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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Qatari aggression against UAE passenger aircraft recognised by UN world aviation body

UAE official says 'buzzing' of civilian planes is a threat to the Arabian Gulf and global security

Saif Al Suweidi, director general of the UAE's General Authority of Civil Aviation, welcomed the decision by the ICAO council, and said the decision recognised "the validity of the UAE complaint". Sarah Dea / The National
Saif Al Suweidi, director general of the UAE's General Authority of Civil Aviation, welcomed the decision by the ICAO council, and said the decision recognised "the validity of the UAE complaint". Sarah Dea / The National

The UAE’s concerns about passenger flight safety violations by Qatar have been recognised by the United Nations' governing civil aviation body.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation Council (ICAO) on Thursday upheld the concerns of the UAE about the hazardous safety situation created by the Qatari military.

The ICAO will now monitor the situation to identify and implement measures to enhance the safety of civilian passengers in the Arabian Gulf.

The statement was made at the ICAO Council in Montreal, Canada. It reaffirmed the importance of ensuring the safety of aviation and the protection of civilian lives on board aircraft following five recent incidents when Qatari fighter jets have flown close to UAE aircraft.

On at least one occasion a Qatari Mirage 2000 fighter jet flew within 200 metres of a civilian aircraft.

Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director General of the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), welcomed the decision by the ICAO council, thanking the international body for recognising "the validity of the UAE complaint and the recommendations that GCAA made in its working paper submitted to the Council."

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Read more:

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His comments were made in the presence of the UAE Ambassador to Canada, Fahad Al Raqbani.

Mr Al Suwaidi said that Qatar had failed to ensure that their military aircraft operate with due regard to the safety of civilian air traffic, and that there is no justification for the behaviour of the state of Qatar against passengers of many nationalities.

Wam, the UAE state news agency, said that Mr Al Suwaidi condemned the “wilful perpetration of such callous violation of aviation safety standards” and said that Qatar’s actions “should be seen as a threat not just to the people of the UAE and the Gulf, but to global security as a whole."

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