MOSCOW, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian upper house on Tuesday has approved a bill that envisages admission of foreign pilots into Russia's civil aviation.
The bill envisages amendments to the Air Code and the federal law " On legal status of foreign citizens in the Russian Federation". The bill stipulates that foreign citizens are admitted into air crews of Russian planes owned by a Russian juridical entity or a private entrepreneur in two cases: for purposes of being trained to use a pilot's profession as a member of an air crew on condition that the other air crew members are Russian citizens; second, if a foreign pilot signs a contract that enables him to fill a vacancy of a chief pilot of Russian aircraft.
The bill approved by the upper house has lifted an earlier ban on foreign citizens who were not allowed to be chief pilots on board Russian planes, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Politics Sergei Shatirov told journalists.
A contract that employs a foreign pilot in the capacity of a chief pilot may be signed with a foreign citizen within five years since the bill comes into force, Shatirov said. The government is to specify yet a maximum number of foreign pilots who may be employed, the order of the appointment of a maximum number of foreign pilots to different Russian airline companies and the conditions for signing a contract with a foreign pilot. The bill is expected to come into force 90 days after it is officially published.
In recent years the air service in Russia has lacked pilots with the necessary qualification to perform the duties of a chief pilot on board. The reasons are a relatively small number of graduates from pilots' schools, a long period (from 3 to 8 years, depending on a pilot's duties) needed to train a graduate for practical work in the air, and a heavy exodus of the pilots from the profession, with some 700 pilots quitting annually, the authors of the bill said in explanatory documents.