An-12 cleared for take-off
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The Antonov-12 turboprop cargo aircraft, which was banned from the UAE’s airspace five months ago by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) due to safety concerns, has been cleared to fly, according to a report in a local newspaper.
The ban was technically lifted in April, but bureaucratic restrictions, including the need to translate Russian documentation into English, prohibited locally based companies from getting the type into the air.
“They fully complied with our regulations, and they are free to fly,” said Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the GCAA, according to the National newspaper. Al Suwaidi added that the conditions, which included a demand for documents written in English and extra pilot training, will remain in place.
The An-12 is considered the type of choice to visit particularly hard-to-reach destinations, and remains heavily in use despite production on the aircraft stopping in 1973. Its nearest equivalent, the C-130, remains in production, but is more expensive to run.
Some operators had expressed concern that the blanket ban on this type might lead to other Soviet-era aircraft being barred from the UAE.
“With regard to the An-124, we are more confident that this won’t happen,” said Dennis Gliznoutsa, group commercial director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, who was speaking to arabiansupplychain.com.
“But the Il-76 is a bit of a worry area, simply because there are so many operators of this type out there,” Gliznoutsa added.