Mikhail Shushpanov, Aviastar-SP - Авиастар-СП
Release Date: 2010-01-25Mikhail Shushpanov, General Director of Aviastar-SP, was interviewed by Russianavia.net at MAKS-2009 airshow in Zhukovsky, to talk about the current activities and the future prospects of Aviastar-SP, one of Russia's key aviation enterprises, in the midst of the rebirth of aviation construction in Russia.
Mr. Shushpanov, what role does Aviastar-SP play as part of Ulyanovsk region, the future centre of Russian aviation, and how did the current reform of the sector affect your company?
Aviastar-SP is an integral part of the industrial and social infrastructure of the region in spite of being a relatively young enterprise, as it was founded 32 years ago. Currently, we are mainly focusing on automation of our production, introduction of paper-free technologies and, most importantly, new management standards and young managers. In this regard, we are mainly guided by European standards. Besides, the Ulyanovsk Government plans to set up a new training system at Aviastar-SP and other aviation enterprises of the region, which is considered a resource centre for aviation. In particular, the Ulyanovsk Aviation College of Civil Aviation will be the base for the Pilot Training Centre. This centre would optimize the training of pilots and flight engineers, and improve the overall quality by using the newest training technologies and the most up-to-date equipment.
One of the main current activities of the regional Government is organizing the Ulyanovsk Aviation Cluster and attracting investments into this project. Only last week, Aviastar-SP and the Ulyanovsk region signed an agreement that envisages the development of the Ulyanovsk Aviation Cluster to include 16 regional aviation construction enterprises.
The objective of creating this cluster is to unlock the industrial potential of Aviastar-SP and of the region. Ulyanovsk region is unique: it has all the necessary elements to become the future platform of the country’s aviation, to solve many of the current problems that we encounter in the aviation sector, and to push forward state-of-the-art products such as the first Tu-204SM aircraft that is expected to become the Russia’s flagship mid-range aircraft before the MS-21 enters the market.
In our previous conversation with a representative of Volga-Tekhnoport, we were told about the plans to create a special economic zone (SEZ) in Ulyanovsk region and develop servicing from the Ulyanovsk cluster…
This is true; we do have plans to develop this aspect with further prospects to enter the international market. The special economic zone (SEZ) in Ulyanovsk region is planned as a base for a network of after-sale maintenance centres for planes of Volga-Dnepr and Polet Cargo airlines, the major Russian cargo operators.
UAC (the United Aircraft Corporation) and the Government of Ulyanovsk region signed a Cooperation Agreement at the end of 2007, by which UAC actively participates in the regional aviation projects such as the aviation cluster and the SEZ. UAC sees the development of the regional aviation base as a means to improve the efficiency of the sector and introduce new production and management standards.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin heavily criticized the current condition of the sector and made a few points that are hard to argue when he visited MAKS-2009. The implementation of the strategic objectives set by the Russian Government, aimed at ending the crisis in the sector, is not going quite smoothly, and the strategic objectives have not been yet accomplished. Russian aviation is generally trailing behind Europe and, in the nearest future, China. However, Mr. Putin was right saying that Russia was and remains an aviation leader, and we expect massive state support for the sector in order to sustain the current developments that will ensure its competitiveness on the world market.
What have so far been the results of your participation in MAKS-2009?
At Aviastar-SP in particular, we have signed an Agreement to supply 12 mid-range passenger aircraft Tu-204SM to the state airline Atlant-Soyuz. We have also agreed with Sberbank (the State Savings Bank - Transl. Note) to prolong loan agreements.
I believe that all our objectives, including that of the aviation cluster, are feasible and have a high potential for the sector, if there is federal support. No doubt, the deeply critical remarks about MAKS being a “feast during the plague” are more than exaggerated.
|Company:||Aviastar-SP - Авиастар-СП|
|Position:||former General Director|