TEHRAN (FNA)- Managing-Director of Iran’s Airport Company Mohammad Ilkhani said that Iran has the safest and most secure airspace in the region, adding that over a dozen US flights use the Iranian airspace everyday.
“A sum of 15 flights from US cargo and passenger airlines use the Iranian airspace everyday,” Ilkhani told reporters on the sidelines of the 7th International Air and Aviation Industries Exhibition on Kish Island on Tuesday.
He noted that Iran has 92 air routes with a length of 59,000 kilometers, and said, “We provide services to 70 countries by utilizing 10 radar systems.”
Ilkhani said that the UAE airlines with 170 passing flights per day rank first among the foreign airlines using the Iranian airspace.
In July, Iran declared readiness to open its airspace for the passing flights after Ukraine closed its airspace following the recent shooting down of a Malaysian plane in its sky.
Deputy Head of the Civil Aviation Organization of Iran Ebrahim Shoushtari voiced the country’s readiness to admit and allow international flights to pass through the Iranian airspace.
“After a request by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Iran voiced its readiness to allow flights from Northern Europe to the Eastern parts of Asia to pass through its airspace as an alternate route,” Shoushtari said at the time.
In August, Shoushtari said that over 20,000 flights passed through Iran’s airspace in a single month (July 21-August 22) without experiencing any security problems.
He said passing flights through the country’s airspace have increased 68 percent the said period.
Pointing to the recent developments in the region, Shoushtari said that the country saw impressive rise in number of passing flights through its airspace.
Earlier this month, officials in Tehran said Iranian aviation experts and engineers are working to increase the country’s airport facilities and equipment in a bid to attract more international corridor and transit flights by foreign airlines.
“We are consulting with international airlines in order to accommodate more transit flights through Iran’s airspace, but this needs a development of airport equipment, which is a project currently underway,” the senior Iranian aviation official told FNA.
The official pointed to the rise in the number of international corridor flights through the Iranian airspace, and said, “The foreign airlines are using Iran’s airspace due to its high safety.”
He noted that the number of foreign flights passing through the Iranian airspace hit a record on October 12 by reaching 1015 flights.
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.
In mid-July, 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.
On Saturday, Head of Iran’s Cultural heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Massoud Soltanifar said the country stands 17th in the world in terms of flight security.
“Based on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ranking in terms of flight security we ranked 17. I believe that our ranking is higher,” Soltanifar said.
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