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Russia Loosens Air Traffic Rules for 'Small Airplanes'

November 3, 2010 — Russian Federation airspace rules for small private plane owners became a lot less restrictive this week. Effective Monday, November 1, pilots of small private aircraft no longer need three days of advanced clearance from air traffic control (ATC) before flying; they simply have to report that they are ready for takeoff before their flight, according to reports from various news organizations including Voice of Russia and ITAR-TASS.

Pilots still must file flight information (destination, ETA) with air traffic control for search and rescue purposes, but otherwise can fly VFR in newly created uncontrolled airspace, Class G, or altitude below 3,000 meters (9,942 ft.). Other newly established airspace classes are Class A, 8,100 meters (26,575 feet and higher), for commercial, business, and government instrument (IFR) flights under ATC control; and Class C (3,000-8,100 meters) for IFR and VFR flights under ATC control.

With only 2,000 private planes and 320 airports, Russia’s aviation community appears poised for significant growth. “Small aviation will turn into mass aviation, like it is in the USA, Canada and Europe,” stated the Voice of Russia website.

Newly implemented changes are designed to meet the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), reported ITAR-TASS.

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