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Air safety audit in Egypt completed — Russian deputy PM

December 10, 2015, 17:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
According to Arkady Dvorkovich, the decision on the possibility of resuming air service with Egypt will be made on the results of this work
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Sharm el-Sheikh airport in Egypt

Sharm el-Sheikh airport in Egypt


MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. The audit of the flight safety in Egypt has been completed. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev gave instructions to send Russian experts there for joint work with the Egyptian colleagues to discuss the procedure of implementing the recommendations on stepping up safety measures, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told reporters on Thursday.

"The audit team has ended its work in Egypt, it prepared recommendations on improving the safety systems," he said.

According to Dvorkovich, the decision on the possibility of resuming air service with Egypt will be made on the results of this work.

However, the deputy prime minister declined to disclose the nature of the recommendations, as they relate to another state’s airport security system.

Russian A321 passenger jet crash in Egypt

An A321 passenger jet of Russia’s Kogalymavia air carrier (Flight 9268) bound to St. Petersburg crashed on October 31 some 30 minutes after the takeoff from Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh. It fell down 100 kilometers south of the administrative center of North Sinai Governorate, the city of Al-Arish. The plane was carrying 217 passengers and seven crew members. There were four Ukrainian and one Belarusian nationals among the passengers. None survived.

It 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.

On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets said it was too early to speak about resumption of regular air service with Egypt. "It is somewhat early to speak about it now. First, we should make sure such flights are safe. It is the question of flight security," she told journalists. "As soon as the Egyptians ensure comprehensive security system, we will be able to speak about it as the price paid by Russian citizens was too high," she said.

On November 6, the Russian president agreed with recommendations of the National Anti-terrorist Committee to suspend air service with Egypt until the causes of the October 31 Russian A321 passenger plane crash in Egypt were identified. All Russian commercial air companies suspended regular, transit and chartered flights to Egypt from 20:00 Moscow time on November 6. Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said back then flights to Egypt would be suspended until proper level of security was ensured.

It might take months or even years to issue a final report on the crash on the Russian A321 passenger jet in Egypt’s Sinai, Russian Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta to published on Wednesday. "It implies a lot of procedural nuances. I can only say that all the structures involved in the examination in the crash site abided by all requirements of international normative documents that regulate such activities," he said.

He noted that the investigation was being carried out by an international commission. "It includes specialists from Egypt, Ireland, France, Germany, Russia and other countries," he said. "Only this commission can take a final decision. It is a long process to prepare an official report. Sometimes, it takes months and even years."

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