Bermuda grounds hundreds of Russian planes — Analysis
The company stated that it was unable to maintain safety oversight because of international sanctions
Bermuda has announced that it is suspending airworthiness certificates for planes operated by Russian companies, effectively grounding almost 800 aircraft operated by the country’s top carriers.
The Bermuda Civil Aviation Authority (BCAA) says its ability to sustain safety oversight of Russian-operated planes on Bermuda’s aircraft registry has been crippled by the international sanctions imposed on Moscow over its ongoing offensive in Ukraine.
Because of being “unable to confidently approve these aircraft as being airworthy,” the BCAA has decided to “provisionally suspend” their airworthiness certificates, it said in a statement released on Saturday.
It was 23:59 UTC when the restrictions were implemented. The suspension became effective immediately upon landing for all aircraft.
Without a certificate of flightworthiness issued by civil aviation authorities in the country it is registered, no plane can fly. It applies to both domestic and international flight. It is illegal to violate these rules. “like driving a stolen car with an expired driving license and fake license plates,”Local media were able to hear the explanations of an unnamed top executive from a Russian airline.
It is another blow for Russia’s aviation sector. Russia’s companies, including its leading carriers Aeroflot and S7, reportedly have 768 planes registered in Bermuda, an island nation of some 70,000 in the North Atlantic Ocean and a British Overseas Territory. These aircraft are mostly Boeing and Airbus planes leased from international leasing companies.
Russia’s Transport Ministry said earlier this week that it was considering adding those planes to the Russian registry, while also maintaining their foreign registration, in order to keep them in the air. A simplified procedure has been established for getting the required paperwork.
Following the Russian attack on Ukraine that began February 24, 2018, the European Union has prohibited civilian planes and their parts from being sold to Russia and banned companies from servicing or insuring Russian-operated airplanes.
Leasing firms were also told to terminate their contracts with the country’s carriers by the end of March. Moscow responded by warning it would consider nationalizing the foreign aircraft if the issue wasn’t otherwise resolved.
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