A Russian pilot who lives in Europe is asking aviation officials there to get more specific in aviation sanctions prompted by the invasion of Ukraine. Boris Samoylenko told AVweb the EU’s ban on Russian aviation has grounded pilots who have no connection to the Putin regime other than the fact they hold Russian passports. “Holders of PPL licenses can’t rent airplanes in their flying clubs, students can’t continue training, self-employed commercial pilots can’t work, aircraft owners are grounded too, and even drone owners can’t fly their drones,” Samoylenko told AVweb. He said he’s asking EASA officials to adopt the more prescriptive approach adopted by the FAA in the U.S. to target the sanctions appropriately.
Samoylenko said EASA issued the blanket ban on all Russian pilots, except those who work for non-Russian companies, on Feb. 28 in response to the invasion of Ukraine. He said the U.S. originally issued similar sanctions but about two weeks later changed them to target only Russians on the International Trade Administration’s Consolidated Screening List, which tells U.S. officials with whom they can’t conduct business. Samoylenko said the EU apparently cast a much wider net to try to ensure Russian pilots who shouldn’t be flying in Europe couldn’t find any loopholes but the result goes too far and may be illegal. Samoylenko said many of the grounded pilots he knows support Ukraine and are involved in relief efforts. “We believe that solidarity with one nation must not be a reason to treat the other nation discriminatively, especially on such a high legislative level,” he said.