Attending the 2018 Russian World Cup – Part 2: Permits, Cabotage & Visas

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Attending the 2018 Russian World Cup – Part 1: Airports, Slots, Parking, & Planning

This is a post by author Dmitry Konovalov. Dmitry is general director for  Universal Aviation Russia – Khabarovsk, based in Khabarovsk (UHHH), which provides 24/7 coordination of flight permits and ground handling services throughout Russia including supervision services at all Moscow airports. Dmitry is an expert on business aircraft operations in Russia and can be contacted at

This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled “Attending the 2018 Russian World Cup – Part 1: Airports, Slots, Parking, & Planning“.

Russian overflight and landing permits are easier and more user friendly to obtain than even just a few years ago. Still, it’s always best to allow a little more than official permit lead time when making requests for any operation during the busy World Cup period.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Permit considerations

Landing permits are required for all operations to Russia. Permit lead time depends upon number of passenger seats onboard as well frequency of flights the operator makes to Russia within a one month period.

2. Permit lead time

One business day lead time is needed if you’re operating an aircraft with fewer than 19 passenger seats and are only flying 1-4 flights/month. Plan on three business days lead time if the aircraft has more than 19 passenger seats or if there are more than 10 persons on the flight. If you’re operating more than 4 flights to Russia per month you’ll need 14 days lead time for a landing permit. We recommend allowing more than official lead times during the World Cup period due to increased traffic and higher than normal demands on the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) resources.

3. Permit documentation

The following are required for Russian landing permits:

  • Registration and airworthiness certificates
  • Air operator certificate (AOC) for charter aircraft only
  • Worldwide insurance with 3rd-party liability
  • Aircraft noise certificate clearly indicating MTOW
  • Crew pilot licenses (note that this requirement is mentioned in the Aeronautical Information Publication [AIP] but at this time it’s not a required document to furnish)
  • Aircraft maintenance log – if the aircraft is over 10 years old or the airworthiness certificate does not have an expiry date.

Above documents must be in English, dated and valid. Note that pilot licenses are not required to be issued by the same country the aircraft is registered in.

In addition to the above documentation you’ll need to provide:

  • Crew and passenger information
  • Purpose of flight
  • Route and schedule
  • Cargo details if any

4. Permit validity and revisions

Landing permits, once approved, are valid from 0001 UTC on the day of the estimated time of arrival (ETA) to 48 hours beyond the estimated time of departure (ETD). Your permit allows operation according to the filed flight plan, usually without the need for any permit updates/revisions. Operational changes that do not require permit revision include:

  • ETA/ETD changes
  • Adding a tech stop at an airport of entry (AOE) within Russia
  • Changes to digital part of the flight number
  • Use of a different aircraft if it has been indicated on your permit application

For aircraft with less than 19 passenger seats no revision is needed for changes of flight information region (FIR) entry/exit point or changes to airport of departure/landing outside of Russia.

5. Visas

Most passenger nationalities require visas to enter Russia. Note that visas are never available on arrival in the case of passengers. Crew visas on arrival are possible to obtain but only at Vnukovo (UUWW), Domodedovo (UUDD) and Sheremeyevo (UUEE) and arrangements need to be made in advance. Note that the crew information for visa arrangements needs to be submitted at least 24 hours prior to arrival. Be aware that passports, along with two passport-sized photos, must be presented and visa processing time can take from 1.5 to 6 hours. We always recommend that crew and passengers obtain visas prior to arrival in Russia.

6. Cabotage

Be mindful that cabotage rules are strictly enforced in Russia. If you pick up passengers in Russia they must remain onboard until after the aircraft departs the country. Foreign registered aircraft are not permitted to transport cargo or personnel from point to point within Russian territory, unless arriving on the aircraft or continuing on outside of Russia.

7. Additional Reading: Operating Requirements

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Be aware of the landing permit requirements when traveling to Russia, depending on the number of flights into the country or the number of passenger seats the aircraft has. It’s always recommended that crew and passengers obtain visas prior to arrival into the country. Also, cabotage are strictly enforced when traveling to Russia.

Later we will discuss aviation fuel, customs, immigration, and security when operating to the 2018 Russia World Cup.


If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your trip to the 2018 Russia World Cup, contact me at

Got a question for Dmitry about this article?