The Antonov state aircraft manufacturing enterprise has confirmed reports by the Kommersant newspaper that it is negotiating with Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Russia) on maintaining the airworthiness of the airline’s An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft.

According to Antonov, although Ukraine and Russia have terminated cooperation in the aircraft manufacturing industry, Antonov has international obligations as the holder of the type certificate for this aircraft.

"Failure by Antonov and Ukraine to fulfill their obligations under a number of international rules and domestic legislation will lead to imposition of the relevant international sanctions, particularly a ban on performance of international flights by aircraft of the ‘An’ brand, and lead to transfer of the developer’s functions to other bodies authorized by the aircraft’s country of operation. Failure to fulfill its direct obligation to support civil aircraft of the ‘An’ brand will result in the developer losing its licenses, air transport permits, and markets," Antonov said.

In particular, in accordance with international standards and constituent materials on maintenance of aircraft airworthiness that are outlined in Annex 8 of the ICAO Convention on International Civil Aviation (Airworthiness of Aircraft) and ICAO Doc 9760 (Airworthiness Manual), the developer is responsible for maintaining the design integrity of aircraft.

Representatives of aircraft developers must be accessible to civil aviation authorities during solution of problems that may require development of corrective measures.

In addition, a developer must constantly assess the design integrity of its aircraft during the entire period of its operation. Based on such assessments, it should prepare and provide information complementing existing technical maintenance programs in order to identify structural damage before it becomes a problem in the entire fleet. 

"To meet its contractual obligations ... specialists from the Antonov state enterprise will assess the technical condition of the An-124-100 Ruslan aircraft belonging to the Volga-Dnepr Airlines, which is not on the list of companies sanctioned by the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, on a contractual basis. This aircraft has a Civil Aircraft Registration Certificate, and it can be used only to meet the needs of citizens and the economy. Thus, the Antonov state enterprise, as the developer of the aircraft, is acting in accordance with the current legislation of Ukraine and international aviation regulations," Antonov said. 

As reported, the Antonov state aircraft manufacturing enterprise and Volga-Dnepr Airlines stopped cooperating on transportation of large and non-standard cargoes by air in 2016.