$420,000 owed by Russian cargo jet stranded for more than a year at Pearson Airport in Mississauga

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Published March 29, 2023 at 2:02 pm

Russian Cargo Plane in Mississauga being fought over by Russia and Canada
A Russian cargo aircraft like this one has been stranded at Pearson Airport in Mississauga since Feb. 27, 2022.

The meter continues to run toward half-a-million dollars for a large Russian-owned cargo plane that’s been grounded at Pearson Airport in Mississauga since Feb. 27 of last year.

The Antonov An-124 aircraft, the world’s largest production cargo plane, can be spotted on the Pearson tarmac by motorists travelling on nearby Hwy. 427.

And it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

That was the word this past December from federal Transport Minister and Mississauga Centre MP Omar Alghabra, who said at the time that the aircraft cannot fly in Canadian airspace until the Russian/Ukraine war is over.

As of today (March 29), the aircraft owes an estimated $423,476 in “parking fees.”

And the meter continues to run. The tab will continue to grow by $1,108.80 each day (77 cents per minute as of implementation of new fees on Jan. 1, 2023), according to Pearson’s aeronautical charges and fees schedule.

The fees are collected by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, and at the current rate, the parking tab will hit the $500,000 mark by early June.

Transport Canada also said earlier that the cargo plane doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

The huge aircraft landed at Pearson on the morning of Feb. 27, 2022, just before the Canadian government declared the country’s airspace closed to all Russian-owned planes in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

It’s not known if the owners of the large plane have paid any of the GTAA fees at this point or what, if any, arrangements have been made with Pearson to pay the charges.

The massive plane was reportedly bringing a shipment of COVID-19 test kits from China to Pearson, via Russia and then Anchorage, Alaska, where it apparently stopped for refuelling just before its late-February 2022 landing in Mississauga.

Unless the aircraft receives an exemption from the Canadian government to allow it to travel home via Canadian airspace, it will remain at Pearson until further notice.

The cargo plane, registered to Volga-Dnepr Airlines, is reportedly one of a fleet of 12 such aircraft.

Below is one of the initial social media reports back in February 2022 that identified the stranded cargo plane.

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