MOSCOW, December 11 (RIA Novosti) – American aircraft maker Boeing signed a raft of deals on Wednesday to create a pilot training center at Moscow’s state-run Skolkovo technology park.
Russia needs about 1,200 more pilots to meet commercial flight demands, the Transportation Ministry has said.
Under Wednesday’s deals, the Skolkovo Foundation and Boeing will provide intellectual property and training know-how, Russia’s Industrial Investors Group will render the bulk of financing, and the Tranzas holding will provide flight simulators.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who has made technological innovation a hallmark of his tenure, observed the signing.
The government is also preparing legislation to allow domestic airlines to hire foreign pilots, and the Transportation Ministry has proposed a program to hire some 200 foreign pilots annually over five years.
Russian airlines have expressed skepticism about the Skolkovo training project, however.
Flagship carrier Aeroflot told the Vedomosti newspaper in June that the proposition was “dubious” because all major Russian airlines have their own specific requirements for training pilots.