Turkey’s refusal to comply with international regulations and cooperate with Nicosia Air Traffic Control compromises air safety, the Executive Director of Flight Safety Foundation – Mediterranean (FSF-MED), has said.
The Foundation’s director Christos Petrou added that within the framework of the Cyprus negotiation, Turkey could organise telephone communications between Nicosia Air Traffic Control, for emergencies at the very least.
He pointed out that nearly all Turkish airlines use Nicosia’s FIR (Flight Information Region). Nicosia’s FIR is used by over 280,000 flights a year, carrying around 20 million passengers.
Despite the fact that these risks have been underlined in all EU reports on Turkey’s EU accession progress and despite concerns expressed by international aviation organisations, such as ICAO, Eurocontrol and IATA, Turkey still refuses to comply with the relevant international regulations.
If a Turkish aircraft disappeared over Cypriot airspace because of a highjacking or an accident, currently there is no way to communicate between the two countries.
“Such a Turkish action would be a substantial CBM and would be to the benefit of all involved. By that, we would ensure the safety of all flights in the two respective FIRs”, he said, adding that this would fullfil some demands of international organisations and the EU and would contribute to the success of the Cyprus talks.