Kazakhstan improves position in world flight safety ranking28 september 2015, 19:22
Kazakhstan has improved its position in the world flight safety ranking, Tengrinews reports citing the website of the Ministry of Investment and Development of Kazakhstan.
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), in June 2014 a significant safety concern about Kazakhstan's airworthiness was removed. This brought the percentage of compliance of Kazakhstan's Civil Aviation Committee (CAC) with ICAO standards from 47 to 65 percent.
"The global average level of compliance is 60 percent. Our work to further improve the position continues. The goal is to achieve 80% compliance by 2020," chairman of the CAC Beken Seidakhmetov said.
Seidakhmetov also noted that together with ICAO officials it recertified all the airlines in Kazakhstan. There were 70 airlines in the Central Asian countries in 2009 and only 45 of them were left in 2014. "To exchange experience, we organized collaborative work on maintaining airworthiness with the aviation authorities of Turkey and France," Seidakhmetov said.
After the removal of the flaws criticized by ICAO, the EU Air Safety Committee lifted the frequency restrictions from Air Astana on flights to the EU. Air Astana is Kazakhstan’s national airline and a joint venture between Kazakhstan’s Samruk Kazyna and British BAE Systems. As for now, Air Astana is the Kazakhstan’s only airline allowed to operate flights into the European Union. All the other carriers are banned from the European airspace until a sustainable system to effectively oversee the carriers’ safety is implemented.
Meanwhile, CAC is working to meet the recommendations of ICAO and improve flight operations, which is also a requirement for airlines certification. CAC has already informed ICAO about its preparedness for the organization’s validation mission.
The ministry also said that in 13 out of 18 airports in Kazakhstan landing strips had been modernized. Those were airports of Aktobe, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Pavlodar, Astana, Aktau, Almaty, Karaganda, Shymkent, Zhezkazgan, Taraz, Taldykorgan and Kokshetau cities. "Until 2020, it is planned to reconstruct the landing strips in the airports of Semey, Kostanay and Ust-Kamenogorsk," said the chairman.
In the near future, it is planned to reconstruct the passenger terminal of the Astana International Airport. The purpose of the project is to expand the existing passenger handling capacity from the current 750 to 1,750 passengers per hour, or 7 million passengers a year.
By Indira Urazova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina