Calls grow for global review of airspace risk

Governments must take the lead in reviewing how risk assessments for flying over conflict zones are made, according to an airline industry chief.

Tony Tyler, the head of the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) which represents around 200 global airlines made his comments in a statement on Tuesday. His call for governmental action joins similar demands made by Emirates and Lufthansa for a high level ministerial summit following the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine.

“No effort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is not repeated,” IATA director general Tony Tyler said.”And the industry will do all that it can to support governments, through ICAO, in the difficult work that lies ahead,” he said, referring to the United Nations’ aviation agency.

Tim Clark, president of Dubai’s Emirates, the world’s largest international airline by number of passengers, has said national aviation regulators need to give airlines far more guidance on where it is safe to fly.

“The international airline community needs to respond as an entity, saying this is absolutely not acceptable and outrageous, and that it won’t tolerate being targeted in internecine regional conflicts that have nothing to do with airlines,” Clark told Reuters.

He said the IATA could call an international conference to see what changes need to made in the way the industry tackles regional instability. IATA said last week they depended on governments and air traffic agencies to advise which airspace is available.

“Now I think there will have to be new protocols and it will be up to ICAO and IATA and the aviation community to sort out what the protocols have to be,” said Clark. “”Some people say planes should be armed with counter devices. That will go absolutely nowhere. If we can’t operate aircraft in a free and unencumbered manner without the threat of being taken down, then we shouldn’t be operating at all.”

The Flight Safety Foundation has also requested that ICAO call for a high-level ministerial meeting to review the systems in place to warn airlines of hostile airspace.

“Where known threats to civil aviation exist, states should assess and widely publish this information, or close the airspace. If states cannot discharge their responsibilities to manage their airspace safely, ICAO should play a leading role to alerting or prohibiting airlines from flying through known, hostile airspace,”  said Jon Beatty, FSF president and CEO.

Read More:
Emirates calls for airlines summit on ‘outrageous’ MH17 attack
Malaysian Airlines MH17 flying above perceived danger level

Posted in Airlines, Airspace, News, Safety, Security

Comments are closed.