Russian parliament seeks $3bln for civil planes after crashes

Other News Materials 22 September 2006 15:39 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - Russia's lower house of parliament intends to demand $3 billion to buy new airplanes for the country's civil fleet, the speaker of the State Duma said Friday, reports Trend.

Hundreds of people have died in the last six months in three major air crashes, and Speaker Boris Gryzlov said MPs would discuss a draft address to the country's leadership about the need to allocate the money when civil aviation was discussed at a meeting October 11.

A deputy from the ultra-nationalist Liberal Democratic Party, Alexei Mitrofanov, said the money should be allocated in the wake of many air crashes that have blighted the country recently.

"It would be right to demand up to $3 billion to buy new planes because our planes crash one after another," he said.

At least 170 people were killed, including 45 children, in August when a Russian-made Tu-154 jet en route from a Black Sea resort to St. Petersburg came down in stormy weather in eastern Ukraine. In July, 124 passengers and crew lost their lives when an Airbus crashed upon landing making a domestic flight in Siberia.

Another 113 people died on May 3, when an Armenian Airlines plane flying to Russia also crashed into the Black Sea.

Pilots have also been forced to make a number of emergency landings. The latest involved a Tu-154, which was forced to touch down in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia earlier this month after an engine failure.