Unijet abjures €6.7 mln claim against Vnukovo airport over Total CEO plane crash
MOSCOW, January 16 (RAPSI) - Unijet air carrier has waived its €6.7-million claim filed against Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport after a tragic crash of Total CEO Cristophe de Maergerie’s plane, operated by the airline, RAPSI has learnt in the Moscow Commercial Court.
In October, the claimant’s representative told RAPSI that Unijet and Vnukovo made a settlement agreement. Alongside the airport, another defendant in the case was the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “State ATM Corporation” responsible for the organization of air traffic.
Christophe de Margerie died in a plane crash at Vnukovo airport on October 21, 2014, when his plane’s wing hit a snow plow. Among the victims were three crew members, all French citizens.
On October 25, 2016, the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) published its final report on the investigation into the death of de Margerie. The report’s authors listed several factors, which, when combined, may have resulted in the plane crash. Among potential causes of the crash are: violation of regulations over control of alcohol use by drivers of special equipment, absence of equipment for listening to traffic controllers in snow plow machines, inefficient organization of work with subsystem of observation and control of airfield, no measures taken by the plane’s crew to prevent takeoff after receiving information about “machine that intersects a road”.
In July 2017, snow plow driver Vladimir Martynenko and Vnukovo lead airfield service engineer Vladimir Ledenev, who had earlier pleaded guilty and signed a plea bargain, were sentenced to 4 and 3.5 years in penal colony respectively and were immediately pardoned as part of the broad amnesty program on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II.
Martynenko and Ledenev were charged with violation of traffic safety rules resulted in the death of two or more persons. The widow of Total CEO Cristophe de Maergerie, relatives of the deceased flight crew members, Vnukovo airport and Unijet air carrier have been recognized as victims in the case.
The case against airport flight manager Roman Dunayev and air traffic controllers Alexander Kruglov and Nadezhda Arkhipova was severed and is still under consideration.