The CREATION OF THE MAK (Interstate Aviation Committee) in December 1991, as the first intergovernmental body to be formed by the then-new CIS, was an acknowledgement of the need to present a common approach to major questions of aviation among the countries of the former Soviet Union. While most aviation professionals are aware of the MAK, many must also be confused about its role, and about its relationship with the national aviation authority of each CIS country.


Foundation treaty

The treaty establishing the MAK was signed by 11 former Soviet countries. The Baltic states - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - plus Georgia, did not sign, although Georgia did so later, while Estonia and Latvia now maintain observer status. The MAK was tasked with setting up a common policy on aviation matters and the use of airspace, and to co-ordinate the work of its members on international or interstate affairs.

Although newly formed, the MAK was not really new; it took on specialist departments from the Soviet infrastructure, including the Aviation Register, the Air Transport Commission, the Gos Avianadzor, or State Audit Department of Civil Aviation, and the Commission for the Investigation of Air Accidents. It also included specialist aviation investigation and technical departments. To these were added an international department and the Commission on Airspace Use and Air Traffic Control (ATC).

As well as its primary roles, the MAK has also been active in the updating of air law, including Russia's new Air Code - the basic operational and administrational law governing most aspects of commercial and civil aviation. It advises governments on taxation matters relating to aviation, airport and airways charges, fuel price regulations and aviation insurance. It has also been a prime advisor to all member governments on major aviation-industry financial and operational questions.

The MAK is led by Tatiana Anodina. She is also the director-general of the ATC Research Institute, GosNII Aeronavigatsia. She has been an aviation professional for all her career.

"With five years behind us, I asked my staff to prepare a report on what we had achieved in that time," she says, "and I was actually surprised to see how much we had progressed."


Aviation Register

The Aviation Register is responsible for matters relating to certification. In Soviet days, the certification of new aircraft, or of imported aircraft, was its major responsibility. This continues, but it has seen its responsibilities expanded by the need to harmonise standards with those of Western countries.

Now, for the first time, certification is being applied to production factories (for each aircraft type constructed there), suppliers, ranging from raw materials such as metals to individual high-technology components such as undercarriages or instruments, and, most recently, to airports.

These areas were previously controlled by the Soviet Government - it was the producer, customer, operator and employer - which did not consider it necessary to adopt Western practices. "Now," says Valentin Sushko, chairman of the Aviation Register and deputy chairman of the MAK, "the level of state control has changed and, if aircraft manufactured in our member states are to have any possibility of being sold abroad, we need to conform to standards and procedures normal in other countries."

The Aviation Register has developed a package of Airworthiness Rules (ARs), drawn up to correspond closely, but not exactly, with those of the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA). Thus, the CIS AR 25, for the certification of transport aircraft, equates closely to US Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) 25 and European Joint Aviation Requirement (JAR) 25.

A new priority is the certification of airports. The MAK is not tasked with certificating every airport or aerodrome in the region as yet - just the 50 or so which fall into International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Categories I and II (there are no Cat III airports in the CIS).

Sushko and his team have concluded agreements on work procedures for certification with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the UK, and have close working connections with the FAA and the JAA.

Noise is also covered, and some 20 types have appropriate-category noise certificates. For almost the first time, general-aviation aircraft are undergoing certification tests, with the Sukhoi Su-29 and Ilyushin Il-103 approved.

Certification of overhaul factories has begun. The Register works closely with the appropriate national authorities. Bykovo Aviation Services, the major overhauler of the Ilyushin Il-76, Yakovlev Yak-42 and Perm D-30 engine, was the first to receive its approval, in December 1996.


Air Transport Commission

Led by Valeri Smirnov, chairman of the Commission and vice-chairman of the MAK, this section is responsible for the operational and maintenance affairs of civil aviation, and for standardising the approach of member states to these, as well as flight security. Its responsibilities include operational manuals and procedures, and preparation of the guidelines for the certification and inspection of operators. It is also required to establish certification requirements for training centres. Testing of ground equipment such as runway lighting and navigational aids, flight testing of aircraft after overhauls or repair, and requirements of crew working hours are all covered.

The Commission is also responsible for advising member governments on matters relating to aviation markets, including those of CIS airlines, and for the collection of CIS aviation statistics.


Air Accidents

Rudolf Teymurazov is the chairman of the Commission for Investigation of Air Accidents and also deputy chairman of the MAK. His division has investigated some 120 accidents (as defined by ICAO Annex 13) in the past five years. Most involved CIS-manufactured aircraft operated by CIS airlines.

