Transport ministry to develop cross-polar routes

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MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia intends to develop transport routes across the North Pole, an aide to the Russian transport minister said at a Russian-Japanese business conference Thursday.

The aide said that a project was to be set up for investment in cross-polar routes under the new federal target program, "Exporting Russian Transport Services," which was recently approved by the Russian government.

There are currently four cross-polar routes linking North America and South East Asia. All of the routes run through Russia.

The official said that the development of the routes would help increase the volume of air traffic, which in turn would boost the revenues of Russia's civil aviation.

Gennady Chernov, deputy head of the Russian Aviation Committee, said that all the investment in infrastructure would be recouped if the routes operated at full capacity. Although the flights along these routes will be non-stop, Russia will obtain revenues from flight navigation services.

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