Netherlands wants clearer rules on int’l airspace safety after MH17

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Dutch Safety Board's final report presentation on MH17 investigation (Photo: NL Times/Zachary Newmark). (Dutch Safety Board's final report presentation on MH17 investigation (Photo: NL Times/Zachary Newmark))

The Netherlands wants clearer rules on international airspace safety after the disaster with flight MH17 in July last year. The government will use the Dutch EU presidency in the first half of next year to gather support for implementing measures recommended in the Dutch Safety Board's report on the disaster, the cabinet wrote on Tuesday in their response to the report.

One of the main points the Netherlands will focus on is tightening flight safety above countries. Flight MH17 was shot down while flying over the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine, at an altitude the Ukrainian authorities declared safe. The Safety Board recommends that countries affected by armed conflict not be allowed to make a decision like this on their own. The Dutch government will insist that the international aviation organization clarify the rules on this issue.

The government is also going to work on improving crisis management, after the Safety Board criticized this in their report. According to the report, serious shortages in the crisis organization resulted in relatives having to wait days before getting clarity on passenger list. The government will work on initiating a central European storage for passenger information. They will also set up a National Crisis Plan Aircraft Crashes to improve organization.

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