Three major international civil aviation organisations have said the plane was flying on course.

news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute| Geneva, July 18, 2014| 4.00 pm IST

As conspiracy theories abound around the world waking up to the tragedy of the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, three major international civil aviation organisations have said the plane was flying on course. 

The Geneva-based International Air Traffic Association (IATA), the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Brussels-based Eurocontrol have all said MH17 was not in violation of any airspace. Between them, the three organisations address all aspects of civil aviation including safety and air-traffic space. 

“The airspace that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions,” Chris Goater of IATA has told the News Minute (TNM). “It is too early to come to any conclusions,” he added. The IATA represents some 240 airlines or 84% of total traffic and works in formulating industry policy on critical civil aviation issues including air safety. 

In a similar statement the ICAO said the loss of MH17 occurred “outside of the Simferopol FIR,” and that ICAO was ready to support an investigation into the accident if asked. The Flight Information Region (FIR) is a reference to the hundreds of routes that are charted for planes. 

In a statement posted on their website, the ICAO says it recently advised air-operators of a potentially unsafe situation arising out of the presence of several air traffic services provider in the Simferopol FIR – a reference to the disputed air space over the Black Sea. 

The ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) and works with over 190 countries and international industry and aviation organisations to develop international standards and practices.

For its part, the Brussels-based Eurocontrol has said the aircraft was flying at an altitude of 10,000 metres (33,000 feet) when it disappeared from the radar. “This route had been closed by the Ukrainian authorities from ground to flight level 320 but was open at the level at which the aircraft was flying,” it said in a statement posted on its website. 

Since the crash, Eurocontrol said it has been informed by the Ukrainian authorities about the closure of the routes from the ground to unlimited in Eastern Ukrainian air space which falls under the Dnipropetrovosk FIR. The routes will remain closed till further information becomes available. 

Eurocontrol works closely with airspace users, air navigation service providers, airports, national and international aviation regulators, the aeronautics industry and international aviation organisations.

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