The Commission has built close contacts with international safety and accident investigation bodies, such as the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the FAA and the JAA and its member states. These have resulted in the Commission being asked to assist with the work on some accidents with no CIS relevance, such as the Trans World Airlines 747-200 accident on 17 July, 1996.

Experience gained by the Commission investigating aircraft struck by missiles during the Afghanistan war was used to test whether the 747 had been hit by a missile, and work on analysing sound on cockpit-voice recorders (CVRs) helped the NTSB team investigating a USAir Boeing 737 accident in September 1994 at Pittsburgh. The Commission has worked with investigation teams in India, Italy, Norway and Yugoslavia on accidents involving CIS aircraft, and with those of Australia, France, New Zealand and the USA, where there was no CIS involvement, but where the Commission's specialist skills could be used.

In its relationships with the air-transport authorities of each of its member states, the MAK's Commission is responsible for ICAO Annex 13-defined accidents. Incidents are the responsibility of the national authorities.

"Normally, in the course of an investigation," says Teymurazov, "we make recommendations about the aircraft, its maintenance or its operation. These we advise to the national authority of each country operating the type, and it is their responsibility to advise the operators and maintenance providers." The Commission's vice-chairman, Dr Vladimir Kofman, says that it has its own research laboratory, established five years before the MAK. Here, some 50 analysts examine crash evidence.

Teymurazov describes scheduled flying in the CIS as being safe, "-but unscheduled services have seen safety levels fall, and unscheduled cargo services are unacceptably low". He points out that a lot of work has been carried out to achieve adequate safety levels, but more needs to be done to improve equipment and to train crews to work in the new economic conditions.

Among the achievements have been improvements in analysis methods for flight-data recorders and CVRs, deciphering the data on these tapes and the methodology of analysing the psychological and physiological condition of crews. Improvements have also been made in simulating the flight and its conditions in the time before the accident.

Funding research work remains a problem, but the Commission is discussing this with other concerned bodies, including insurers.



This Commission is responsible for the co-ordination of improvements in equipment and the methodology of ATC personnel. Its chairman, Oleg Yermolov, says that the Commission is also committed to co-ordinating the increasing number of new routes being opened over the CIS, co-ordinating operational training and also for ensuring that suitable radio frequencies for communications and navigation are allocated.

The Commission drafted an agreement on the use of airspace, signed by member governments in 1992 and established national standards and rules relating to priority over civil and military operations.

In 1994, it worked out an agreement to establish an integrated ATC system for CIS countries, and another to co-ordinate the navigation fees charged for using the airspace and a system of paying for these services.

It has drawn up an appropriate flow-control system for the eastern part of the ICAO European region, and has been working on the questions of introducing the next generation of navigation and communications equipment for the region.



This department, led by director Yuri Osadchenko, has worked to co-ordinate the research bodies in CIS aviation to achieve the best results from limited budgets. It has prepared recommendations for the introduction of satellite-navigation systems in the CIS, disseminated data on new aircraft equipment and advised on automatic systems of data transfer. It has commissioned work for the development and modernisation of radar systems, the development and implementation into service of software for new aircraft, and staff training. It also conducts market analysis for investors in new aircraft projects.


International Department

The director of the International Department, Viktor Roukhlinski, is the responsible for liaising with foreign partners of the MAK, and with increasing and developing foreign connections. Working directly with the MAK's first vice-chairman, Dr Mikhail Tereshenko, the Department has maintained connections with international bodies such as ICAO, the International Air Transport Association and the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (for general-aviation aircraft).

It also works closely with the local embassies of member states in maintaining a working liaison between the MAK and the governments and is the department responsible for MAK participation at international conferences, seminars and fairs.

Vice-chairman Tereshenko's role has been to oversee the MAK's commissions, while Anodina normally deals with the heads of state. Both she and Tereshenko look after matters arising with the governments and parliaments of the member republics.


High honour

Bearing in mind the huge disruptions to life in the CIS in the five years since its formation, and particularly considering how few other CIS organisations have made any real progress, the MAK has achieved a great deal, and established the importance of international co-operation for a trans-border industry such as aviation.

For this and for her other achievements, in April 1997, Russian president Boris Yeltsin awarded Anodina the "High Honour of Science and Technology of Russia", an award issued to fewer than 20 of the most distinguished technological achievers in Russia and the Soviet Union.

Source: Flight International