Alex Velovich/MOSCOW

Russia has taken another step towards reforming its civil aviation authority in the wake of the decision to dissolve the Federal Service of Air Transport (FSVT) earlier this year.

The country's prime minister, Mikhail Kasyanov, has appointed three senior officials to govern the new organisation. The FSVT lost its independence in the move and has been reintegrated into the ministry of transport. It is now operating as the State Civil Aviation Service (GSGA).

Alexander Nerad'ko has been appointed to run the organisation and promoted to the rank of the first deputy minister of transport.

Prior to his appointment, Nerad'ko was the head of the flight safety directorate. He is known for his energetic and resolute approach towards airlines to ensure they adhere to flight safety regulations. He suspended the operational licences of several companies which had systematically violated safety rules. Several months ago, he was beaten up on the doorstep of his apartment in an attack thought to be connected to his professional duties.

Until the early 1990s, Russia's civil aviation authority was part of the ministry of transport, but was reorganised into a separate federal agency following pressure from a commercial aviation sector uncomfortable at being under the control of the minister of a merchant marine-dominated department. Now, the civil aviation authority has reverted to the ministry of transport, and has changed its name for the fifth time in nine years.

Two more top civil aviation officials, Karl Ruppel and Pavel Rozhkovwere, were appointed to deputy minister of transport positions. The distribution of authority between the new aviation officials is to be fixed by a special document expected to be issued by the minister of transport by the end of this month.

Source: Flight International