Russia Liberalizes Airspace

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Russia has restructured its airspace in a move that's bound to foster more GA activity in the country. Gone is the requirement to submit a detailed flight plan at least 24 hours in advance. Flight notification can now be done an hour in advance online. The changes were announced in April and went into effect Monday. According to TASS the new rules and airspace designations "are designed to meet the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)." Perhaps the biggest change is the creation of uncontrolled airspace.

The country has divided airspace into A, C and G zones. Class A airspace is 8,100 meters (26,575 feet) and higher and all flights are IFR and under ATC control. Class C is controlled airspace for both IFR and VFR flights up to 8,100 meters and Class G is uncontrolled but the one-hour notification is required and is open to all aircraft, including light planes and helicopters. Its ceiling varies from 300 meters to 4,500 meters. The Russian version of flight services will supply NOTAMs and weather. The government is also pledging to reduce the amount of closed and restricted airspace, but the airspace over Moscow is expected to remain restricted.