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Russia Claims Air-Safety Improvement

The wreckage of a TU-134 plane that made a hard landing on a highway 15 kilometers from a runway in Petrozavodsk in June 2011.
Russian officials claim aviation incidents have decreased in Russia in 2011.

Aleksandr Neradko, the head of Russia's Federal Agency for Air Transportation, said there were 829 aviation incidents in Russia last year, down from 927 in 2010.

According to a survey by London-based aviation consultancy Ascend, Russia ranks as one the world's most dangerous countries for air travel.

Russian aviation's dismal safety record attracted renewed attention following the crash of a charter plane that killed 43 people, including 36 players and staff from a top Russian ice-hockey team last year.

Eight of Russia's nine crashes in 2011 involved Soviet-era planes.

In November, four Russian carriers were banned from crossing the European Union borders for failing to meet European standards, including safety standards.

With Itar-Tass, CBC News, and Reuters reporting