Airplanes Need Better Information over Conflict Areas
More than four years after a Malaysian passenger plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine, airlines still need better information to fly safely over conflict areas.
The Dutch Safety Board made the comment in a report about the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 on July 17, 2014.
The report said a missile launched from territory controlled by pro-Russian rebels shot downed the airplane. All 298 people inside were killed. Plane parts were spread widely across fields in Ukraine.
An international criminal investigation is continuing to seek and try those accused in the attack. The Netherlands and Australia have said they hold Russia responsible for supplying the missile to the rebels.
Tjibbe Joustra is the safety board's chairman. He said progress has been made since the downing of flight MH17.
Joustra said nations and international organizations such as the European Commission are working together better to improve intelligence sharing.
The report said, "Airlines are taking a more structured approach to analyzing the risks and uncertainties...."
But it also said more needs to be done.
The board statement said few nations dealing with conflicts had made changes to how they administer their airspace. It also said that airlines require more detailed and complex information to correctly judge risks.
Joustra said he saw little action on a proposal by the board to close airspaces or to restrict parts of the skies above conflict areas. He said national interests could be preventing such safety actions.
"If you close your airspace, it is a very public admission that you are no longer in charge of your own territory or skies," Joustra said.
I'm Caty Weaver.