“For reasons of military necessity or public safety, restrict or prohibit uniformly the aircraft of other States from flying over its territory. Such prohibited areas, if needed, shall be of reasonable extent and location so as not to interfere unnecessarily with air navigation. Notices to airmen (NOTAM) or other communications containing the necessary information, advice and measures to be taken should then be issued and subsequently updated in the light of developments,” says the letter posted on the websites of ICAO and Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) on Wednesday.
Benjamin says that ICAO member states have the right to such actions in accordance with Article 9 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
The ICAO chief also says that “the responsibility for instituting special measures to assure the safety and security of international civil aircraft operations remains with the State responsible for providing air traffic services in the airspace affected by the conflict, even in cases where coordination [between the military and civilian authorities] is not initiated or completed.”
ICAO established the Task Force on Risks to civil aviation arising from Conflict Zones (TF RCZ) after the crash of the Boeing airliner (Flight MH17) in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region on July 17. The task force is “to address the civil aviation and national security aspects of this challenge, in particular how information can be effectively collected and disseminated,” ICAO said earlier.