Russian aviation authorities have appealed to the International Civil Aviation Organisation for an extended implementation schedule of new noise legislation, as its airlines face having their older aircraft banned from European skies after March next year.

Talks regarding the impact that Europe's enforcement of Chapter 3 noise legislation will have on Russian airlines has been continuing between the European Union and their Russian counterparts.

Russian officials are concerned that a large proportion of the fleet cannot be made compliant by the deadline. Local press reports suggest that Russia is considering retaliatory action against European carriers if its aircraft are outlawed.

Russian deputy prime minister Ilya Klebanov says that non-Chapter 3 aircraft such as the Tupolev Tu-134 and Tu-154B will unconditionally be withdrawn from European services, and their use restricted within Russia. The Tu-154M, Yakovlev Yak-42D as well as some Ilyushin Il-76TDs and Il-62Ms, will be hushkitted to meet Chapter 3. The State Service of Civil Aviation (GSGA) believes that by April next year a sufficient number of Tu-154Ms can be modified to allow the Russian airlines to sustain sufficient European capacity.

ICAO president Dr Assad Kotaite discussed forthcoming environmental legislation during his visit to Moscow earlier this month. He had meetings with prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov, transport minister Sergei Frank and GSGA director Aleksandr Neradko.

Russia raised the issue of the imminent introduction of Chapter 3 with Kotaite, as well as its concerns about the implementation of Chapter 4 in 2006. It is asking for "softening" of the legislation's timetable, especially regarding certain Russian types such as the Ilyushin Il-96 widebody, to enable operators to be prepared. Kotaite said that ICAO will continue its practice of implementation of stricter environmental requirements, but "an adequate solution can be found" to Russia's pleas.

Source: Flight International