ICAO confirms exclusive right of Ukraine to provide air navigation services over the Black Sea

- Boryspil, Ukraine

The right to provide air navigation services in international airspace over the Black Sea within Simferopol flight information region belongs exclusively to Ukraine. Russia has no legal grounds to seize this airspace and interfere with the work of air traffic services in Ukraine. This position of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has once again been confirmed during negotiations between representatives of Ukraine and Russian Federation on the issue of safety in the airspace over the Crimea and the open seas, which is under the jurisdiction of Ukraine. The first round of negotiations took place on April 8, 2014 in the European and North Atlantic Office of ICAO in Paris.

Instances of Russia’s unlawful seizure of radiofrequencies spectrum that belongs to the state of Ukraine, misuse of 121.5 MHz emergency frequency and unauthorized use by third parties of operational radio frequencies used at Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk ACCs are the major threats to the safety of flights. Ukraine has officially condemned Russian Federation for the violation of a number of international, multilateral and bilateral agreements and also of the provisions of the European Air Navigation Plan (DOC7754) and the Annexes 2, 11 and 15 to the Chicago Convention (1944), DOC7910.

Russia blatantly ignores the principles of establishment of boundaries of flight information regions (FIRs) contained in the Chicago Convention and its Annexes. Such behavior from the perspective of international law is unacceptable and is classified as open terrorism not only against Ukraine but also against international aviation community.

Position of representatives of Russian Federation is based solely on groundless assumptions about technical problems which Ukraine allegedly experiences due to the noncompliance with the principle of 70-ies – "I see, I hear, I control." Russia is outraged by the fact that UkSATSE provides air traffic control over the Black Sea from Dnipropetrovsk and Odesa ACCs. This "serious" reason gave way for the Russian Federation’s piratical seizure of the international airspace, which does not belong to Russia. Such position of Russian Federation caused genuine disturbance of not only Ukrainian delegation but the ICAO Secretariat as well.

UkSATSE as a Ukrainian national provider of air navigation services officially declared that its units did not stop and will continue provision of a high level quality of air traffic service in the international airspace within Simferopol FIR, where the responsibility for safety of flights has been delegated by ICAO to Ukraine on the basis of international agreements and international air law. Malicious attempts of the Russian Federation to unilaterally annex this airspace under the guise of the principles of the former Soviet Union can not be the basis for the changes of air borders of the Black Sea region.

ICAO has given a crystal clear message that the decision on which center and which technical means shall be used for the provision of air navigation services in Simferopol FIR belongs exclusively to Ukraine. That was a categorical point of the first round of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia under the auspices of ICAO in Paris. The results of the meeting give UkSATSE ground to expect strong ICAO’s position with regard to Russian invasion of the Ukrainian jurisdiction in the area of Ukrainian airspace, which will have irreversible consequences for Russian air traffic control and Russian airlines.

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