On 28 May, the Podolsky District Court of Kyiv has – on request of the General Directorate of the National Police in Kyiv – grounded five Antonov An-124 Ruslan aircraft owned by Russian Volga-Dnepr Antonov due to “violation of flight rules”.
The court seized the following aircraft, owned by Volga-Dnepr (Russia) and Volga-Dnepr Airlines (Ireland) :
- RA-82068 (serial number 0703 – stored),
- RA-82078 (serial number 0710),
- RA-82045 (serial number 0609 – stored),
- RA-82046 (serial number 0610),
- RA-82077 (serial number 0709)
“According to manufacturer Antonov, the investigators and the court, the continued operation of the An-124 aircraft is a violation of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and ICAO’s Airworthiness Directives,” the court said.
The court prohibits the airline and any other persons from operating the aircraft type. Airports and other authorities are not allowed to “take any actions to allow handling, take-off and/or landing of these aircraft.”
Ongoing political tensions between Russia and Ukraine
The various operators of the An-124 are in discussions with respect to the continuing airworthiness certification of the individual An-124 planes. The original designer of the An-124 is responsible for managing the certification process for its own products, but Russian/Ukrainian conflicts are making this process difficult to manage.
Military operators are able to self-certify the airworthiness of their own aircraft, but Russian civil operators must find a credible outside authority for certification if Ukraine is unable to participate in the process.
Most likely, Russia and Volga-Dnepr will disregard the decision of the Ukrainian court.