The Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) has started checking the airworthiness of Russian commercial airliners transferred to the Russian aviation registry in the first half of 2022. This follows the instructions of the head of the agency, Alexander Neradko.

In particular, 599 commercial aircraft, whose airworthiness certificates expire on December 31, will be inspected for airworthiness. Until 2022, these aircraft were supervised by the aviation authorities of Ireland and Bermuda, the countries where these aircraft were originally registered. But they stopped monitoring and issuing airworthiness certificates with sanctions imposed on Russia.

The schedule of inspection of commercial aircraft provides for the issuance of certificates of airworthiness (CoA ) for the entire service life of the aircraft, established by the manufacturer, but with mandatory annual confirmation of the technical condition. The regulations for the inspection of each aircraft by Rosaviation inspectors include a visual inspection, checking the operability of the main control systems, and studying the documentation for the aircraft in accordance with the control cards. In terms of inspection time, checking one aircraft takes from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours.

As reported, the inspections began on September 26. According to the plan, almost 200 aircraft were inspected by October 15 and received new Russian certificates of airworthiness. By December 31, the Federal Air Transport Agency intends to inspect the remaining 299 aircraft transferred to the Russian aviation registry.

The cost of extending the Russian CoA is several times cheaper than a foreign one: airlines paid $16.5–89,000 per year for one Bermuda CoA, depending on aircraft weight (30-300 tons). For example, a Bermuda CoA for a Boeing 737 costs about $30,000 per year. In Russia, the extension of CoA costs ~200,000 rubles a year (currently ~$3,252).

Meanwhile, aviation experts interviewed by several federal publications note that the Federal Air Transport Agency may not have sufficient time to check the remaining aircraft before the end of the year. Firstly, the agency does not have enough qualified inspectors, and secondly, many of the current inspectors lack experience in inspecting foreign aircraft. Over the last 15 years, the Federal Air Transport Agency has not been engaged in checking the airworthiness of non-Russian aircraft as the scope of the department’s tasks focused only on the inspection of domestic Russian aviation equipment.

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Oleg Kitaev
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