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Can Erel

Turkey & Russia Close Cooperation Indicates Big Opportunities for All Parties in Aviation

Issue 7 - 2020
Turkey & Russia Close Cooperation Indicates Big Opportunities for All Parties in Aviation
In this issue, we are proud to share a part of the “CAN’CA Interview” with H.E. Alexander Neradko, the First Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation & The Director of the Federal Air Transport Agency. In this interview by Can Erel, the Chief Advisor to the Aviation Turkey Editorial Board, Mr. Neradko discusses his career, aviation and bilateral realations between Turkey and the Russian Federation.

I have always thought that it was more than an interesting milestone in my career to know such a great person like Alexander Neradko; the time passed proved that I am right...

Completing the process of mutual audits began in 2017 has led to Turkey and the Russian Federation coming to the conclusion that their airworthiness and flight safety assessment systems are similar and in line with ICAO standards. Then, a Working Arrangement between the DGCA of Turkey & FATA of the Russian Federation (Russia) was signed between us as the representatives of the parties on February 7, 2018.  

The agreement paved the way to simplified procedures for the mutual recognition of aircraft certification documents. Today, Turkey and Russia started introducing a “favorable environment” for bilateral aircraft exports and imports, with documents issued by one of the two countries to be recognized by the other. 

Since my leaving the Turkish civil aviation authority, we have been keeping in touch with each other and I have always felt his great friendship in my advisory business in aviation. I am very happy that Alexander Neradko has allowed me to have such a meaningful conversation in such an important time for aviation while he is the Acting Minister of Transport of Russia and I am pleased to include this interview as part of the content of Aviation Turkey magazine... 

 Can Erel: Who is Alexander Neradko and where did the interest in aviation first come from?

Alexander Neradko: My initial interest in aviation appeared in the early school time when I read many exciting books about aviation, pilots, mechanics and their work, airplanes and helicopters.

In 1978 I entered the Moscow Technical University of Civil Aviation, and graduated in 1984 with a degree in "Operation of Aircraft and Engines". Since that time, my professional activity has been inseparably connected with civil aviation organizations and the civil aviation authority of Russia.

 Can Erel: What about Mr. Neradko as a leader of Russian civil aviation appointed in 2000?

Alexander Neradko: No less, 20 years ago, in August 2000, I was appointed to the position of the First Deputy Minister of Transport – Director General of the State Civil Aviation Authority. Before this my work was connected with flight safety oversight, investigation of aviation accidents and incidents – perhaps this brought up my stress tolerance and the habit of paying attention to every small detail, with nothing overlooked or missed.

I can definitely state that since my childhood sport helps me – it motivates, builds character and “will to win”, develops strategic and tactical thinking, patience, respect for the competitors and teammates, and develops hardness and "sports anger", which are always important to resist any challenges. 

Several times, I became the champion and medalist of the Soviet Union Championships in the high jump and in 1980 achieved a record that only the best athletes of the USSR could achieve at that time - 2.25 meters.

Civil aviation is absolutely a "team game", it is impossible to manage this complex industry alone. People have always been and are the main force of Russian aviation. I warmly remember my mentors and colleagues whose knowledge, wisdom and experience helped me to grow up as a professional and a leader.

I am convinced that it is vitally important to maintain a continuous dialogue with the aviation community. For example, since 2001 we established the Club of top-managerial level civil aviation veterans named “Experience” in order to use their professional potential and skills. Consulting assistance in the current activity of the Federal Air Transport Agency (FATA) is provided by the Advisory Council consisting of highly qualified civil aviation professionals, by the Public Council as a tool of open public policy to monitor and evaluate the quality of FATA services by the society and air passengers, by the Pilot-in-Command Club, associations of air transport operators, airports, passengers, etc. Parliamentarians and heads of the Russian regions provide great assistance in terms of air legislation. Everyone makes their own contributions and helps to see the issue from different points of view and to make the right, sometimes not easy, decision.

I am proud to defend the interests of national civil aviation at the level of the Aviation Collegium of the Government of the Russian Federation, as its Deputy Chairman.

 Can Erel: Your career spans over 35 years in the aviation industry; what is your evaluation of Russian Federation (Russia) civil aviation in terms of the point that it has reached today? Give us a brief description of Russia civil aviation with the facts and figures...

Alexander Neradko: On February 9, 2023 Russian civil aviation will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Russia is one of the few countries in the world having the status of “aviation power”, with hi-tech technologies and competencies in design and manufacture of the entire list of aeronautical products. 

