A ‘Safety-First’ Approach to Russia’s Airport Expansion Plans

A year on from a runway accident which killed 44 members of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl ice-hockey team, UK fibreglass approach mast manufacturer Pollite is reminding Russian airports of the important of having frangible masts installed on runways, at a time when the country is preparing to undergo major airport construction.

An Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) investigation into the Yaroslavl disaster found that the Yak-42 plane carrying the team failed to take off and overran 1,312ft (400m) into the runway end safety area before taking to the air.  Shortly after taking off, the aircraft rolled to the left, and struck a navigation beacon mast before striking the ground.  Pollite claims that if the mast had been manufactured to ICAO and FAA frangibility standards, the accident “would not have been so devastating”.

Civil Aircraft Accident Data from the last 50 years shows that 40% of all runway overruns, undershoots and failures worldwide incurred fatalities, highlighting the need for masts that break on impact on busy runways.

Pollite’s reminder comes at a time when Russia is poised for a major airport redevelopment which will see 60 airports built in the country over the next four years.  As part of the plans, Russia’s biggest airport hub, Moscow Domodedovo, is set to be transformed into one of Europe’s leading airports.

Owned and operated by the private sector DME Group, passenger traffic at the airport has soared from 3.8 million in 1998 to 15.7 million in 2011, with the rest of Russia’s airports reporting similar numbers of growth.


(Image:  Pollite)