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Oman official says Israel flights can only use airspace, not land on Omani territory

March 20, 2023 at 8:23 pm

The passenger plane takes off at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

President of the Civil Aviation Authority in the Sultanate of Oman, Naif Al-Abri, said the Sultanate will only allow Israeli flights to use its airspace but will not allow them to land on Omani territory.

Speaking to the local Atheer online newspaper on Monday, Al-Abri said the Civil Aviation Authority is a technical institution and is committed to international conventions, including the Chicago Treaty signed in 1944.

“To ensure the Sultanate’s compliance with international treaties in the field of civil aviation, the direction has been by raising the Sultanate of Oman’s index in global competitiveness and ensuring compliance with what it committed to in this treaty. This year, we completed 50 years of our commitment to it,” he said.

Regarding Israeli aviation, Al-Abri said the Authority’s statement was clear in this regard, explaining that Israeli flights can pass through Omani airspace only, unless there was an emergency landing in compliance with the international treaty, adding, “Otherwise, landing is not permitted at Oman airports in any case”.

READ: First Israeli flight over Saudi-Oman airspace

On 23 February, the Omani Civil Aviation Authority announced that all civil air carriers would be allowed to cross its airspace, as long as they meet the conditions stipulated by law, without referring to Israeli aviation.

The step allows Israeli flights, which began using Saudi Arabian airspace for the first time about eight months ago, to shorten flight times to destinations in Asia and also allows for the opening of flights to further destinations, including Australia.

The move, which was mediated by the United States, came three months after the Omani Shura Council proposed a law stipulating harsher penalties for dealing with Israel, despite the existence of a law that prohibits citizens and organisations in Oman from dealing with their counterparts in Israel, or those who work for them.