Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Air Force Chief to Be Replaced

MTVladimir Mikhailov
President Vladimir Putin will fire the Air Force commander, General Vladimir Mikhailov, when he turns 62 next month and appoint him to run the newly established Federal Air Navigation Service, Kommersant reported Tuesday.

As the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Putin can extend the service of senior commanders after they turn 60, which is the mandatory retirement age for generals and admirals.

Putin had extended Mikhailov's service once before but will this time install him at the helm of the new service, which will unite military and civil air traffic controllers across the country, Kommersant reported.

Mikhailov's 53-year-old deputy, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, will take over as commander of the Air Force, Kommersant said.

The Federal Air Navigation Service, which was established by a presidential decree on Sept. 7, is to end a rivalry between military and civil air traffic controllers, which maintain two independent networks of control centers across the country. Federal authorities intend to hammer out regulations for the new service within the next three months.

Mikhailov was among the senior officials who immediately welcomed Putin's decision to unite the controllers early this month. "There should be one master in the sky," Mikhailov said in comments published on Sept. 8 in the government's official Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper.

"Only the establishment of the air navigation service will allow the avoidance of problems over the control of aircraft," he said.

A Defense Ministry spokesman declined on Tuesday to comment on the Kommersant report. Calls to the Air Force press service went unanswered.

Officials at the Transportation Ministry and the Federal Air Transportation Agency declined to comment.