Airspace ban only applies to Qatar firms

Dubai: The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) on Tuesday confirmed that the air embargo applies only to Qatari-owned airlines, aircrafts or to companies registered in the Gulf state.

The air ban does not extend to private companies and chartered flights, and can continue to use the country’s airports or transiting through its airspace to and from Qatar.

In a statement issued by WAM, eligible companies are required to obtain the necessary approval prior to using UAE airspace.

Private companies and other airlines will be required to submit their requests to the GCAA at least 24 hours in advance, and provide the list of names and nationalities of crew, passengers, and cargo carried by the aircraft.

The GCAA also reiterated its full commitment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, the “Chicago Convention 1944” and other relevant conventions, and the flow of international air traffic over UAE skies.

The GCAA further said that the UAE reserves the sovereign right under international law to carry out precautionary measures related to national security, and if necessary, to exercise its right to impose restrictions that guarantees the security and safety of its airspace from any threat or risk.

On June 8, the UAE announced that it will close its airspace to any planes flying to or from the Qatari capital until further notice.

The UAE joined countries including neighbours Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in severing diplomatic ties with Qatar last week, as well as any air, sea or land links.

They accuse the Gulf state of supporting terrorist groups, an allegation it denies.

The authority also affirmed its commitment to international resolutions on the fight against terrorism and aviation security, particularly the Security Council Resolution No. 2309, adopted by the Security Council at its 7775th session, in which it expresses its commitment to the sovereignty of all States, including their sovereignty over the airspace above their territories, territorial integrity, and political independence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

What is the Chicago Convention?

The Chicago Convention established the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a specialised agency of the United Nations charged with coordinating and regulating international air travel. The Convention establishes rules of airspace, which includes the right to: 

  • Overfly a foreign country without landing
  • Refuel or carry out maintenance in a foreign country
  • Fly from one’s own country to another
  • Fly from a foreign country to one’s own
  • Fly between two foreign countries during flights which begin or end in one’s own
  • Fly from one foreign country to another one while stopping in one’s own country
  • Fly between two foreign countries while not offering flights to one’s own country
  • Fly between two or more airports in a foreign country while continuing service to one’s own country
  • Fly inside a foreign country without continuing service to one’s own country

Source: International Civil Aviation Organisation 

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