Experts see holes in international flight security rules, oversight

MONTREAL — Experts say the Iran plane crash points to a glaring gap in rules around flight security, with countries lacking incentives to close their own airspace and global agencies lacking the authority to pre-empt future tragedies.

Michael Bociurkiw, who was an observer for Ukraine’s investigation into the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in 2014, says countries may be reluctant to shut down their airspace due to the economic and political turbulence it stirs up, calling it an “extreme” measure.

Aerospace consultant Ross Aimer says authorities are failing to protect passengers and is calling for a more active role by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a Montreal-based United Nations agency.

The agency says it only issues advisories in large military conflicts or disputes over airspace control.

Ultimately, states are ultimately responsible for notifications about flight hazards.

Last week, an Iranian missile downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadians, hours after the military launched missile strikes against Iraqi military bases.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press