Russia may blacklist air passengers, pilots

Pilots who violate work rules and unruly passengers could be blacklisted in Russia under a bill now in parliament, an MP said.

Andrei Andreev, chairman of the Duma Air Transport Committee, said this on Tuesday.

The bill was introduced by the Liberal Democratic Party in April.

Vitaly Saveliev, the chief executive officer of Russian flag carrier Aeroflot, said blacklists for pilots fired for violating work rules and for misbehaving passengers should be adopted in Russia.

One of the bill's authors, Duma Deputy Yaroslav Nilov, however said the document still needs to be updated to clearly spell out the reasons for blacklisting a pilot.

The Aeroflot CEO also spoke of the need to allow air carriers to hire pilots from former Soviet countries.

The shortage of pilots in Russia had become acute in the past decade and is hampering growth of the national aviation market.

Russian air companies need to add at least 700-800 pilots a year, according to Yevgeny Bachurin, former head of Russian air transport regulator Rosaviatsiya.

There are currently about 10,000 commercial pilots in Russia, but each year an estimated 1,000 leave for jobs abroad or retire.

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