MPs continue to press cabinet over MH17 airspace safety

mh17 crash site nbaaiMPs from across the political spectrum say they are concerned about shortcomings in the system set up to warn airlines about the risk of flying over conflict zones, website says on Wednesday.

They plan to raise the issue during Thursday’s debate on the investigation  into the downing of Malaysian Airways flight MH17 on July 17.

Currently, individual countries themselves are responsible for sending out safety updates, known as Notams. These state at which height it is safe to fly. Using this information and security service reports, it is up to airlines themselves to decide what to do, says.

VVD MP Han ten Broeke told the current system would appear to be inadequate given that a plane carrying 298 people was shot out of the air.

British Airways and Korean Air already avoided eastern Ukraine because of the risks.


Ministers said on Tuesday they did not have any information about concrete threats to high-flying passenger aircraft above eastern Ukraine. The cabinet was responding to reports that diplomats were warned about the risks at a meeting, just days before Malaysian Airways flight MH17 was shot down.

In their briefing, ministers said diplomats were told that an Antonov plane flying at a height of 6.2 kilometers had been shot down. However, flight MH17 was flying at over 10 kilometres, above the restricted zone, ministers said.

The cabinet has refused to publish a report on the diplomatic meeting, which was sent to the foreign affairs and defence ministries and in summary form to four others. It was not sent to the infrastructure ministry, which is responsible for aviation, Nos said. A copy was also sent to the Dutch safety council OVV which is investigating the cause of the crash.

The meeting had not led to any airlines changing their routes, the cabinet briefing said. Those which did avoid eastern Ukraine, had done so since the unrest in Crimea in April, ministers claim.

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