January 25 - Ruslan International has successfully operated its first An-124 commercial flight from Australia since the acceptance of its aircraft as Chapter 3 ICAO noise-compliant by the country's Department of Infrastructure & Transportation.

Previously, Ruslan International was required to submit "letters of support" from its charter principals to the Department, proving flights were in the public interest, before it could obtain operating rights.

This requirement was recently rescinded after Ruslan International submitted noise certificates for all 17 aircraft, satisfying the Department that the fleet fully complies with Chapter 3 ICAO noise standards, and is not impacted by the MCC3 noise levels regulations.

The latest flight, carrying 105 tonnes of specialised drilling equipment for Tom Browne International Pty Ltd, left Sydney en route for Nouakchott in Mauritania.

Says Ruslan International Business Development Manager, Michael Goodisman: "Tom Browne advised us that the fast delivery of this outsize drilling equipment was a key factor in securing a new drilling services contract, at the Tasiast Gold Mine in Mauritania, for Kinross Gold.

"The timely acceptance by the Australian authorities of the Antonov Airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines An-124fleets which we manage, and the assurance this brought to Tom Browne's own negotiations with its customer, Kinross Gold of Canada, have produced an excellent outcome for this Australian company."