It will be necessary to develop small aircraft in Yakutia from values tending to zero. Now it rests on the remnants of the Soviet legacy, but they are melting before our eyes. And without the use of light aircraft in a region of three million square kilometers, transport accessibility cannot be ensured.
Last summer, a working group was created in the parliament of the republic, which was instructed to decide: what are the most urgent measures for the development of small aviation that need to be financed from the 2022 budget. The main direction was the use of light aircraft to protect forests from fires. But, as it turned out recently in the course of a discussion organized by the deputies, in order to achieve narrowly focused progress, it is necessary to comprehensively solve all the problems that prevent small aviation business from taking the wing.
In the whole of Yakutia, there are only five businessmen from aviation. They own An-2 aircraft, but without crews, and therefore do not have certificates for performing aviation work. Pilots are trained in Yakutsk, 25 people a year, but they do not stay in small aircraft.
– They are trained, but compare what is the salary on a small plane and on the same Boeing. Therefore, a person undergoes initial training at our college, travels to China, retrains to operate a Boeing and earns money in foreign currency, ”explained Sergei Sobolev, head of the regional department of DOSAAF.
Probably, it’s not just about the salary. Firstly, according to Ivan Lukin, Chairman of the Republican Association of Small Aviation, crews for the An-2 are not trained anywhere in Russia now, therefore older people fly on them. Secondly, there are almost as many light aircraft in the region as the local college prepares pilots annually – 31. For comparison: in the Soviet years about 130 maize workers flew in the republic.
“And even with so many planes, local air carriers were experiencing a shortage of them. And now in the fleet of two regional airlines there are only eight An-2, – Lukin notes.
The republic needs to acquire airplanes. But which ones? All hopes are connected with “Baikal”, which is being created to replace the An-2.
“However, it hasn’t even taken off yet. And, according to my calculations, it will appear no earlier than 2025. And if we take into account that usually new aircraft are used for a year or two only for cargo transportation, we will probably switch to passenger aircraft only in 2026-27. Therefore, we cannot do without imported cars, ”Lukin believes.
Small aircraft once flew to distant villages two or three times a week, then they began to fly once every two or three weeks, and now flights are once a month and even less often.
Several years ago, a strong lobby was formed in the republic, advocating the purchase of foreign-made light aircraft. Proponents of such purchases managed to achieve the inclusion of a corresponding item of expenditure in the regional budget. It was assumed that a kind of air taxi service would be created on the basis of these aircraft under the wing of a large airline. However, in 2018, the TVS-2DTS project, the predecessor of Baikal, arrived in time, and they did not spend money on foreign ownership, having concluded an agreement with the future manufacturer on the supply of two hundred domestic devices at once. Its dearer. As a result, there is neither our own nor foreign, while it is far from the fact that the first “Baikals” will go to Yakutia – they are claimed by the Far Eastern airline. It is our common, Far Eastern, but its plans do not always coincide with the needs of the republic.
– The founders of the Far Eastern airline see two areas of work – interregional and intraregional transportation. But intra-regional means, for example, a flight from Srednekolymsk to Yakutsk. But the shoulder from the remote village of Berezovka to Srednekolymsk hangs, – says the Minister of Transport of Yakutia Vladimir Sivtsev.
There are 170 such hard-to-reach Berezovki, where air areas for receiving small planes are idle. According to Sivtsev, 99 of them are used for socially important flights, but only 11 are equipped in accordance with all the requirements. align the runways.
Pavel Petrov, head of the parliamentary working group, chairman of Il Tumen’s committee on industrial investment and economic policy, is not sure that there will be money for this.
– This problem has not yet been resolved. That is, we must either make runways or buy new aircraft, ”he says.
While local authorities are faced with a difficult choice, aviation work, which could be carried out cheaply by light aircraft, has to be paid tenfold.
– More than a billion is spent on sun flights. At the same time, a Mi-8 helicopter is sent for the patient – this helicopter costs 450 thousand per hour. He carries one patient and one doctor, no one else can be run. The Mi-8 is designed to carry more than three tons of cargo. What are we doing? We just throw money away. Fly over the flood. An official is sitting there, two assistants, they flew to look at the river. 450 thousand per hour again, – deputy Viktor Fedorov is indignant.
… In distant villages, completely cut off from the outside world, in ancient years small aircraft flew two or three times a week, then they began to fly once every two or three weeks, and now there are flights once a month and even less often. And then on condition of reverse loading. There is nothing to fly.