Russia Relaxes GA Regs

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Russia has significantly relaxed constraints on general aviation in a move thatís expected to stimulate growth of business and private flying. According to Flight International, regulators have dropped rules that required GA operators to get permission for each flight. The new rules also make aircraft ownership, certification, registration and maintenance a lot easier. Of particular note to the burgeoning bizjet business is the elimination of a rule that required filing of flight plans for cross-border flights a minimum of 24 hours in advance. "It's a long-overdue decision," Alexander Yevdokimov, managing director of JetTransfer, told Flight International. "It will help us compete with foreign rivals who enjoy fast-track treatment by their regulators." It might also help open up an overland route from North America to Europe. For the past five years, a group of Alaskans has been working with Russian authorities to establish VFR routes in the Russian Far East. Itís now possible, but not very convenient, to fly from Alaska to a couple of airports on the east coast of Russia. The goal of the Alaskan effort is to open up GA routes that will link North America with Russia, Asia, Europe and Africa, with the longest open-water crossing being about 30 nm over the Bering Strait.