The Russian Federation provides air navigation services in the airspace over 26 mln km2 with an extensive network of 1,072 routes with a total length of 883,181 km, including 627 routes for international flights. In 2019 more than 1.8 million flights were served in the Russian Federation`s airspace.

In order to ensure flight safety, meet the interests of users and increase the transit potential of Russian airspace, a large-scale air navigation reform was launched in 2005, which led to the creation of a unified (without dividing into military and civil sectors) air traffic management system. We continue improvement of the airspace structure, optimization of its management system and implementation of new technologies, perspective tools and systems for air services, surveillance, navigation and communication, and equipping of civil aerodromes with modern instrumental systems for landing. I use this opportunity to invite Aviation Turkey Magazine to visit Russia to make a separate report on this topic.

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the period of the 1990s and early 2000s, when I was appointed to lead the industry, was a difficult time for national civil aviation due to a total deficit of funding, shutdown of new aircraft and engines manufacturing, a huge number of “shell” airlines with a fleet of 1-2 aircraft, a decline in traffic, implementation of Chapter 2 noise restrictions in 2002 in a number of popular touristic countries that actually blocked operations of the basic "labor force"- airplanes Tu-134, Il-86 and cargo Il-76.

Since that period, a huge amount of work was done to raise the industry- in the pre-COVID-19 period it was characterized as continuously growing according to the main indicators. Russians began flying more frequently not only on international but also on domestic flights.

The amount of Russian airlines traffic in 2019 exceeded 128 mln passengers (+10.3% to the previous year), including more than 55 mln passengers on international routes (+16.3%), and about 73 mln passengers on domestic routes (+ 6%). The top-5 airlines include Aeroflot, S7, Russia, Pobeda, and Ural airlines with a market share of about 65%. Russian airlines operated scheduled and charter flights to the destinations in 75 foreign countries, and 155 foreign airlines from 72 countries operated passenger flights to Russia.

In 2019 our airports served more than 221 mln passengers of Russian and foreign airlines and more than 968 thousand tons of cargo and mail.

Currently there are 107 commercial airlines, 220 operators of aerial work and 69 general aviation operators registered in Russia.

The fleet of Russian air carriers consists of 1,120 helicopters, 873 airplanes and 277 regional airplanes of various Russian - and foreign-made types. In total 8,830 piloted aircraft are registered in Russia. According to our forecast Russian airlines will demand 567 transport category aircraft, 405 helicopters and 259 regional airplanes by 2030. We are optimistic for the promising MC-21 aircraft currently certifying and other new Russian-made aeronautical products, while pursuing a policy of import substitution.

There are 241 civil aviation airports, including 79 international airports, 45 of ICAO Category 1, 6 are ICAO Category 2, 5 are ICAO Category 3 and 6 heliports and 2,112 landing pads.

We often say in our industry that “3 km of road will not lead you far, but 3 km of runway will open the whole world to you”. Taking into account the geography and climatic conditions here in Russia, its huge territory and existence of difficult-to-reach by land places where people live and objects of various sectors of the economy, which can only be reached by air, civil aviation serves the task of increasing public mobility, quality and level of life and ensuring affordable prices of air carriages. Our target is to augment the situation entirely, as now communication between neighboring points in the Far East or North of Russia is only possible with air transfer via the capital Moscow situated thousands of kilometers away from these points.

In order to achieve this target, we should construct from zero or modernize the ground airport infrastructure built in USSR times, develop a socially important regional air network and have required air fleet of various seat capacities. Several federal government-level programs were launched recently to subsidize regional and local operations, lease aircraft for these routes by airlines, compensate for lost revenue from airports and ground handling organizations, and hold the growth of airport fees and charges rates. By 2024, 66 airports are planned to be reconstructed (including 25 large and economically significant for the regions and 41 located in remote Far East and Arctic areas.)

The task is ambitious, plus it has specifics related to the difficult logistics of delivery of building materials to such remote sites, deficit of contractors qualified in airport building and a very limited calendar period for on-site construction activities due to the harsh climate, but the resolution is directly linked with the increase of the economic and social territorial connectivity level in the country.

I try to visit personally even the most remote points and construction sites in order to monitor the implementation of the program.

 Can Erel: Can you share your way of success and major challenges in civil aviation?

