9-Dec-2010 11:43 AM

Russian pilot shortage poses safety hazard

Russian aviation journalist and former aircraft engineer, Alexander Velovich, stated "there is a serious shortage of pilots" in Russia, which he believes is having a "serious impact" on safety standards (RIA Novosti, 08-Dec-2010). IATA research indicates Russia and former Soviet republics had the world’s worst safety record in 2009 with an accident rate 13 times greater than the global average. Mr Velovich listed age, declining interest in the pilot profession, and better education and better pay available in foreign markets as the main reasons for low numbers of Russian pilots.