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UN aviation agency holds extraordinary session on Gulf rift

August 1, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Qatar Airways plane, 31 March 2017 [Julian Herzog/Wikipedia]

The International Civil Aviation Organisation, a UN agency, has urged all members to commit to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, and to continue to cooperate to ensure aviation’s safety, security, efficiency and sustainability.

This came during the ICAO Council’s extraordinary, ministerial level session, held in Montreal, Canada, yesterday.

The countries that imposed a blockade on Qatar in June have lately retreated on their decision to close international routes and issues NOTAMs (notices to airmen) in line with international law, shortly before the ICAO Council session, which spared these countries likely condemnation from the international community of what would have been a violation of international aviation regulations.


Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications praised the ICAO Council’s role and thanked it for holding an extraordinary session to look into Doha’s request.

The ministry stated on its official website that it “looks forward to seeing an expeditious examination of its dossier relating to Item 84 of the Chicago Convention and the Transit Passage convention as quick as possible, as well as Qatar’s request to establish a flight information region (FIR).”

Article 84 of the Chicago Convention states: “If any disagreement between two or more contracting States relating to the interpretation or application of this Convention and its Annexes cannot be settled by negotiation, it shall, on the application of any State concerned in the disagreement, be decided by the Council.”

The Qatari ministry stressed its confidence in the ICAO Council’s decisions, which serve the “interests of aviation’s safety and security.”

Read: Flights to Qatar can cross UAE, Saudi airspace

On 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic ties and imposed an air, land and sea blockade on Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and allying with Iran. Doha denies the claims.

Qatar reiterated in its statement yesterday that it refrained from taking similar procedures against the four countries in retaliation, out of its respect for international agreements and its keenness to maintain aviation safety and security.