Alexander Neradko: Undoubtedly, a very important responsibility for me requiring concentration and preparation is air transportation support of events at the national and international level like political and economic forums and election campaigns, sport competitions and cultural festivals. Transportation must be organized impeccably, safely and comfortably. Such events include, for example, the annual economic forums in Sochi, Saint Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok – unfortunately, no events were held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The quite new event for FATA in 2019 was the organization of aviation support for participants and guests of the Russia–Africa Forum.

In 2020 Russia chairs the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) groups, and despite limited air connections, this means a great responsibility for the Russian aviation industry.

Aviation services provided for the 2014 Sochi Olympics were at the highest level; the 2018 FIFA World Cup held in 11 Russian cities involving 13 airports; stages of the Red Bull Air Race world championship in Kazan, Formula 1 races in Sochi; the summer and winter world Universiade games among students in Kazan and Krasnoyarsk, the WorldSkills championship, and many others.

The work of Russian aviators, airports, air navigation and ground services providers were evaluated by the country`s leadership as flawless and we are very proud of this.

Readers of your magazine will find it interesting that the Russian civil aviation annually organizes transportation of Russian pilgrims to the Hajj. In 2019 more than 26,500 pilgrims were transported.

Over the past few years, we have also had to face economic challenges – the termination of operations of the major Russian airlines Transaero in the fall of 2015 and VIM-Avia 2 years later. Along with necessity to urgently find and involve other carriers to return from abroad a large number of passengers in the middle of the high tourist season and to organize air ticket refunds, the situation had a great social impact – a large number of qualified aviation personnel remain jobless, with arrears in salaries and picketing, it was necessary to employ them fast, to close debts accumulated by the mentioned 2 airlines toward airports, fuel and air navigation services. I remember with gratitude the support of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, (DGCA) of Turkey helping in these not easy days to organize the return of Russian tourists-clients of both airlines from Turkish resorts.

Absolutely, the most difficult challenges, both emotionally and professionally, are air accidents with a large number of victims. I work at the scene from the very first minutes, manage search and rescue operations, interact with colleagues, communicate with mass media, and with relatives of victims. The № 1 task is to establish the true reasons for the accident and take measures to avoid repetition once and for all. Aspects of flight safety and prevention are the highest priorities for the Federal Air Transport Agency.

Due to the threats coming from international terrorism to global civil aviation, very serious attention is being paid to security measures and the protection of the air transport infrastructure and air fleet from acts of unlawful interference.

Among the challenges that we, as well as the aviation administrations of other countries, determine and try to decide, I can also mention the necessity to avoid a deficit of qualified aviation personnel versus a growing amount of air carriages. It is necessary to strengthen and develop the personnel potential of the industry.

 Can Erel: My next question is exactly about this. As we all know that the ICAO launched the Next Generation of Aviation Professionals (NGAP) initiative to ensure that enough qualified and competent aviation professionals are available to operate, manage and maintain the future international air transport system. What can you say about the Russian civil aviation education structure and features in terms of supporting this initiative?

Alexander Neradko: Qualification, competence and professional responsibility are the core principles of training of civil aviation personnel. Safety and reliability of aircraft, maintenance of flight and technical operation of aircraft on the required level – all of these depend on the appropriate level of training. Therefore, the issues of personnel training, ensuring the full staffing needs of the aviation enterprises, permanent professional recurrent training of specialists and heads of civil aviation enterprises have great importance not only for the industry, but for the country as whole.

81 aviation-training centers and 60 their branches in 30 regions of the Russian Federation are carrying out aviation personnel training activities.

Jointly with airlines, we conduct an annual analysis of the demand for commercial pilots. This is about 850 aircraft pilots and 90 helicopter pilots for the period up to 2024.

The FATA is the founder of 3 state universities of civil aviation located in Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Ulyanovsk. Each of them also includes educational organizations of secondary education (colleges) as branches. Education is carried out at 32 professions and specializations, 23 of them have an industry-oriented focus.

All educational organizations are equipped with a modern base to train specialists for the operation of foreign aircraft and equipment, introduce innovative technologies in accordance with international requirements, actively develop international cooperation in educational and scientific fields, educate foreign citizens, participate in exchange programs for students, teaching staff, internships with leading educational and scientific centers abroad, involvement in international educational projects, congresses, conferences and symposiums, and carry out practical research.

An attractive feature of the Russian aviation universities for foreigners is the ability of “through” educational trajectory: pre-university, bachelor programs, magistracy, post-graduate courses on a wide range of professions demanded in civil aviation. The intensive study of the Russian language is conducted for foreign citizens as well.

