the republic exceeds the cost of similar tariffs and charges in the central regions of the Russian Federation by an average of 6,5 times, at some rates the difference is more than 11 times. So, the cost of take-off and landing at Vnukovo airport is 220 rubles / ton (excluding VAT), the cost of this service from FKP "Airports of the North" - 2440 rubles / ton, from JSC "Airport Yakutsk" - 1267 rubles / ton ", - informed the airline.

In the cost of flights, the cost of airport services varies from 20 to 34%, depending on the type of aircraft used and the distance of the routes. When all airport costs are zeroed, there will be a commensurate reduction in passenger fares, Polar Airlines noted.

The problem is that due to a shortage of funds, FKP airports are forced to reduce their operating hours, with the exception of urgent emergency rescue, search and rescue operations and sanitary missions. Reduced operating time means limited servicing of the fleet of regional companies. This leads to excess aircraft parking and other additional costs for air carriers.

According to the chairman of the Association of Small Aviation of Yakutia, Ivan Lukin, in order to fully ensure the transport accessibility of 629 settlements of the Republic of Sakha, it is necessary to expand the number of air carriers that have light aircraft like An-2 in their fleet. In order to attract new players to the market, changes are needed to the order of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation No. 241 dated July 17.07.12, 0,25 to extend the effect of the 5,7% reduction factor to all types of airport taxes and ground handling tariffs for aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of up to 2 t (up to class An-XNUMX). However, here again the question arises about the required amount of compensation for the enterprise subordinate to the Federal Air Transport Agency.


Content without features

There is no direct relationship between the reduction in government subsidies and the increase in tariffs for airport services, specified in the "Airports of the North". Despite the decrease in the volume of subsidies and inflation, the Federal Antimonopoly Service refused the enterprise (it is included in the Register of Natural Monopolies subject to state regulation) to increase tariffs in 2020 in connection with the recognition of the aviation industry most affected by the spread of coronavirus. Thus, the last time the tariffs for services at the airports of Yakutia changed in 2019. The rates then increased by 2,75% on average (according to Polar Airlines, in some cases the fee did not increase, in some it decreased, for example, the tugboat services were reduced by 4%, and in some cases it increased - in particular , the tariff for the acceptance and release of the An-10, An-24, An-26, An-2, L-3 and Mi-410 vessels has increased by 8%).

“This state of affairs (with the reduction of subsidies - ed.) Has a negative effect on the development of airports, since the company does not fully ensure the purchase of machinery and equipment necessary for servicing aircraft and maintaining runways,” said the acting director. Director General of FKP "Airports of the North" Sergei Sobolev.

In conditions of a budget deficit, the company is looking for an opportunity to increase additional income and reduce the expenditure side. For example, according to the previously obtained accreditation certificate for the right to assess the vulnerability of air transport infrastructure facilities, services were provided to two organizations. The FKP Aviation Training Center, although its work is primarily aimed at training its own employees, in 2020 trained about 2,2 thousand employees of third-party organizations. The costs of protecting the territory of airports were reduced due to the refusal of the services of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Department of Departmental Security of the Ministry of Transport of Russia" in connection with the receipt of the corresponding certificate of accreditation, however, the introduction of new staff units of the aviation security service required additional costs.

Despite this, funds are still not enough, many expenses for the maintenance of the airport facilities have been curtailed.

“The maintenance program has been practically suspended, which will inevitably lead to difficulties in restoring the runway after floods at certain airports, as well as in conditions of high deterioration of buildings and structures can lead to emergency situations in which it will be difficult to service aircraft and passengers, and also jeopardizes the certification of aerodromes. Forcedly, preventive maintenance of vehicles is not carried out. Repairs are carried out only upon failure of equipment, which increases the downtime and negatively affects the safety and regularity of flights, ”- evidence of problems at the“ Airports of the North ”.

Olga Alekseeva, Deputy Head of the Department of Air Transport, Personnel and Legal Support of the Ministry of Transport and Roads of Yakutia, said that at one time an appeal was prepared by the head of the republic Aisen Nikolaev to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on this situation. region of the deputy head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Dmitry Yadrov. “But the position of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation: there are no additional limits so that the situation can be resolved,” the official clarified. However, she did not rule out that next year the subsidies to the FKP "Airports of the North" will be even lower.


Gas station ran into heavy logistics

The issue of the cost of aviation fuel requires a separate solution (FKP "Airports of the North" does not sell it in its branches, for the most part, the carriers themselves are engaged in fuel supply). Aviation fuels and lubricants at the airports of the Arctic zone are essentially doubling in price. If at the Angarsk refinery the price for 1 ton of fuel is about 40,3 thousand rubles, in the North it can reach 100 thousand rubles.

The cost of kerosene TS-1 in the republic is 1,7 times higher than the cost in other regions of Russia, specify in the "Polar Airlines". Currently, 1 ton of fuel, including VAT, excluding refueling at the Olenek airport costs 99,4 thousand rubles, while at the Yakutsk airport - 63,4 thousand, Khabarovsk - 49,9 thousand, Irkutsk - 42,9 thousand . rub.

The price is influenced by the complex scheme of delivering kerosene to the northern regions. He is transported by rail, water, and also by road, including the winter road. For the time of “docking” the cargo has to be stored at intermediate points, as a result, the delivery time can reach up to one and a half years. “In the final cost of aviation fuel, the transport component, depending on the point and delivery scheme, varies from 30 to 60%,” the airline informed.

In order to partially reduce the cost of fuel and lubricants in Il Tumen, the federal executive authorities are invited to consider the possibility of compensation for transportation to hard-to-reach areas. Another proposal is the elimination of VAT and excise taxes on fuel. Subsidizing transportation costs for the delivery of jet fuel to destination airports can reduce the cost of air tickets by up to 5%.

To reduce the cost of fuel supply, Ivan Lukin proposes to return to the scheme of centralized purchase and delivery of fuels and lubricants to the airports of the republic by the joint-stock company Sakhaneftegazsbyt as a single supplier. According to him, this will allow to save by purchasing a large volume of fuel by a single operator, rather than buying a small batch by individual airlines. It will also give significant savings in the delivery of petroleum products due to their transportation by large-tonnage river vessels.

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