BRUSSELS —Flight Safety Foundation notes with concern the increasing tension in eastern Ukraine and Crimea and reminds the countries and parties involved of their responsibility to protect non-combatants generally and civil aviation specifically. Armed conflict in the region seven years ago resulted in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew.
The Foundation believes that governments must proactively share timely, comprehensive information about the developing situation with their national aviation authorities, aircraft operators and other stakeholders so that informed, coordinated decisions about airspace safety and security can be made.
“Ukraine and the Russian Federation should be prepared to quickly close their respective airspace if the situation warrants, and other countries should be prepared to direct their airlines to avoid airspace above the conflict zone if necessary,” said Dr. Hassan Shahidi, president and CEO of the Foundation. “It would be an unimaginable tragedy if history were to repeat itself,” he said.
In addition to the situation in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, the Foundation also is monitoring other conflict zones and urges all stakeholders to remain vigilant.
About Flight Safety Foundation
Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, international organization engaged in research, education, advocacy and communications to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to connect, influence and lead global aviation safety.
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Photo: Wreckage from MH17. Credit: Netherlands Ministry of Defence via the Dutch Safety Board