The Aviation Board was established by a Government resolution of December 21, 2016, to enhance coordination of activities between the federal and regional executive authorities and aviation industry and air transport organisations in developing, producing, operating, and marketing Russian-made civil aviation equipment.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Rogozin, it was essentially at your initiative that the Aviation Board was established, using the Maritime Board as an example. Let us discuss the organisation of its work.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin: Mr President, you gave the Government instructions and we have acted on them. On December 21, the Government issued an official resolution on establishing the Aviation Board. As I briefed you earlier, we needed to synchronise and harmonise supply and demand, which is production of aviation equipment, as well as its operation and purchasing, primarily on the domestic market. It is very clear that unless we win back the domestic market, we cannot even start working on our export goals in this sector.
We are currently finalising the Board’s membership. It will include representatives of all the leading design bureaus working in civil aircraft manufacturing, research organisations, the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute, of course, and state customers – the potential buyers of these products, and commercial companies. Later, those involved in post-sale servicing of our civil aviation equipment will also be represented. This has always been our weak point. We can sell goods, but we are not so good at maintaining them afterwards.
Our new mainline aircraft, the MS-21, will take to the skies this spring. I already briefed you on this. The work is proceeding fully according to plan. I visited the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute at the end of December and saw how the aircraft’s stress tests were coming along. In Irkutsk, they are also preparing for the maiden flight.
By this time, we will have drafted a plan for synchronising the production of the new craft: the MS-21, the Il-114, a short-haul passenger plane seating 64 passengers, and the Il-96–400, an extended long-haul aircraft. We will synchronise their production with plans to take out of operation old and foreign aircraft.
We will offer various incentives to companies buying Russian aircraft, including advantageous routes and special economic incentives, including leasing possibilities. We are on schedule and we think we will be ready to brief you on the first results in early spring.
Vladimir Putin: The plan concerning routes is a good idea, a good bonus.
Dmitry Rogozin: Of course, all the more so as now we have come up against the most complicated problem – that of long-haul aircraft. Airbus and Boeing aircraft account for close to 80 percent of our market today. Some of the liberals here say that if it is a good plane, people will buy it everywhere, but this is not the case. Try selling an Airbus on the American market, or a Boeing somewhere in Europe. In other words, there are always overt and tacit protectionist measures in place.
In order to protect our domestic market (the routes could include those crossing our vast country, flights to the Far East, and also tourist routes to Russian citizens’ preferred tourist destinations), we will allocate these routes only to companies that will operate Russian-made aircraft on them.
Vladimir Putin: Good.