The Russian Air Force will develop a civil aviation safety programme in 2010, with the aim of reducing aviation accidents.

Air force flight safety department head Maj.-Gen. Oleg Kolyada said a federal target programme is being developed that will ensure civil aviation security, according to RIA Novosti.

“The programme aims to reduce aviation accidents by two to three times and cut damage by 15bn-20bn rubles ($502m-$670m) annually,” he said.

“It will take almost the whole of 2010 to revise the air force regulations, but the bulk of documents would come into force as soon as possible.”

A high level of professional skills, strict observance of rules and tough punishment for violations, will be a key focus of the programme.