UAE GCAA clarifies Qatar air embargo, says it only applies to Qatari companies

By Parag Deulgaonkar 13 June 2017
UAE GCAA clarifies Qatar air embargo, says it only applies to Qatari companies UAE GCAA director general Saif al Suwaidi

The air embargo imposed on Qatar only applies to airlines from Qatar or those registered there, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain issued identical statements on the air embargo, which came into effect when Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Manama broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

UAE’s GCAA said non-Qatari private and chartered flights are allowed to fly to Doha using UAE airspace but are required to get necessary approvals.

The UAE aviation authority, in a statement published by state news agency WAM, said the ban applies to all Qatari aviation companies and aircraft registered in Qatar from landing at any of the country’s airports or transiting its sovereign airspace.

Other aviation companies and aircraft are allowed to use UAE airspace to fly to and from Qatar, but must first submit their requests to the GCAA 24 hours in advance, accompanied by the list of names and nationalities of crew, passengers, and cargo carried by the aircraft.

The GCAA also reiterated its full commitment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation 'Chicago Convention 1944' and other relevant conventions to ensure the safety of international civil aviation, and the flow of international air traffic over the skies of the UAE.

It affirmed its commitment to international resolutions on the fight against terrorism and aviation security, particularly the Security Council Resolution No. 2309, which expresses its commitment to the sovereignty of all states, including their sovereignty over the airspace above their territories, territorial integrity, and political independence in accordance with the charter of the United Nations.

GCAA added that the UAE reserves the sovereign right under international law to take any precautionary measures to protect its national security if necessary and would exercise its right to impose further measures that could guarantee the security and safety of its sovereign airspace from any threat or risk.

Last week, Arabian Business reported that Indian airlines avoided UAE airspace when flying to Doha, which added up to 90 minutes of extra travel time for passengers.

A Jet Airways spokesperson confirmed then that they provided the GCAA with their schedule, which once approved would allow them to use UAE airspace instead of flying over Oman and Iran.

*With AFP

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