The prospect of opening two air routes over the Black Sea will be discussed at a meeting of the Black Sea Task Force of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in March this year. The press service of ICAO announced this to the CFTS portal.
The Black Sea Task Force was established at the initiative of the European Air Navigation Planning Group (the unit of ICAO that is responsible for air navigation). All interested countries, including Ukraine, are expected to be presented at the meeting.
Last week, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommended that carriers consider the possibility of resuming flights on two routes over the Black Sea that legally belong to the Simferopol flight information region (Simferopol FIR). Ukraine was recognized as the country responsible for air navigation on the routes.
The EASA recommendation displeased Russia. Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency described the decision as "purely politically motivated." The press service of ICAO noted that the organization's position on the Crimea has not changed: Simferopol FIR is assigned to Ukraine.
As reported, ICAO declared the Simferopol FIR unsafe for flights in August 2015. An exception was made for the western part of the region, where limited flights were operated as an experiment.