The Russian Ministry of Transport has proposed legislation allowing carriers to receive government subsidies for the leasing of regional aircraft. If approved, effective Jan. 1, the government will reimburse some part of leasing payments for regional aircraft.

The proposed subsidies, available for any airline operating regional flights, would be applicable for Russian and foreign-built aircraft not older than 10 years with less than 55 seats for any type of engine, and for 55-72 seat aircraft with turboprop engines.

The amount of the subsidy depends on the size and the age of the aircraft.

Carriers would receive the highest subsidiary, RUR98.55 million ($1.24 million), for 51-72 seat aircraft less than one year old. The lowest subsidy, RUR6.73 million, would be for 4-10 seat aircraft older than six years.

Beginning next year, most Russian regional carriers will face fleet shortages because of new federal aviation regulations requiring all Russian aircraft to be equipped with a traffic collision avoidance system and an enhanced ground proximity warning system (ATW Daily News, Dec.13).  As a result, carriers may ground part of their fleet and order foreign aircraft.