13 May 2024 17:27

Production of new Baikal aircraft to start in 2025 - Trutnev

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK. March 13 (Interfax) - Production of the Baikal light multipurpose aircraft should start at the end of 2025, candidate for Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev told State Duma deputies on Monday; his speech was broadcast on the State Duma website.

"The Baikal aircraft is being built. We, together with the Ministry of Industry, are actively involved in this. We are trying to make it competitive in terms of configuration and price. Not everything is simple there. But, Baikal should go on line at the end of 2025," he said, responding to question about plans by the Aurora Far Eastern airline for the development of small aviation.

Trutnev also said that it is necessary to increase the number of airports and landing sites in the Far East. "We need more of them; we are sure that there are not enough of them today."

"There is one more problem with which we may turn to you [the State Duma]. We have very high requirements for small airports. There is a ship there, there is no ship there. Solid barbed wire, certified armed guards, a weather station, etc. All of this together adds such an additional "weight" to the cost of tickets that it simply won't work. We'll work on this as well," he said.

As previously reported, last year Aurora and the Ural Civil Aviation Plant (UZGA) signed an agreement for the supply of 95 Baikal light aircraft. They are planned to be used to replenish the airline's fleet from 2026 through 2030 through a leasing scheme with the participation of the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC). It is expected that the deal will be financed using funds from the National Wealth Fund. The State Transport Leasing Company said in January that it was developing an appropriate investment project.

The press service of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation JSC reported in January of this year that it had started construction on a plant for assembling Baikal aircraft in the Khabarovsk Advanced Special Economic Zone (ASEZ). The Far East and Arctic Development Corporation plans to build a plant and then transfer the finished infrastructure to a resident of the ASEZ for a preferential lease, namely Spetsaviatekhnika (a subsidiary of UZGA), which will produce aircraft.

"The full construction and installation work on the construction of the production building for the assembly of the Baikal aircraft is planned to be completed in June 2025. At the same time, the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation is taking measures to reduce the established construction time. For example, since the beginning of 2024, construction work has been conducted around the clock." the press service said, quoting Dmitry Belousov, director of the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation's construction department.

Baikal aircraft are intended for use on local air lines and for aviation work. Designed to carry up to 9 passengers or up to 2,000 kg of cargo over a range of 1.5-3,000 km, it can be operated on unpaved runways; it is possible to use skis or floating landing gear.

According to the development program for the air transport industry, the first deliveries of Baikals were planned for 2024 (5 units); a total of 154 should be produced by 2030.