Another plane crash and death at the end of last year again drew attention to the problems of air transport. It has long been no doubt that the aircraft industry and the operation of aircraft in Russia are experiencing a long systemic crisis.
In 1990, in our country 140 million passengers were transported, in the USA - 200 million. Then we abandoned the country's aeration policy, and the States continued it. As a result, in the 2012 year, we had only 74 million passengers, and in the US - 730 million.
In the United States, domestic flights account for 95% air traffic. So it was with us before 90-ies, and today the transportation within Russia is only 45%. The reason for this situation is not only that Russians began to fly abroad more often, but also because regional air traffic almost disappeared. To get from one Siberian or Far Eastern city to another, you often have to fly through Moscow.
The USSR possessed a powerful aircraft-building complex. 85% of these capacities were concentrated in Russia, about 13% in Ukraine and 2% in Uzbekistan, not counting individual small enterprises scattered throughout the Union. Almost all aviation science was located in the RSFSR.
There is an opinion that civil aviation we trailed behind the military and was built on the residual principle. Is it really? Suffice it to say that the development of IL-12, IL-14, IL-18, Tu-104, Tu-134, Tu-154, An-10, An-24, IL-62 began almost even during World War II and continued up to xnumx's. But it should be recognized that Soviet aircraft designers paid little attention to environmental, navigation, system-ergonomic and comfortable requirements. Only in later projects (IL-1980, Tu-86, IL-204) did they give greater importance to these issues. As a result, the USSR could export its civil aviation only to the countries of the third world and under certain conditions.
This led to the fact that structural imbalances in the aviation industry began to manifest themselves in the late 80-ies in connection with the destruction of the bipolar world system, the termination of the existence of the Warsaw Pact and the CMEA. The consequence of these events was a sharp reduction in the supply of aircraft to countries that were previously in the sphere of military-political and economic influence of the former USSR. When the collapse of the Union occurred, the Soviet aviation industry quickly fell into disrepair, unable to withstand competition with the West.
The current state of our aviation is characterized by almost complete chaos in the system of technical regulation and regulatory framework. Today's documents, such as the Air Code, aviation rules and standards are essentially only attempts to harmonize them with the rules in force in the world. Well-known design bureaus are no longer able to implement serious breakthrough projects. They "eat up" the Soviet backlog: new models of our aircraft have roots in the distant Soviet past. The complete absence of major programs led to the fact that the production facilities of aircraft factories turned into semi-abandoned workshops with outdated equipment.
According to experts, at present Russian factories do not offer a single mainline aircraft on the market that could compete on equal terms with Boeing and Airbus. The new developments of An-148 and Suhoi SuperJet 100 are regional planes that will be too expensive on long-haul flights. The MC-21 project currently under development will appear on the market no earlier than 2017 of the year. The most famous Russian project in the field of aviation - Super Jet Sukhoi, experts say, is worse than the current Brazilian Embraer.
One of the most acute problems of Russian aviation is flight safety. According to the Aviation Safety Network Database, 2011 air crashes occurred in 15 in Russia, in which 113 people died. In the second place of this sad rating is the Republic of Congo, in which for the same 2011 year there was an entire 3 air crash, where 111 people died. Then follow Morocco, Iran, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
True, there has been a positive shift in this issue: in 2012, the number of accidents associated with civil aircraft of commercial aviation of the Russian Federation, compared with 2011, decreased by 70,6% (53 people died). Also the year before, seven accidents occurred, 799 incidents, 14 emergencies and 101 damage to aircraft on the ground. With aircraft of general aviation happened 16 air crashes, which is 62,2% less than in 2011 year. The leaders of the list of “black” statistics were the An-2, An-28, MiG-29 and Su-25 aircraft. However, the participants of the two most tragic air crashes for Russia were the Franco-Italian aircraft ATR-72 and the rising star of the domestic aviation industry SSJ-100.
A frequent cause of plane crashes is the so-called human factor, or pilot error. Moral obsolete An-2, Yak-52 and Yak-18T are still exploited in flight schools. Pilots who have learned the old aircraft come to work on new cars without the necessary skills. And the number of flown hours is completely insufficient for good preparation. Preparing a pilot is not at all a cheap task, but by investing money in this training, you can reduce the risk of the “human factor” to a minimum.
Over the past two decades, more than a thousand of 1400 airports that existed during Soviet times were closed. The volume of passenger traffic on regional routes has decreased four times, and on routes within the region - by ten times. But local air travel in the regions of Siberia, the Far East and the Far North is the only way to get to your destination. According to experts, small civil aviation is the only affordable vehicle for the 15 of millions of people living in the country occupying the 60% of the total area of Russia.
Performance indicators in civil aviation show some successes of domestic enterprises. In particular, ten SSJs were assembled in 2012. If you take the issue of civilian aircraft, there is improvement, but there is no fracture. Now manufacturers go to one plane per month. For our country, this is not bad, but compared to the global aircraft manufacturers, this is a drop in the ocean.
However, even these small successes were spoiled by the news of a possible bankruptcy: the manufacturer of Superjet liners, the Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (GSS) company, was on the verge of financial insolvency. She accumulated debts on 2,1 billion dollars and violated conditions on a number of loans. In particular, the company has delayed payments to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and also violated the conditions for granting loans received in VEB and the European bank WestLB. However, it was possible to agree that during 2013, banks would not demand early repayment of loans, but during this time the company had to overcome financial difficulties. Recall that the regional Superjet airliner is the first aircraft developed and produced in Russia, and not in the USSR. In 2012, we managed to sell 12 machines, and 2013 airliners were on the 27 sales program of the year.
One of the acute problems of domestic aviation - training. Today, the personnel reserve of the industry is completely exhausted. In the old days, the 50-year-old commander of the crew was very rare, and now in flight work there are 24% pilots older than 50 years and about 50% approached this age. The average age of aircraft commanders is 49 years, while in 1991, it was less than 40 years, and second pilots were up to 30 years.
Annually deducted from flight work around 400 pilots, graduated from 200 educational institutions. At the same time, the most experienced, capable Russian aviators fly to work in India, Vietnam, and South Korea. There is a steady demand for our pilots abroad, because the level of their training, which was laid over the years, until 1990, was very high.
The state associates the prospects of aircraft industry with the Federal Target Program (FTP) “Development of Russian civil aviation technology before 2015 of the year”. This program is aimed at solving the problem of the competitiveness of the civilian sector of the aviation industry in the domestic and foreign markets. The department of aviation industry has analyzed the projects of light multi-purpose aircraft, developed over the past 10 years. There were a lot of projects, but none of them reached the finish, that is, mass production. For various reasons, most are either closed or implemented in a single instance.
The situation is better in the helicopter sector - here almost the entire line is filled with helicopters that are either already in operation or in the stage of initiative development. Proposals of OJSC "Helicopters of Russia" cover the whole range of needs of potential customers. In order to remedy the situation, the sub-program "Small Aviation" was adopted. The estimated amount of support up to 2025 of the year is 20,5 billion rubles. One can only hope that someday Russia will be able to rise to the sky again.