Global aviation body rejects Qatar’s move to politicise airspace issue

Global aviation body rejects Qatar’s move to politicise airspace issue

‘The UAE’s sovereign airspace is still close to Qatar-registered planes,’ says Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority

A man eats lunch outside the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) headquarters building is in Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 15, 2017.

MONTREAL: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has issued a series of resolutions regarding a complaint filed by Qatar against the four boycotting nations.

”The ICAO’s Council acknowledged that political outstanding issues between these concerned states should be tackled in the international forums away from the ICAO after its council has taken note of the Qatari complaint, the reply of the four counter-terrorism nations and heard from the ICAO’s Secretariat General about the flow of the air traffic over the international waters,” according to a statement issued by the Montreal-based United Nations agency overseeing global air travel.

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Commenting on ICAO’s resolutions, Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said: ”These resolutions confirm the neutrality of ICAO and its commitment to its mandate, which it was founded for, to ensure the safety of civil aviation across the world.”

Al Suwaidi valued the ICAO and its Council’s reluctance to be dragged and involved into political issues whereas member states emphasised that these matters should be discussed in specialised forums.

While chairing the discussion session, the President of ICAO’s Council affirmed that New York is just one hour away from Montreal in a reference to the UN headquarters.

In its resolutions, the Council appreciated efforts being made by the Secretariat General and concerned states to prepare contingency measures in the Gulf region and asked the Secretariat General to continue coordination with these states and neighbouring states to ensure a swift implementation of precautionary measures.

While explaining issues about emergency routes, Al Suwaidi said member states of the ICAO’s Council commended the steps taken by the four nations to open new emergency routes to ensure smooth flow of air traffic overseas.

”These routes are temporary, which are granted in exceptional cases and during the increase of air traffic in specific area,” Al Suwaidi said.

”The UAE’s sovereign airspace is still close to Qatar-registered planes,” he said.

The ICAO’s resolutions also welcomed commitment by the quartet to pursue technical consultations under the ICAO’s umbrella to ensure implementation of the best technical solutions. The Council asked the Secretariat General to provide regular information and present an updated report for the upcoming session of the Council.

The Council urged member states to continue cooperation so as to enhance safety, efficiency, security and sustainability of international air traffic safety.

It also expressed appreciation to the four nations for the spirit of cooperation they have shown during the extraordinary session.