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 Armeian Air navigation Services complies with International standards and ICAO reqirements
Exclusive interview of the director of development and corporate policy of "ARMATS" CJSC Eduard Pilosyan to information agency "ARKA"

"ARKA" – What is the history of Armenian air navigation and what is its role in the development of the aviation of Armenia?

E. Pilosyan - First of all speaking about Armenian air navigation I would like to specify that we are speaking about air navigational service of air traffic. The main objective of Armenian air navigation is to provide flight safety of aircraft by making available appropriate air navigation services in the entire air space of Armenia.
The aviation activity generally includes three main   components. The first are the air companies carrying out   aviation transportation like "Armavia", "Aeroflot" etc and their activity aims to provide passenger and cargo transportation from one airport to another by air. The second is the activity of airports i.e. provision of safe take-off and landing of the aircraft and passenger service. The third is the efficient management and control of a safe traffic flow and that is the activity of air navigation service.
In 1993-1994 the General Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia was established as a separate State regulatory body under the governmental control, based on the world experience and the nowadays requirements. At the same time the air companies and the airports were reorganized and separated. The main services of Armenian air navigation were in the structure of "Zvartnots" airport until 1997; later on they separated and became economically independent units in the aviation domain. At present "ARMATS" company realizes air navigation service in the entire air space of Armenia.
At that time the main task the air navigation of Armenia faced was to keep and provide the operations inherited from Soviet Union system taking into consideration the peculiarities of the transition period, the situation in Armenia and around it. From 1995-1996 we began to think over the institutionalization and establishment of Armenian air navigation, which lasted until 1997 when "ARMATS" company was founded.
In 2004 global transition from soviet regulative-legal base to modern regulatory framework based on ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) international standard stook place. It was there sult of hard work had been done for six years since 1999. Armenia has been а full member of Eurocontrol since 2006 and now we act in compliance with the requirements of that organization.

"ARKA"- How do you assess present condition of air navigation in Armenia and what are the main directions and the outlooks of its further development?

E. Pilosyan - Today more than 150 air companies of different countries make use of air navigation services provided in the airspace of the RA which are realized by new approaches of significant improvement of flight safety level. Such work style of "ARMATS" company in its turn provides the stable authority of the RA as a reliable partner in the international institutions of civil aviation.
The air navigation services provided by our company include a number of basic directions, in particular, air traffic control, the main objective of which is to prevent the collision of aircraft and to maintain the efficient and orderly flow of air traffic.
For that purpose a huge base of complicated technical systems is used including radar aids, radar and flight data processing systems, ground communication systems and communication systems with aircraft, including the satellite systems of communication and ground navigational aids for the aircraft.
The other direction is to provide aeronautical information, which supports gathering, processing and distributing of the entire information that is necessary for flight performance in the air space of Armenia. Such information, apart from producing the rules and procedures for operating flights in our air space, includes cartographical, topographical, meteorological and other necessary data.
We continuously develop our activity in different directions. For us the development activity is a continuous work. We think that we will be able to provide the continuous development of the company and there are two main principles that can ensure our development: the first is that the management of the company succeeded in creating a team of experts and the second is that everybody in the company realizes that development is the result of everyday work. At present we have succeeded in implementation of European conditions and quality for development.
Continuous modernization of the technical base, implementation of digital communication and aeronautical information systems, continuous training of the staff, increased requirements and methods of managing the safety enable to be in compliance with the international level and to hold the leader’s status among the CIS countries.
"ARMATS" is a closed joint stock company and is self-financed by acquisitions paid by air companies for air navigation services provided. I am sure that the company will be able to provide its development in the future.

"ARKA" – Does the air traffic service in the airspace of Armenia today comply with the requirements of international aviation organizations and European standards?

E. Pilosyan - The development strategy of air navigation in Armenia is inseparably connected with international institutions of ICAO and Eurocontrol which establish the international standards and requirements in aviation domain and develop the strategies on its further development. In our every day activity and while working out our development programs we adopt as a base the standards and programs developed by these organizations.
The activity in civil aviation domain and in the air navigation as well is the one of the most regulated at international level. Today without any exaggeration we can say that the air navigation services of Armenia comply with ICAO standards and recommended practices. In 2007 ICAO organized its recurrent audit of the civil aviation entire system of Armenia. According to the official report the organization level of the regulative legal base and safety oversight procedures in civil aviation, particularly in air navigation of Armenia was highly assessed.
I have already mentioned that Armenia has been a full member of Eurocontrol since 2006.
The organization develops European standards in air navigation domain based on ICAO international standards and has the key role in the work aiming the implementation of Single European Sky concept in the frame of European Union.
The Eurocontrol requirements sometimes are much stricter than the requirements established by ICAO. At present observing the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the air navigation of Armenia at the same time aligns to the requirements established by Eurocontrol and European Union. These requirements are changed and improved with the lapse of time,therefore the providing compliance with the international requirements is not an action handled from time to time but it is a permanent and continuous work. In this regard our development strategy, medium term business plans and annual programs on activity are continuously analyzed and revised intending to provide their compliance with new requirements.

"ARKA" - How would you comment the support and cooperation level of the air navigation of Armenia in the region in nowadays complicated geopolitical conditions?

E. Pilosyan - We cooperate with all our neighbours. It is difficult for me to name any other domain in which the cooperation with institutions of Azerbaijan weren’t terminated during the passed years. During that period the air navigation of Armenia held and continues to hold operational cooperation with Azerbaijani colleagues. We succeeded in maintaining partners-business relations at professional level with all our neighbours. This was because all these countries and Armenia among them are ICAO members and adhere to its rules.
In this regard I would like to notice that since 1999 in the countries of South Caucasus a collateral project on the development and implementation of a new regulative-legal base and the development of infrastructures of national civil aviation were developed during six years.
The project was funded by Swedish Government and it should be mentioned that it was mutually effective and quite constitutive cooperation.
Our air communication with Turkey is at quite satisfactory level. It is true that for some time period in connection with the closure of Armenia-Turkey border the existing airway was closed, however, it lasted till 1996. Moreover, later a new airway was opened passing through the axis “Turkey- Armenia-Azerbaijan”. At present a cooperation agreement between our and Turkish air traffic control units is in force according to ICAO requirements.
In my opinion, unless there were political problems between two countries and closed borders, we would be able to deepen our cooperation with Turkey achieving good results in it.

"ARKA" - To your mind what will be changed in the air navigation system in the result of opening of Armenia- Turkey border.

E. Pilosyan – In principle the “air-border” between our countries for civil aviation are open even today. I have already mentioned that in air navigation service domain we have quite effective cooperation in the region.  At the same time there are other examples when the attempts to deepen the cooperation, included the cases initiated by ICAO, failed.
In this regard it seems to me, that in short term perspective the opening of the borders will not make cardinal changes but in time lapse it may create principally new environment, in which the level of existing cooperation may increase both in point of flight safety provision and the commercial efficiency.
Besides, in long term perspective that new environment will enable to think about the deepening of cooperation, lets say, in sympathy with the European states. As to me, in any case the opening of the border will be mutually beneficial not only for Armenia and Turkey but for the entire region.
Development is the result of permanent every day work and it is equally related to the regional cooperation; therefore further development first of all will depend on our collaboration and cooperation.

 

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