When even a major Russian operator is demanding that a Russian aircraft type should have its operations restricted then it is difficult not to pay attention.

Freight specialist Volga-Dnepr wants the European Commission to enforce its own rules, which banned the Ilyushin Il-76 freighter from the European Union because it did not meet Chapter 3 noise limits.

Volga-Dnepr invested heavily in developing an updated, compliant version of the type. So, it is unamused to see supposedly "one-off" exemptions issued to Il-76 operators on what has become a routine basis.

Separately, the company that invested in developing the Fokker 50 freighter conversion and those that operate it are equally unhappy at seeing the elderly, military-derived - and uncertificated - Antonov An-26 given successive derogations to operate in the EU.

Vested interests aside, the effect in both cases is that freight operations in the EU will remain noisier, dirtier and probably less safe than they would otherwise be and than passenger operations already are.

In fairness to legitimate western European enterprises there has to be a limit. In the case of the An-26 it is now going to be difficult for the EC not to approve the type's continuing operation, but for the Il-76 the game is up. Any aircraft that cannot meet the now ancient Chapter 3 standard really has had its day. It was a terrific aircraft, but time's up for the Il-76 in Europe.

Source: Flight International