More about Russian aviation: Is Moscow's Skolkovo commercial pilot school going fly?


Few projects in Russia have received as much media coverage as Skolkovo tech city. You will find a good summary about what Skolkovo is on this Techcrunch article, but to summarize, Skolkovo's aim is the creation of a powerful technology cluster near Moscow, a sort of modern, capitalist, version of the "science cities" that were built all over Soviet territory throughout the 20th century. 

"Technology" is understood in a broad sense here, since Skolkovo is hosting from internet startups to bio-medicine research institutions and, apparently, it is also about to get its own airline pilot school. 

According to Russian newspaper Vedomosti, a partnership with Boeing will make it possible to train future commercial pilots at Skolkovo too.

Although several airline industry sources, quoted in the Vedomosti article, appear to be quite skeptical about the proposed pilot school prospects, the fact is that there is actually a shortage of commercial pilots in Russia, where air passenger traffic is experiencing consistent double-digit increases. However, Russian laws make it impossible for Russian airlines to employ foregin pilots.

Scarcity usually means high salaries, so a commercial pilot can expect to make an average of around 450,000 rubles a month (that is around €10,000/$14,000) in Russia. Also, the Russian ban on foregin pilots might be repealed soon though and this, together with the likely emergence of a low cost airline industry in Russia in the short to medium term might prop up the Skolkovo pilot school project.