Moscow - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced the signing of an agreement with the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC, also known by its Russian abbreviation which is MAK) to improve aviation safety throughout the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The expanded agreement adds specific points to IATA’s existing cooperation partnership with the IAC including:

  • Promoting IATA Operational Safety Audits (IOSA), IATA’s Integrated-Airline Management System (IAMS), IATA Safety Audits for Ground Operations (ISAGO) and other similar initiatives and their realisation in the deployment of professional resources of IAC.
  • Development and enhancement of civil aviation infrastructure in the states united by IAC, including implementation of the ICAO standard for Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) and Performance-Based Navigation.

The agreement was signed in Moscow by Tatiana Anodina, Chairperson of the IAC and Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Safety is our top priority, and the performance of the CIS is far below the global average. All IATA airlines - including 15 in the CIS are on the IOSA Registry. I look forward to working closely with the IAC to help raise the bar on safety in this region by promoting IOSA and other IATA global standards,” said Bisignani.

Bisignani is visiting Russia to mark a new phase in IATA’s involvement in Russian aviation. “In addition to IOSA, two other IATA programmes have helped transform the landscape of Russian aviation - 100% e-ticketing and the opening of IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan. This is a solid foundation of success. At this time of crisis - for the global industry as well as the Russian airlines - we have a long list of tough issues to tackle,” said Bisignani.

During Bisignani’s visit, he met with Russia’s Minister of Transport, Igor Levitin, to discuss a workplan with the Russian Ministry of Transport focused on the following areas:

  • Improving safety: Alongside working with IAC, IATA is encouraging the Russian government to make IOSA a requirement for all airlines registered in Russia.
  • Bringing infrastructure charges in line with global standards: Russia has an international obligation to ensure non-discrimination for infrastructure charges. “The current discriminatory system of charges does not comply with international standards and must change,” said Bisignani.
  • Bringing transparency to fuel pricing: In September 2008 the cost of fuel at Moscow’s airports was 12% higher than in Western Europe. Following IATA’s call for greater transparency, the gap has narrowed. “Now we must formalise the requirement for transparency and work to find a system to ensure that fuel uplifted for international flights meets Russia’s international obligation to be free of VAT,” said Bisignani.
  • Promoting IATA e-freight: “After achieving 100% e-ticketing, the next big challenge is to implement e-freight. To make this a reality, Russia must sign the Montreal Convention 99 recognising electronic air way bills. Russia is too important to be left out of the US$4.9 billion in benefits that e-freight will bring,” said Bisignani.
  • Finding Global Solutions for the Environment: Russia has made tremendous progress on making air traffic more efficient. In 2008, a total of 131 routes were optimized. Work on a further 42 routes will take effect by the end of May. “This has a positive impact on environmental performance. Now Russia - as a member of the ICAO Group on International Aviation and Climate Change - has an important responsibility in finding a global solution for economic measures under ICAO auspices,” said Bisignani.
  • Moving forward with liberalisation: “With Russia’s carriers active in seeking international partnerships, the archaic ownership limitations of the bilateral system are clearly visible. This crisis is an opportunity for change and I hope that Russia will play a leading role in allowing airlines to run their businesses with the same freedoms that other industries take for granted,” said Bisignani.

Bisignani looked beyond the current crisis to the future of Russian aviation. “Russia’s vast geography makes aviation a critical link domestically and internationally. Russia’s location puts it at the crossroads of North America, Asia, Europe and The Middle East. Russia’s seat on the ICAO Council makes it an important player in international aviation policy. IATA’s goal is to work with the Russian government to ensure that this great aviation nation is fully integrated into the global aviation system. That means following its obligations under international law and using global standards. The result will be a safe and efficient air transport industry delivering enormous economic benefits,” said Bisignani.

Access Giovanni Bisignani's remarks

Notes for editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • A total of 18 airlines in the CIS are on the IOSA registry. Of these, 15 are IATA members and a further 3 are not members of IATA.
  • The original agreement with IAC and IATA was signed in 1994 and broadly covers joint efforts to promote safe, secure and reliable air transport.