A press release from the ‘Arctic: Territory of Dialogue’ 5th International Arctic Forum to be held in St. Petersburg 9-10 April states that the development of the Arctic’s transport infrastructure will be one of the main themes of the Forum. The importance of thoroughly developing logistics in the Arctic region has been repeatedly emphasized during meetings of the Forum’s Organizing Committee and working groups. Building an effective system of air transport services in the Arctic regions and establishing modern transport and logistics hubs will create the basis for the sustainable development of the Arctic economy as a whole. The development of the light aircraft industry will make air transportation in Russia’s Arctic zone more accessible.
The ‘Coastal Territories’ business programme will feature a session titled ‘Aircraft First: Developing the Aviation Sector in the Arctic’, which will be attended by representatives of the Russian Ministry of Transport. The session participants will discuss the feasibility of organizing regular air travel in the region as well as domestic and international flights. Intensifying and developing the air transportation system is one of the top priorities that needs to be addressed to expand opportunities for transportation in the Arctic as a whole. The discussion participants will share the latest data on the development of the airfield network and also devote special attention to the air fleet. Russia is currently developing advanced equipment for the needs of small regional aircraft, including equipment that can operate on unpaved airfields, as well as ground effect vehicles and seaplanes. The session will also address the issue of satellite support since Russia is planning to set up full satellite coverage of the Arctic in the very near future.
“According to the Strategy for the Development of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation and Ensuring National Security for the Period until 2020, which was approved by Vladimir Putin, there is a shortage of airplanes, aircraft equipment, and technological capabilities to study and use the Russian Arctic”, Adviser to the Russian President Anton Kobyakov said, underscoring the importance of this theme. “In this regard, we need to develop a programme to transition to an innovative path of expanding the industry’s capabilities in order to create a powerful development trend for the regional economy. I am certain that we will accomplish a lot in this regard during the relevant events of the International Arctic Forum 2019 business programme”.
The ‘Open Ocean’ pillar of the business programme will continue the theme of developing Arctic logistics with the session ‘Transport Connectivity: The Arctic, Far East, Siberia, and the Urals’. The establishment of a unified logistics system as a tool for regional integration, business, search and rescue services, research expeditions, and tourism is of great importance within the context of developing a common transport system in the region. The session participants will discuss the development of internal and peripheral communications, which will enhance the transport accessibility of rural areas and provide opportunities for the transportation of industrial products. This measure will serve to expand commodity- and economic-based cooperation between Russia and the leading countries of the world in terms of export-import activities in the Arctic, while the development of transport links between the Arctic zone, Siberia, the Urals, and the Far East will be a key objective for creating a new model to stimulate economic growth and improve the local population’s quality of life.