The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published an updated EASA Safety Information Bulletin No. 2015-16R3 for six air routes (L851, M856, M860, M854, M435, and M861) where the responsibility for Air Traffic Services (ATS) is delegated to Ukraine on 31 August and recommended that airspace users consider using these routes when planning flights over the Black Sea.

The state-owned State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (UkSATSE) announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

According to the statement, the EASA's conclusion applies exclusively to routes in the airspace over the Black Sea that does not extend to the airspace above the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The airspace above the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the territorial waters around it remain closed to aircraft flights.

"Negotiations with representatives of the EASA and other interested aviation institutions on revision of the Safety Information Bulletin No. 2015-16R3 and expansion of the proposed segments of ATS routes that are available for flight planning within the Simferopol Flight Information Region (FIR) from two to six lasted more than eight months. The negotiations were not easy because the issues of flight safety and international politics have recently become closely linked," UkSATSE’s head Andrii Yarmak said.

According to the statement, the EASA bulletin notes that a robust framework for monitoring the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures have been put in place by UKSATSE and the Ukrainian aviation authorities as part of their post-implementation monitoring system. The bulletin also states that the outcome of post-implementation monitoring shows that the risk mitigations put in place are effective and that no incident with adverse safety impact was reported during the period under review.

"Special procedures for flight planning and airspace use involving a phased approach to normalization of flights above the high seas in the Simferopol flight information region (FIR) were introduced on 27 August 2015 based on a flight safety analysis (the so-called Safety Case). Air carriers performed almost 100,000 flights in the Simferopol Flight Information Region from 27 August 2015 to 26 August 2020," UkSATSE said.

In addition to Ukrainian airline companies, the airlines operating flights based on the 2017 special procedures are Georgian Airways (Georgia), Air Arabia (UAE), the United Parcel Service Company (United States), Fly Dubai (UAE), Condor Flugdienst GmbH (Germany), Qatar Airways, and others.

"Active work is currently underway to attract foreign carriers to operate flights through the airspace where responsibility for Air Traffic Services is delegated to Ukraine. An analysis of the use of airspace over the high seas has been performed and sections that are potentially attractive to users of the sections of ATS routes under Ukraine’s responsibility have been identified. Their efficiency is demonstrated by a reduction of fuel costs and a reduction of flight time, which also means lower levels of CO2 emissions," UkSATSE said.

In addition, targeted offers to such airlines as Qatar Airways, Emirates Airlines, British Airways, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Etihad, SCAT Airlines, etc., as well as to representatives of the aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates, the People's Republic of China, and the Republic of Kazakhstan, have been prepared based on the results of a simulation.