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Aviation watchdog revokes all Boeing-737 licenses in Russia

Staff writer |
The Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) has revoked the licenses of all Boeing-737 jets operating in Russia, citing security concerns.

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The IAC suspended the licenses of all Boeing-737 jets until the Russian Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) report that Boeing-737 flights are secure, an IAC letter to Aleksandr Neradko, head of Rosaviatsiya, and Margaret Gilligan, deputy head of FAA, says.

Rosaviatsiya had reportedly sent two requests to the FAA asking for immediate engineering fixes of the plane’s pitch control system following the deadly 2013 crash in Kazan, but it neither satisfied this demand nor proved that Boeing-737s are safe.

Rosaviatsiya is going to hold a meeting with airline representatives on Friday to discuss further prospects for the use of Boeing-737 jets, Sergey Izvolsky, the agency’s spokesman told RBK. The agency also pointed out that the IAC has no right to stop Boeing-737 flights – such authority only belongs to Russian federal executive bodies, which have yet to make their decision.

Elena Aleksandrova, Boeing representative in Russia and CIS countries, called the move absurd and said that the company was surprised by it, according to RSN.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the ministry of transport, as well as the Russian government, will look into the situation.

Almost 150 Boeing-737 jets are used by Russian airlines, so a ban on their use could pose a problem.

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