Bahrain Mirror: The United Nation's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has given Qatar the green light for a new Doha Airspace to establish its own Flight Information Region (FIR) in its airspace.
Aviation analyst Alex Macheras said the decision is considered a historic victory to Qatar.
The ICAO "agreed, in principle... with the establishment of a Doha Flight Information Region (FIR) and Doha Search and Rescue Region (SRR)" at talks last month, Qatar's transport and communications ministry said in a statement.
The proposal of Qatar also included its intention to withdraw from the current arrangement whereby it has delegated to Bahrain the provision of air navigation services over its sovereign territory in accordance with paragraphs 2.1.1 of Annex 11 to the Chicago Convention.
The Council acknowledged during its meeting the right of Qatar to request the establishment of a Doha FIR/SRR over its sovereign territory and contiguous airspace consistent with Article 1 of the Chicago Convention and in accordance with Assembly Resolution A40-4, Appendix G. The proposal of Qatar aims to support the development of safe and sustainable air transport operations in the region, and reinforces Qatar's commitments to the global aviation sector.
The ICAO Council emphasized that amendments of regional air navigation plans depend upon good relations, collaboration and mutual respect between States, and that these elements are fundamental to ensuring seamless services with a high level of safety and quality.
During the ICAO Air Navigation Commission's review of the technical aspects of the proposal, it was acknowledged that the State of Qatar possesses the capabilities and qualifications necessary to manage air traffic safely and effectively, and to provide leading services in the field of search and rescue.
The ICAO Council acknowledged that over several decades, the Kingdom of Bahrain had provided safe and efficient air navigation services in the Middle East region.
Both Qatar and Bahrain were invited by the ICAO Council, as well as surrounding States with an interest in this matter, to discuss cooperatively under the auspices of the President of the Council, to agree on appropriate technical arrangements for the implementation of the Doha FIR/SRR, and to report the outcome of these discussions to the Council at its 224th Session for approval of the amendment of the Air Navigation Plan - Middle East Region.