Russian aviation authorities have postponed implementing new regulations requiring all Russian aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 5,700 kilos to be equipped with a traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) and an enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). The new rules, which were to take effect Jan. 1, were delayed because Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin said during his December trip to the Russian Far East that carriers were not prepared for it.
Airline experts say that regional carriers will suffer the most from the new regulations because the cost of the new equipment, including installation, is estimated to be RUR6-10 million ($192,000-$320,000) per airplane. It is not profitable to install it on old Tupolev Tu-134s and Antonov An-24s, the base of most Russian regional airlines’ fleet. Some carriers have announced plans to significantly reduce their Soviet-built fleets (ATW Daily News, Dec.13).
At the end of 2011, authorities changed the minimum requirements to receive an air operator’s certificate from 10 to eight aircraft with more than 55 seats (ATW Daily News, Oct.24), although there is still a possibility the minimum will increase to 20 aircraft. Local authorities believe this measure should improve aviation safety.