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BRUSSELS, April 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Organization for the safety of air navigation (Eurocontrol) has informed European air carriers about the actual closure of flights above the southern part of Ukraine, Crimea and a significant part of areas of the Black and Azov seas. This says a bulletin of Eurocontrol regarding the “Ukrainian situation” (published April 22).“In addition to the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) letter dated April 2, 2014, that expresses concerns over flight safety in the area over Simferopol flight information region, the administration of Eurocontrol strongly recommends (the air carriers) to avoid the mentioned zone by using alternate routes,” the bulletin says.
Eurocontrol administration notes that it hasn’t legal rights to dismiss the flight plan, if the route crosses a zone that is not formally closed. Ukrainian flight authorities have closed for flights only the airports of Simferopol and Sevastopol, as well as several air routes to these cities, but have not closed the air side of the southern part of Ukraine. However, Eurocontrol, basing on Ukraine’s notification dated April 14, publishes a map with area restrictions and specifies that “routes shown on the map attached are not available for flight planning”.
According to the map, the area where flights are not allowed includes Kherson region, part of Mykolaiv and Zaporozhye oblasts of Ukraine, as well as part of the air space above the Azov and Black seas.
To coordinate actions, Eurocontrol recommends the air carriers to apply to the Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk flight control centers, as well as to Romanian, Bulgarian and Turkish air traffic controls.
April 3, Krymaeronavigatsiya (Crimean Avianavigation) took control over the air area above Crimea and part of the Black Sea (the so-called Simferopol flight information region, which earlier was in the Ukrainian controlling zone). Later, head of Russia’s Federal State Unitary Enterprise “State ATM Corporation” Igor Moiseyenko specified that “the Simferopol center completely provides the flight safety in this area”, and Ukrainian technical means “cannot ensure control (over aircraft in the flight area) in full”. In response, state enterprise UkSATSE accused Russia of violating several international agreements and “pirate seizure by the Russian Federation of the international air space”.