In view of the serious incidents of civil aviation safety violation by Qatar involving its military aircraft coming in close proximity to UAE-registered civilian aircraft since early 2018, the International Civil Aviation Organization Council (ICAO) has upheld the concerns of the UAE about the hazardous safety situation created by uncoordinated Qatari Military Operations.
This came during a session of the ICAO Council held here today in the presence of the UAE Ambassador to Canada Fahad Al Raqbani and the Director General of UAE General Civil Aviation Authority Saif Al Suwaidi.
In response to the UAE Government’s request, ICAO reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the safety of aviation and the protection of civilian lives on board the aircraft. ICAO has highlighted the importance of the Civil and Military cooperation and the effective application of due regard to the safety of the civilian aircraft which is germane to maintaining the safety of air traffic in the region. ICAO will continue to monitor the situation to identify and implement technical solutions for enhanced safety in the region.
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority, welcomed the decision by the ICAO council, thanking the international body for recognizing “the validity of the UAE complaint and the recommendations that GCAA made in its working paper submitted to the Council.”
He expressed to the council during the hearing that the incidents reported by the UAE constitute a clear and serious violation by the State of Qatar of the Chicago Convention to ensure that the Military aircraft operate with “due regard” to the civil air navigation. The concrete and robust evidence presented to the Council by the UAE proved that the State of Qatar failed to notify risky activities in advance and coordinate between their military and civilian Air Traffic Services units on the one hand and with Bahrain Air Traffic Services units on the other.
Most importantly, they failed to ensure that their Military aircraft operate with due regard to the safety of civilian air traffic, there is no rational or logical justification for the reckless behavior of the state of Qatar” he pointed out, adding that the five incidents demonstrate the extent to which Qatar would go in its desperation to spite its neighbors and harm the passenger who hail from all parts of the globe, Al Suwaidi added.
“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 explained.
“The ICAO position reaffirms the UAE’s faith in international organizations and by whom the UAE has always stood in the spirit of global citizenship. UAE is committed to the collective safety and well-being of all peoples of the world. Each month, more than 50,000 flights transit safely and efficiently through the Bahraini airspace. Every year, Bahrain Air Traffic Control handles nearly 600,000 movements. Out of this significant number of flights, Qatar only targeted UAE registered aircraft,” Al Suwaidi elaborated.
Speaking about Qatar’s provocative moves against UAE civilian aircraft, 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.The dangerous maneuvers by Qatari fighter jets also contravened the ICAO’s stipulations regarding coordination between military authorities and responsible civilian authorities, in addition to constituting a grave violation of the bilateral agreements between Qatar and Bahrain in this respect.”
“In light of the above, we reiterate upon the international community to put pressure on the Qatari authorities to refrain from activities that endanger not only the citizens of the UAE, but also citizens of almost all countries in the world. The kind of violations perpetrated by Qatar will stop once and for all only if there is a strong reaction against its reckless behavior by the international community,” Al Suwaidi concluded.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs