Russia's transport ministry is close to approving helicopter flights within the boundaries of the city of Moscow, in a landmark change to the flight regulations over the capital.
"A small adjustment to the radar system will be required for low altitude flights over Moscow," deputy transport minister Valery Okulov says.
"A few years ago the security services were categorically against flying over the capital within the Moscow Ring Road. Now they no longer object. The new flight route will most likely be used by helicopter services. Following test flights we expect to get approval for air services along this route."
However, that clearance is unlikely to be widely granted to prospective commercial operators, and will probably benefit government officials first. "The first candidates for helicopters will be those who generally use flashing lights on their cars, and that will be an improvement," Okulov says.
Federal Agency for Air Transport (Rosaviatsia) head Alexander Neradko sees no problem with flights over Moscow, but says routes need to be carefully considered to avoid disturbing residents.
"We need to carefully consider the decision to allow helicopter services along the river," he says.