I would be happy with the strengthening of close academic and scientific relations in the field of education and training of civil aviation professionals with our Turkish colleagues.

 Can Erel: How do you evaluate Russia and ICAO relations?

.... basic approaches, any distinctive strategy of Russia within the ICAO 

Alexander Neradko: The overall organization of Russia’s representation within the ICAO is my direct job responsibility. The Russian Federation always actively participates in ICAO activities, supporting is strategic goals and conducting joint efforts with the world aviation community to create an integrated and safe global air transport system. Much attention is paid to the formation of the Russian side`s approaches and policy related to all topics of the ICAO agenda; for this purpose, the Inter-ministerial Commission on ICAO Affairs was established.

Surely, on a number of issues discussed at the ICAO platform, Russia openly criticizes and defends its opinion. As they say, "truth is born in a dispute". 

For example, we consider unacceptable attempts are being made to impose an additional and unjustified financial burden on the civil aviation sector in the form of global market-based measures, the "carbon compensation and reduction system for international aviation (CORSIA)". It is obvious that withdrawal of significant financial resources from the industry will have a negative impact on the speed of development of civil aviation, especially in developing countries. 

We also defend the necessity to keep the principle of multilingualism in the ICAO. It is unacceptable when international ICAO events that require involvement and opinions of many countries are not supported with language services.

Generally, throughout membership in the ICAO our country is consistently committed to policy aimed at following all provisions of the Chicago Convention, implementation of standards and recommended practices into national air legislation and its harmonization.

In 2017 the Russian Federation joined the Montreal Convention of 1999. 

In 2018 an Agreement was signed on establishment and operation of the International Bureau for the investigation of aviation accidents and serious incidents, and we expect that other States in our region will join this Agreement as well. 

Earlier, in 2015, in accordance with ICAO recommendations, the Government of the Russian Federation made a decision on returning functions of certification of civil aeronautical products back to the national level as it was until 1991, from the Interstate Aviation Committee to the Federal Air Transport Agency of Russia. It was a long-overdue step to strengthen the national aviation industry, to raise the export potential of Russia as a country that designs and manufactures in respect to a wide list of aeronautical products and is directly responsible for their safe operation in civil aviation. The leading aviation powers, as well as the states importing Russian-made civil aeronautical products and the international aviation community fully supported this reform. Now we are in process of negotiating and signing arrangements with many of them in the field of certification and airworthiness, as prescribed by the ICAO.

In 2019 Russia successfully passed the ICAO Universal Security Audit Program with 95% achievement, demonstrating a high level of compliance with ICAO standards in the field of aviation security and protection of air transport infrastructure and aircraft from acts of unlawful interference.

Undoubtedly the key priority for the Russian Federation is the provision of flight safety in accordance with the ICAO "safety first" standards. We have implemented the system for distribution of information about identified risk factors; all concerned parties get free access to it. The database of investigation materials related to aviation accidents, incidents and operational occurrences is one of the most popular information resources, bringing together more than 1,400 users representing 350 civil aviation industry organizations. Important attention is paid to aspects of runway safety, seasonal and climatic specificity of airline and airport operations, ornithology, human factors and crew resource management; technical flight conferences on particular aircraft types are held on a regular basis with the participation of air carriers, design and manufacture companies. 

In December 2019, the entire international aviation community celebrated the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on international civil aviation in 1944. In honor of this event on December 06, 2019 we launched the ICAO flag from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station – I guess it never flew so high before! On December 07, 2019, the international space crew addressed a video speech to mark this significant date. On February 06, 2020, the flag was returned to Earth and was handed over by me to the ICAO headquarters as a gift to the Russian Federation in memory of this unique event.

Currently, of course, we are carefully monitoring the ICAO`s initiatives on COVID-19

 Can Erel: Almost all countries have been forced to adopt strict measures to fight coronavirus, which first appeared in China in late 2019 and quickly spread to other countries, resulting in a death toll of over 1.5million so far. Can you tell us the story of how COVID-19 has impacted aviation in Russia, how could your government and industry fight the COVID-19 pandemic?

Alexander Neradko: The amount of traffic of the top-10 Russian airlines on international air routes in April-August 2020 decreased by more than 99% in comparison with the same period of 2019. In total 52.6 mln passengers were carried in 9 months of 2020, the amount decreased by 47 % in comparison with the same period of last year. 

To compare, taking into account the historical background, in 1990 the amount of domestic air transportation in the whole USSR was about 85.5 mln passengers. The lowest level occurred in 1999. At that time, traffic was 22 mln passengers, decreasing almost 4 times. The amount of traffic recovered only by 2014 (84.6 mln passengers). Thus, the industry took about 15 years to recover.

In the current conditions, the drop was almost 100%. In addition to the crisis phenomena, the social stress has a significant impact today as well. 

In May 2020 we implemented "Guidelines for a step-by-step exit from the anti-epidemic restricting regime imposed against the spread of a new coronavirus infection, while restoring air passenger transportation in civil aviation". Monitoring of the following of these Guidelines by airlines and airports is performed permanently. Compliance with these requirements is also required for foreign airlines to resume their international flights to destinations in the Russian Federation.

In general, the aviation industry of the Russian Federation is fully ready to restart on a reciprocal basis for air flights to/from the foreign countries, where the pandemic situation is demonstrating positive dynamics. 

As for the priority measures of state support for civil aviation, as one of the most affected by the pandemic, they were resulted in adoption of several important legal acts concerning the introduction of a moratorium on filing bankruptcy applications, granting a grace period for the organizations in order to pay taxes, insurance premiums and leasing payments for aircraft. Permits were extended, subsidies were allocated to airlines and airports from the reserved fund of the Government of the Russian Federation for the partial compensation of the costs due to reduced revenues because of falling passenger air traffic; Aeroflot as well as leading air carriers in other countries received targeted financial support. Special permissions were granted to several passenger airlines to transport socially important medicine and sanitary goods and equipment in the cabin of passenger aircraft – which allowed for the conomic support of their operational activity during the challenging period for the industry.

 Can Erel: What about measures taken against COVID-19 in the air transport chain, from the the gate at a departure airport to the gate at an arrival airport?

Alexander Neradko:Such a set of measures routine for all of us in the recent months relates to the use of personal protective equipment (masks and gloves), disinfection, thermometry at all stages of the passenger`s journey, maintaining social distance and providing information about contacts.

Information about COVID-19 prevention is announced in the airports and on board, the number of accompanying persons in the terminals is minimized and control over air conditioning systems is strengthened. Passengers are admitted on board only in protective masks and gloves, that cannot be removed during the entire flight, except taking food and drinks. The "fasten seat belts" mode is activated permanently in flight, minimizing moving of passengers on board.

The conditions for entry of foreign citizens to Russia are the mandatory existence of medical insurance and negative results of a PCR test for COVID-19. It is also mandatory to submit contact information that will allow quick identification of the passenger if one of the passengers on their flight was diagnosed with coronavirus.

 Can Erel: Now, let us move to air transport between our countries...  In the middle of the summer 2020, Turkey and Russia agreed to resume flights after a 4-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Can you share your expectations regarding passenger traffic and freight traffic between Turkey and Russia?

Alexander Neradko: In recent years Turkey has been a leader in the top-10 international destinations popular for tourism for Russian citizens. Of course, they are looking forward to the soonest normalization of the situation.

Since the 1st of August this year, Russia restarted scheduled international flights in compliance with the required sanitary protection measures to a number of countries including Turkey. On the first step flights started from Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don to Istanbul. Scheduled and charter flights of Russian and Turkish air carriers to/from Dalaman, Bodrum and Antalya resumed August 10, 2020 and are in high demand.

No doubt, it will take time to restore the previous traffic volumes, and it is difficult to make any forecasts, even initial ones, but both Russian and Turkish aviators are ready to work together on this issue.

 Can Erel:  What can be shared about the current status of programs and business partnerships in regard to fixed and rotary winged aircraft for aerial firefighting that I took part in for both initiatives?

Alexander Neradko: Russian aircraft and helicopters have unique flight characteristics and reliability, well recommended for all climatic and geographical conditions from the Far North to the southern latitudes and are offered at very competitive prices compared to western products. 

Unfortunately, sometimes foreign air regulators and operators are not well informed about the potential of Russian-made aeronautical products, but we are working on it – the task of popularizing of Russian aeronautical products in foreign markets are actively being solved in various ways, including participation in the international exhibitions and air shows, such as MAKS, Le Bourget, Eurasia-2018 in Antalya, and demo tours.

Every year, wildfires cause huge economic and environmental damage and lead to victims all over the world. One of the most effective means of combating them is through aviation.

