Russia and the USA have signed two agreements aimed at improving aviation safety relations between the two countries.

The deals were signed last month by US State Secretary Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart, Yevgeni Primakov (who has subsequently become prime minister).

The main part of the first agreement is to facilitate acceptance of each side's airworthiness approvals for airframes and civil aeronautical products. Maintenance and training approvals are among the other areas involved in the deal.

The deal requires the MAK Interstate Aviation Committee and the Russian Federal Aviation Authority (FAS) - which divide authority for various safety and certification issues - and the US Federal Aviation Administration to undertake technical assessments and co-operate in developing an understanding of the other's standards and systems. Once the two sides have agreed that their respective standards are "sufficiently equivalent or compatible", they will start the process of dual acceptance.

The second agreement delegates responsibility for the investigation of a civil aircraft accident to a Russian aircraft or powerplant in US territory to the US National Transportation Safety Board and of a US aircraft or powerplant in Russia to the MAK/FAS.

Source: Flight International