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#4 - JRL 7243
Nearly two-thirds of Russian airports have closed down in last 10 years

Moscow, 27 June: Forty-five airports ceased operations in Russia in 2002 alone, and there are now 451 airports in the country, whereas there were 1,302 in 1992. This was the worrying information provided today at a session of the State Civil Aviation Service of the Russian Federation Ministry of Transport (Rosaviatsiya) [agency parentheses].

According to the head of Rosaviatsiya's airports operations division, Valeriy Utkin, the closures have mainly affected local airports. This means that the transport crisis for Russians living in remote and Far North areas of the country has got even worse.

The session also gave great importance to certification of airports and their provision with fuel, and aircraft maintenance.

"Regulation of the activities of natural monopolies, the cutting out of intermediaries and the provision of competitive supplies of fuel" will be used as economic levers to address the fuel and maintenance problems.

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