Putin calls for relaxation of flight rules for light aircraft over Russia

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Russia should relax flight regulations to allow light aircraft and helicopters to fly over large cities, President Vladimir Putin said today, but warned it was "technologically challenging."

"We need to move in this direction, liberalise this sphere," Putin told a session of the upper house of parliament.

He said the move would not be a panacea for Russia's burgeoning traffic jams.

"We need to build new roads, intersections, viaducts, bridges, and tunnels and develop municipal transport," he said. "Permitting flights over Moscow will not solve this problem."

Putin's comments come as Russia's Transport Ministry makes plans to approve helicopter flights within the boundaries of Moscow, which would mark a landmark change to flight regulations over the capital.