Canada levies $24,000 in fines for alleged Russian violation of closed airspace

N.W.T. infrastructure minister links plane to planned expedition to Nunavut

A plane carrying two Russian foreign nationals was detained in Yellowknife last week for allegedly entering Canadian airspace after it was closed to Russian flights. (File photo)

By Randi Beers

Transport Canada has imposed $24,000 in fines after a plane carrying Russian nationals en route to Nunavut was stopped in Yellowknife last week. 

Canada closed its airspace to all Russian owned, operated and chartered aircraft on Feb. 27 in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It has been determined that the aircraft, although not Russian-owned or registered, had, in fact, operated contrary to … airspace restrictions,” said Transport Canada spokesperson Frédérica Dupuis in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

The Russian national who chartered the plane — and its two pilots — were each handed fines of $3,000. The aircraft operator, Dunard Engineering Limited, was fined $15,000.

The plane has been cleared to leave Canadian airspace without its passengers.

Transport Canada has not named the individuals involved, citing Canada’s Privacy Act. 

The plane in question was detained at the Yellowknife Airport on March 1 with two Russian nationals on board. 

Diane Archie, N.W.T.’s infrastructure minister, updated the legislature about the situation the next day, telling her colleagues that the people involved were travelling to Resolute as part of a High Arctic expedition.

The expedition appears to be a Russian-led project called TransGlobal Car. Members of the team arrived in Yellowknife last week, preparing for a trek to the North Pole in an all-terrain vehicle as part of a larger goal to circumnavigate the globe vertically by car next year.

According to the TransGlobal Car website, the expedition was “initiated” by Vasily Shakhnovsky, a former major shareholder in Yukos Oil, an oil company that was once based in Moscow.

TransGlobal Car appeared on Monday to be on track to depart Yellowknife this week. 

Nobody from the group has answered questions about the expedition, but member Boris Pavlov updated his Facebook page on March 4. 

“Permission to conduct the expedition has finally been received,” he wrote in Russian. “And the slightly sensational plane story has ended without incident.” 

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    This guy was aparently a billionaire. That small fine is just as useless as the fine that was imposed on the BC casino mogul who flew to the yukon to get the vax.

  2. Posted by Universal Soldier on

    If Canada really wants to do something, it can urge EU and other NATO members to join Canada in making the following announvcement:
    “To Russian troops in Ukraine, if you feel unsafe, you can claim asyium in the West. Just tell any Ukraine forces that you surrender and are seeking asylum in the West. They will help you.”

  3. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    So he was fined a miniscule amount of his worth, this guy is a Billionaire.

    Did anyone catch the part of the story where he is driving some vehicles to Nunavut? Has anyone reached out to him or we just going tonact surprised and concerned when he shows up in the Community? Is he going to Kugluktuk, Cambridge or Gjoa encounter to Resolute?

    • Posted by Dalia on

      Are the territories really going to let this Russian expedition really happen in
      Canada? Can’t we be united with the world in sanctioning Russia for the horrendous crimes that are being committed in Ukraine?

  4. Posted by Truestory on

    I thought them Russians don’t have access to their accounts. Should confiscate the plane instead. The dude can afford it.

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