Anywhere goes: Russia overhauls aviation law for parts, aircraft certification

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Russia has signed changes to a previous decree, significantly widening the range of aircraft and parts allowed to be used by the country’s airlines. 

One of the decree’s changes removes previous restrictions that allowed the airlines to use only aircraft parts that were certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) or Transport Canada. 

Under the revised law, signed by Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin on May 9, 2022, parts certified by aviation authorities of any country are allowed to be used. In addition, the airlines are also allowed to use aircraft that have an airworthiness certificate or an equivalent document issued by an aviation authority of any country. 

Manufacturer documentation of the parts, updates for aircraft digital systems and latest navigational databases are no longer required as well. 

The changes apply to foreign-made aircraft operated by Russian airlines, as well as Russian-made aircraft that have foreign-made parts. 

Russia has been taking various actions to overcome sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine and to keep its aircraft in the air.  

The decree was previously updated on on March 12, 2022, to remove numerous restrictions concerning aircraft maintenance. For example, it allowed outside parties to maintain passenger aircraft operated by Russian airlines.  

These changes, as well as previous moves by Russia allowing its airlines to reregister foreign aircraft, effectively seizing them from their legitimate owners, resulted in various international institutions voicing safety concerns. In April 2022, the European Commission added 21 Russian airlines to its safety blacklist, and the FAA downgraded Russia’s air safety rating due to non-compliance with ICAO safety standards.  

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