ICAO to hold a meeting next week to fly over areas of conflict

UN aviation agency ICAO has confirmed that it is consulting with
airlines and aviation organizations across the world to review the way in which
authorities deem airspace too dangerous for commercial air traffic at times of
armed conflict.

A meeting is liekly to be held in Montrealnext week with airline body IATA and other aviation organizations and the Civil
Air Navigation Services Organization and Airports Council International to
discuss the respective roles of each in airspace over conflict zones.

On July 17, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 en route from Amsterdamto Kuala Lumpur was downed and crashed near the
city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine,
killing all 298 people on board.

The UN Security Council condemned the downing of the passenger aircraft
and unanimously voted in support of a thorough and independent international
investigation of the incident amid growing calls for clarity, transparency and
a level playing field on the process that alerts airlines to airspace dangers.

Responding to the growing pressure, ICAO chief Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu
said the Montreal-based UN agency is now consulting with airline industry body
IATA and regional aviation organizations ‘on the respective roles of states,
airlines and international organizations for assessing the risk of airspace
affected by armed conflict’.

Malaysian transport ministry adviser Tan Sri Kayveas has said Ukraine’s air
traffic control UKsatse should bear some responsibility over the downing of
MH17 as it was flying through that air navigation service provider’s
jurisdiction.

“Airlines depend on governments and air traffic control authorities to
advise which airspace is available for flights,” he said, noting that while
ICAO had issued warnings to en route traffic not to fly below a 22,000 feet threshold –Ukraine’s
controllers had instructed MH17 to fly above 32,000 feet – which it
did at 33,000 feet.

The airline’s flight operations chief Captain Izham Ismail said that
Flight MH17 planned to fly at 35,000 feet but was instructed to fly at the
next best altitude at 33,000
feet
, which was above the restricted altitude, due to
other aircraft flying nearby.

“The Malaysian Airlines crew filed a flight plan and Russia and Ukraine both accepted the airplane
into their airspace,” he said.

Russian news agencies are also reporting that the Moscow-based
Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) has added its weight to calls by the
industry to urgently take measures ensuring safe operation of civil aviation in
combat areas.

In a statement published on its website, it said: “IAC calls on all
states, international organizations and all international aviation community to
cooperate in order to develop urgently concrete measures aimed at ensuring safe
operation of civil aviation in the areas of military conflicts.”

Meanwhile, ICAO’s officials confirmed that the team in Farnborough has
verified that the MH17 cockpit voice recorder (CVR) is in good condition and
that the digital flight data recorder (DFDR) is still under review.

Source – http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/

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