TEHRAN (FNA)- Commander of Khatam ol-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmayeeli stressed that Iran has the safest and most secure airspace in the region due to the power of its air defense forces.
“The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced that Iran’s airspace is the safest one in the Middle-East and this shows the air defense’s power and might in controlling a number of over 450 flights passing through the country’s airspace,” Esmayeeli said, addressing his forces in Tehran on Sunday.
To control the country’s airspace, the Air Force, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, the Civil Aviation Organization and the Iranian Airports Holding company also cooperate with the Air Defense Base, he said, adding that the Base bears the main responsibility and burden.
A few weeks ago Iran announced preparedness to open its airspace to passing flights after Ukraine closed its airspace following the Malaysian plane’s crash. Deputy Head of Flight Standards of Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Hamid Habibi late last month voiced the country’s readiness to admit more flights passing through the Iranian airspace.
Following the Malaysian plane’s crash in Ukraine and closing the country’s airspace, he declared Iran’s readiness to admit passing flights which intend to change their route and use Iran’s aerial space.
A Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing-777 with over 290 people on board crashed in Ukraine, close to the border with Russia, on July 17.
The shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines passenger plane occurred in rebel-controlled Eastern Ukraine by unknown persons.
According to reports, the ill-fated Flight MH17 which originated from Amsterdam, Netherlands, en route Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, had about 193 Dutch; 43 Malay¬sians, including 15 crew members; 27 Australians; 12 Indonesians; 10 Britons; four Germans; four Belgians; three Filipinos and one national each from United States, Canada and New Zealand, on board.
Also early August, Australian airline, the Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS), announced that it has changed its flight path from Iraq to Iran.
QANTAS declared that it has stopped its flights using Iraqi airspace in the wake of the MH17 disaster in Ukraine to avoid using the skies over conflict regions, adding that it preferred Iran’s airspace for its regular flights.
A QANTAS spokesman said the airline has closely monitored flight paths over conflict zones since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine two weeks ago.
QANTAS stopped flying over war-stricken Iraq after the US Federal Aviation Administration raised the minimum ceiling for flights from 20,000ft to 30,000ft.
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