3 Nov 2017 21:46

Antonov enterprise ensures extended service life of foreign-operated An aircraft, including Russia's Ruslans, as per ICAO rules

KYIV. Nov 3 (Interfax) - The Kyiv-based Antonov state enteprise ensures the airworthiness and extended service life of An aircraft operated by foreign companies, including Russian Volga-Dnepr's An-124-100 "Ruslan" aircraft, as is required of an aircraft developer in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules, the Ukrainian aircraft maker said.

In an official statement, released on Friday amid media allegations that the company was resuming cooperation under the An-124-100 program with Russia, the Antonov spokesperson stressed: failure to perform the developer's obligations to maintain airworthiness of its aircraft, as per Annex 8 to the ICAO Convention and the ICAO Airworthiness Manual, will lead to an imposition of relevant international sanctions on Antonov and Ukraine.

These could include a possible ban on international flights of An-branded aircraft, including those operated by Ukrainian companies, and the Antonov company having to hand over its duties as developer to other bodies authorized by a country operating its aircraft, the company said.

"Failure by the Antonov state enterprise to fulfill its immediate obligations to maintain An civil aircraft will lead to the loss of a developer's license, air transportation permits, and of markets," the spokesperson said.

Assessments of the technical condition of Volga Dnepr's An-124-100 "Ruslan" aircraft are carried out by the Ukrainian enterprise on a contractual basis, as part of an inter-agency agreement with relevant Ukrainian ministries and government agencies, and as per an explanatory letter from the State Service of Export Control of Ukraine, the spokesperson said.

"Said aircraft [the An-124 'Ruslan' aircraft operated by Russia's Volga-Dnepr airline company] has the Certificate of Registration of a Civil Aircraft and can only be used for civilian and commercial purposes," the spokesperson said.

Volga-Dnepr is not on the list of companies sanctioned by Ukraine as per a decision of the National Security and Defense Council, the aircraft maker said.

"Thus, as an aircraft developer, Antonov state enterprise acts in accordance with the existing Ukrainian laws and international aviation rules," the statement said.

Antonov is the leading Ukrainian developer and manufacturer of aircraft equipment and is recognized as a global leader in the niche of broad-use transport aircraft. Antonov has been part of the state defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom since 2015.

On Friday, the Russian Kommersant daily reported that Ukraine and Russia were allegedly planning to resume cooperation within the An-124-100 "Ruslan" program, citing "private negotiations" between Antonov and Dnepr-Volga to extend the airworthiness of the Russian transporters. The article was broadly circulated by Ukrainian media.