MOSCOW, January 27. /TASS/. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) has sent to Egypt recommendations on additional aviation security measures.
"In January 2016, representatives of the Russian aviation authorities conducted an audit of the set of measures taken by the Arab Republic of Egypt at the country’s airports with a view to enhancing aviation security. Based on the work results, the Russian side has formulated and sent to the Egyptian authorities additional recommendations on aviation security measures. According to the Egyptian side, the implementation of these recommendations will take additional resources and time," the Rosaviatsiya press service said.
The two countries’ aviation authorities have a common understanding of the need to take additional measures to enhance airports’ security protection from terrorist threats, the press service said. The sides have agreed to continue cooperation and joint efforts in this sphere.
In mid-January, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov said that that "Egypt has its financial motivations to get Russian tourists numbering about 3 million people as soon as possible. Speaking about our approaches, we want to see how aviation security is provided in all areas of airports’ work." "This applies to access to the airport itself, the stay of passengers at the airport, their transportation to the airliner and all the issues related to handling works, delivering onboard meals and aviation fuel. Everything should comply with the requirements of international security. And we have sent these proposals to our colleagues - the Egyptian aviation authorities," Sokolov said.
According to Sokolov, on its part, the Russian Transport Ministry is doing everything to formulate its position. ‘We’ll be checking how they are doing this. After this, it will be possible to speak about the resumption of air communication. Can we have hopes for 2016? I would very much want this. But it depends on Egyptian aviation authorities when this happens," the transport minister said.
On November 26, 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended the air service with Egypt agreeing with the recommendations of the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC). Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said then that this measure was introduced not until the investigation of the crash of Russia’s A321 airliner of the Kogalymavia air carrier over Sinai as a result of an act of terror on October 31 last year is completed, but until the proper security level is ensured.
An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (flight 9268) bound for St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 some 30 minutes after the take-off from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. It fell down 100 kilometres south of the administrative centre of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. There were four Ukrainian nationals and one Belarusian among the passengers. None survived. That was the biggest air crash in the history of Russia’s aviation. It was announced on November 17 that the crash had been caused by an act of terror committed by means of a home-made explosive devise with a yield of up to one kilogram of TNT. Following the crash, Russia suspended air service with Egypt.