Russia Approves Egypt Aviation Security Cooperation

Russian government has approved the aviation safety protocol between the Russian Federation and Egypt, according to the cabinet’s decree signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

A note to the government’s decree said, “The protocol implies that Russia’s representatives will monitor the accomplishment of aviation safety measures by Egyptian specialists in the country’s international airports. The time of flights resumption depends on the accomplishment of aviation safety requirements by the Egyptian side.”

The protocol said that the Russian side can set up a separate legal entity to track the aviation safety.

The document reads,”The entity directly responsible for the implementation of the protocol’s provisions from the Russian side (Federal Air Transport Agency, or Rosaviatsia – TASS) may authorize experts of the Russian legal entity to exert control in international airports of the Arab Republic of Egypt, from which airlines of the states involved perform flights to the Russian Federation.”

“Russia’s legal entity will be able to exert control over the procedures of ensuring aviation safety regarding aircraft, passengers, cargoes, luggage, mail, flight catering and board supplies bound for the Russian Federation,”according to the protocol.

In addition , the Russian, Egyptian airlines will perform flights only with “permission of Russian aviation safety experts.”

Russia started its inspection over Cairo airports since a Russian Metrojet flight crashed in Sinai Peninsula shortly after taking off from Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport on 31 October 2015, resulting in the death of all 224 passengers and crew on board.

As a result, Russia suspended passenger flights to Egypt shortly after the crash. Moreover, a number of European countries suspended flights to Sharm El-Sheikh following the 2015 crash.

Sinai Province, an affiliated group to the Islamic State (ISIS), claimed responsibility for downing the Russian flight.

Egyptian investigations into the cause of the crash are still ongoing.

As a result, negotiations on resuming flights between Russia and Egypt have been underway since late 2015. Russian experts paid several visits to Egypt for inspection. In end-December 2016, Russian experts visited Cairo airport of Cairo for inspection.

Similar inspections were performed in the airports of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh in January 2017.

Egypt’s tourism is one of the major sources of foreign currency in the country, that suffers from an economic crisis due to the shortage of foreign currency. The number of tourists fell 40% in the first quarter of 2016.

Tourism revenues have fallen as result of security instability in Egypt after the military coup in 2013 against Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.