Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon,
Before we discuss the main issues, I want to draw your attention to the problems of ensuring the safety of high-risk facilities and systems, including aviation and air transport.
Today, I have asked the Prime Minister to analyse existing departmental regulations and instructions. I want to ask everyone concerned to promptly assist Government leaders and to submit their proposals on improving our work in this sphere.
And now let’s discuss the meeting’s agenda.
Numerous resolutions in the sphere of aircraft construction and aviation activity have recently been adopted. The Government has repeatedly examined these issues at its meetings. At the same time, I want to say that it is still too early to talk about any substantial progress. Unfortunately, many top-priority problems are not yet being solved; and, considering global developments and tough competition in this field, we are running out of time.
Numerous ministries and departments, including the Russian Aerospace Agency, the Defence Ministry, the Transport Ministry and the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, are dealing with aviation issues. We must focus on the aviation sphere because it inevitably suffers from managerial and organisational setbacks.
It is important that we choose the most effective methods for solving the basic problems of Russian aviation. This primarily concerns the need to overhaul the civilian air fleet. As you know, this issue is becoming particularly important in the context of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s latest decisions. Only 24% of the Russian air fleet meet the new operational requirements. A mere 0.3% of the air fleet is being replaced each year, 20 times below the global average.
The mainstay of our national air fleet consists of planes that are several decades old. We will lose our traditional international and our domestic routes if we do not quickly build modern aircraft and overhaul our models currently in operation.
Certain steps have recently been taken in order to rectify the situation. The Government has approved a strategy for developing civilian aviation and related activities. However, these measures are being implemented too slowly.
We have so far failed to streamline the relevant financial mechanism that would enable companies to operate at full capacity, and which would help overhaul the national air fleet.
It took us a lot of time and effort to introduce leasing plans, which are still the only option, and which are being implemented too slowly.
I want to know what leverage could be used to attract additional funding.
Second, we have been discussing the restructuring of the aircraft industry for many years; however, everything grinds to a halt when we try to implement specific proposals.
Third, I want to focus on the current state and prospects of aviation science and its experimental base. All of us realise that this is the foundation of all aviation activity, and that it must be strengthened. Unfortunately, there are many unsolved problems in this sphere.
International cooperation is the fourth aspect. We must take advantage of all positive achievements in this field and must not opt for isolation because this would lead nowhere. We must pool our efforts with leading aviation powers, choose the right partners in specific areas, deal with the United States and the European Union and more actively promote our products on the global market.
Our latest talks with our Chinese partners have produced concrete results. This is a small but positive step in the right direction.
I want to emphasise that the Government must handle today’s agenda. And we have gathered here today because I promised to meet after visiting the air show. And I want to hear the opinions of different ministries, departments, governmental and non-governmental agencies on this issue. We should discuss the problem in a broader context, choose specific priorities and draw up a timetable for implementing the Government’s programmes. And we might need to make some changes to it along the way.