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Fri 18 May 2018 10:18 AM

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ICAO upholds UAE complaint over Qatari fighter jet operations

Complaint relates to latest incident of Qatari jet flying dangerously close to Emirati civilian aircraft

ICAO upholds UAE complaint over Qatari fighter jet operations

The International Civil Aviation Organization Council (ICAO) has upheld the concerns of the UAE about hazards posed to civilian aircraft by uncoordinated Qatari military operations.

According to state news agency WAM, the ICAO ruling related to the latest incidents of civil aviation safety violation by Qatar involving its military aircraft coming in close proximity to UAE-registered civilian aircraft.

The latest complaint was issued last month after Qatari fighter jets encroached the airspace of a UAE civilian aircraft flying to Bahrain.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority said the aircraft, with 86 passengers on board on the scheduled flight, was flying over Bahraini airspace when the fighter jets approached it “in a dangerous manner”.

The Emirati civilian aircraft was forced to perform an evasive manoeuvre in order to avoid a possible collision.

The ICAO reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the safety of aviation and the protection of civilian lives on board the aircraft.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, director general of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, welcomed the decision by the ICAO, saying five incidents had been reported since the start of 2018.

"UAE being an international aviation hub for passengers of almost all nationalities of the world, the willful perpetration of such callous violation of aviation safety standards by the State of Qatar should be seen as a threat not just to the people of the UAE and the Gulf, but to global security as a whole," he added.

Mohammed Al Dossari, director of Air Navigation and Aerodrome and a member of the UAE delegation to the ICAO Council, said: "Qatar has violated several articles of the International Convention on Civil Aviation that requires States to ensure that their military aircraft have due regard for the safety of the navigation of civil aircraft, and the lives of persons on board."

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