Monday, December 8, 2014 - 09:40
Eurocontrol wanted to close Ukraine airspace before MH17
The European organization for the safety of air navigation Eurocontrol urged the Ukrainian authorities to close the airspace for passenger flights a few days before the disaster with flight MH17. The British newspaper The Sunday Times reported this based on sources within Eurocontrol. The Ukraine ignored the warning and the airspace restrictively remained open on July 17th, the day of the crash. According to The Sunday Times, Eurocontrol report that they spoke directly to Ukrainian air traffic controllers about the potential threat to air traffic, after more than 20 units of the Ukrainian army were shot from the air by the pro-Russian separatists. According to the newspaper, in addition to those airstrikes, there were two more reasons for "serious concerns" about the situation in eastern Ukraine. Among other things the separatists disturbed the communication frequencies of air traffic control and there had been a breakdown in communication between the Russian and Ukrainian air traffic control. The Ukrainian air traffic control did not heed that warning, in that it decided to close the airspace only to a height of 9,700 meters. On July 17th flight MH17 was shot down at an altitude of 10 thousand meters. According to Eurocontrol, the organization can not go against the decisions of local authorities. The airspace above eastern Ukraine was closed for all traffic immediately after the disaster.