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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Show Starts Without Stunts

The inaugural Civil Aviation air show opened Wednesday at Domodedovo Airport minus some of its major attractions: the Russian Air Force's top aerobatics teams and Italy's Frecee Tricolori stunt team, famous for its three-color smoke displays.

The teams were due to take part in widely advertised aerial demonstrations for the Open Sky part of the air show. Open Sky will now consist of displays by sports and civil planes and by Emergency Situations Ministry aircraft showing off their skills in simulated firefighting and rescue operations.

Alexander Neradko, head of the State Civil Aviation Service and chairman of the show's organizing committee, said the aerobatics program was canceled following the tragic events at the Lviv air show in Ukraine, where a Su-27 fighter plunged into a crowd of spectators and killed 85 people. The final decision was made Monday, he said.

"We cannot ignore [the Lviv disaster]," Neradko said. "The investigation is continuing and the signals we are getting do not give us grounds to use these aircraft in demonstration flights."

Neradko said the Civil Aviation-2002 air show was set up mainly to celebrate Russia's achievements in the sector. Russian carriers remained unscathed amid a global slump, reporting a 14.8 percent growth in passenger traffic last year.

At the same time, Neradko said the show aims to call attention to problems facing the sector, such as the inability of local manufacturers to meet demand for new aircraft, and to attract potential investors who might help bridge that gap.

The air show has been spearheaded by the East Line Group, which runs Domodedovo Airport, and supported by the Transportation Ministry and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency.

Sergei Rudakov, general director of Domodedovo, said the demonstration flights by civil aircraft will not disrupt traffic at the airport, which was adjusted a month ago to allow for an hour of displays a day. On Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, flights will be performed for an hour some time between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Rudakov expects there to be a drop in numbers because of the cancellations, but said some 50,000 to 80,000 people are likely to visit the show each day on the weekend.

Some 204 companies from 12 countries, including the United States, Britain and Germany, will participate.

Eighty types of aircraft will be on display, including Russia's most modern passenger airplanes, the Il-96-300, Tu-204/214, Tu-334 and Il-114, all designed in the 1980s. Few of them are now operated by domestic carriers, which are increasingly flying Western aircraft. The show will also feature two World War II veterans, the Po-2 and Li-2 airplanes.

During the show, three round tables will be held for aviation professionals to discuss the development of air traffic control, air safety and fleet upgrades. An agreement will also be signed with the International Civil Aviation Organization general secretary, Costa Pereira, to set up a training center in Russia for flight safety inspectors, Neradko said.

The air show will run until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached by trains from Paveletsky Station and shuttle buses from Domodedovskaya metro station. Tickets cost 150 rubles, with admission free for children under 14.