Europe must share data on warzone aviation risks: report
European countries must do a better job sharing information on the risk to civil aviation over conflict zones, said a report commissioned after the downing of MH17 over Ukraine and published Thursday.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said in a statement that a high-level task force recommended the development of a common risk assessment of conflict zones in Europe and an alert mechanism to keep the aviation industry informed.
“(The) time for action is now — it is essential that concrete steps are put in place to protect EU citizens when flying,” EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc said.
EASA executive director Patrick Ky said the agency would implement “as soon as possible” a system to get up-to-date information and recommendations to member states in a timely way.
The task force was created in September 2015 and comprised of representatives of the European Commission, several European civil aviation authorities, the International Air Transport and EASA.
All 298 passengers and crew — the majority of them Dutch — died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over war-torn eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014.
In October, an international investigation coordinated by the Dutch Safety Board found the plane had been downed by a Russian-made BUK surface-to-air missile from an area held by pro-Russian separatists.
But the investigators did not give precise details nor definitively say who was responsible.