GENEVA, Switzerland – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to maintain the critical separation between politics and aviation safety issues.
The call followed the latest development in events following the incident when Ryanair FR4978 was intercepted over Belarus Airspace and forced to land in Minsk. On June 2, EASA replaced its recommendation (Safety Information Bulletin) for European airlines to carefully assess the risk of flying in Belarus airspace with a blanket prohibition (Safety Directive) on European aircraft entering Belarus airspace.
“Aviation safety must never be politicized. IATA condemned the actions of the Belarus government and called for an independent investigation. Banning European aircraft from using Belarusian airspace with a Safety Directive is also a politicization of aviation safety. This is a retrograde and disappointing development. EASA should rescind its prohibition and allow airlines to manage safety as they do each and every day with their normal operational risk assessments.
“Two wrongs do not make a right. Politics should never interfere with the safe operation of aircraft and politicians should never use aviation safety as a cover to pursue political or diplomatic agendas,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.