Vladimir Putin will soon be commuting to work via helicopter, leaving his traditional Mercedes limousine at home.
According to the Moscow Times, builders have completed the construction of a helipad at the Kremlin, and the Russian president will soon begin using the helicopter for the journey between his country home and his workplace.
While the helicopter may sound audacious, Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Tuesday that the change would help ease Moscow’s notorious traffic problems.
In Russia, official motorcades — known for their flashing blue sirens — have become unpopular due to their ability to flout traffic laws.
Putin’s has become especially notorious for its large size and the chaos it causes in Moscow. Video of his drive to his 2012 inauguration gives a sense of the scale of the convey:
According to Reuters, Putin has acknowledged that his own motorcade has caused traffic jams.
He has also admitted that he has heard angry motorists honking in unison as he drove past in 2010:
While it’s unclear exactly how much Putin’s helicopter will help, Moscow’s traffic is certainly a problem.
Just last month, Dutch GPS manufacturer Tom Tom ranked the Russian capital as the worst city in the entire world for traffic, stealing five days of the average Moscow driver’s life over their lifetime.