The Russian Be-200 amphibious aircraft performs brilliantly in this regard. The aircraft is really promising, multi-purpose and unique, certified for civil aviation. I would say that it is an aircraft of "three elemental forces – air, fire and water", created to save people, wildlife, and infrastructure. This is the only amphibious jet aircraft in the world, which gives it undeniable advantages in speed while extinguishing fires. It can take 12 tons of water on board. For one refueling, the aircraft is able to drop up to 270 tons of water on the fire. In addition, the Be-200 can be quickly converted to carry 43 passengers on medium-length routes basing both on aerodromes and on water surface, and the medicine module can also be placed on board.

It is great that since June 2020 by the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey, several Be-200 amphibious aircraft with Russian crews carried on fire duty near Antalya, Izmir and Bodrum. Our Turkish partners can wholly evaluate the potential of this highly efficient aircraft – in fact, like other countries, whose calls to help fight annual wildfires are always promptly responded to by Russia.

Besides, in 2019 a party of Ka-32A11VS helicopters designed not only for firefighting, but also for search and rescue operations, high-rise building, ferrying cargo inside cabin and on the external load sling, logging, medical evacuation, patrolling, and effectively operated in dense urban districts, remote mountain and forested areas, landing on deck of small vessels, oil platform pads were delivered to Turkey. Deliveries of Ka-32A11VS became possible within the framework of the Working Arrangement in the field of airworthiness signed between the Federal Air Transport Agency and the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Turkey in February 2018.

Can Erel: Do you see any joint aviation programs between our countries such as Indigenous regionaland/or other type aircraft design & manufacturing, Fixed and/or rotary winged aircraft modification, New type airport, and Smart cargo hub?

Alexander Neradko: The issue of the potential of Russian - Turkish cooperation in the aircraft design and manufacture industry is rather related to the competence of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, but as I am aware, Turkish aerospace industries specialize in aeronautical production and produce various types of components and also have established serious economic and trade relations, and this may definitely be of interest to Russian corporations involved in the design and manufacture of aircraft and helicopters.

As for airports, Turkish companies have proven themselves well and regularly win tenders for the construction of airport terminals in Russia. 

For example, a Turkish construction consortium is constructing passenger terminal at Kemerovo airport. Earlier the same contractor built the new "Platov" airport terminal in Rostov-on-Don, which successfully entered into operation in December 2017, and the new passenger domestic terminal at Khabarovsk Airport, which entered in operation in 2019. 

Turkish companies also won tenders for the construction of a cargo terminal at Kazan airport and a new terminal of Novosibirsk airport. Currently, the Turkish side is interested in projects for the construction of new terminals for Voronezh and Mirny airports. We have no doubts about the quality and terms of work performed by the Turkish companies – all newly constructed terminals and their technological equipment meet the most modern standards, requirements for providing comfort for passengers with limited mobility. Given the number of airports we plan to build and reconstruct, I assume that there will be enough work here for both our construction teams and Turkish construction teams.

 Can Erel: How would you evaluate relations between the aviation authorities of Turkey and Russia? Can we go further/deeper into this topic, how can we explore this?

Alexander Neradko: In 1997 a “Long-term Program for the development of trade, economic, industrial, scientific and technical cooperation” was signed between our countries, also there are several intergovernmental Medium-term programs for trade, economic, scientific, technical, transport and cultural cooperation signed for its implementation. Since 2010 the new bilateral intergovernmental Air Services Agreement has been working effectively.

I can say with absolute confidence that mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of air transport will continue to develop continuously in the same partnership and good-neighborly spirit that exists between the civil aviation administrations of Russia and Turkey.

Areas for deepening our cooperation and sharing best practices include air carriages, aviation education and pilot training, flight safety, aviation security, airworthiness, air navigation and airport infrastructure. Cooperation in the field of emergency medical care with the use of air ambulances may be promising – Russia launched a program in 2018 to develop this socially important area, which will cover the whole territory of the country by 2021. For these tasks the Russian aviation industry offers effective solutions for aircraft and helicopters in the form of special on-board emergency medical modules, neonatal modules for transporting newborns and, important in the pandemic situation, boxes for infectious patients. I am convinced that they could be successfully utilized by the healthcare system of the Republic of Turkey.

 Can Erel: Is there anything you would like to add?

Alexander Neradko: I would like to thank you for your interesting questions, and also, I wish for civil aviation in our countries to survive in such a challenging time and to not only recover, but also to improve the results and amount of passenger traffic and cargo turnover as quickly as possible.

In the future I would like to invite all of your readers to fly to Russia, it is beautiful with its nature, cuisine, and culture. And most importantly, take care of yourself and your beloved ones and be healthy!

 Can Erel: Thank you 

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