The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) are highly concerned with the situation of heightened tensions in Eastern Europe.
The situation appears comparable to that of summer 2014, which led to the tragic downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.
In hindsight, we know that in 2014, both the open and closed source intelligence information were far from accurate. The risk of misidentification was underestimated, and for these and other reasons, many risk assessments resulted in a false sense of security which led to the decision to continue to overfly the area.
The current situation now expands over a much larger area. IFALPA and ECA are extremely concerned that the same false sense of security might arise again. They call on States and operators to carefully consider the lessons that should have been learned from MH17. States should not hesitate to take appropriate measures, such as closing down their own airspace or banning the overflight of high-risk areas.
In case of doubt, always choose the safest option. The safety and security of the passengers and crew should be of paramount importance.
Emily Bitting, IFALPA Senior Communications Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kameliya Encheva, ECA Communications & PR Manager, email@example.com