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Wed, Feb 02, 2022

IFALPA, Euro Cockpit, Urge Caution Over Ukraine

Lessons Learned from 2014's Downing of MH17 Should Be Applied Today, Say Orgs

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cockpit Association have expressed concern with the posturing occurring in Easter Europe, as tensions over Ukraine between Russia and NATO-aligned countries. 

The groups emphasized the similarity to the events of 2014 which saw the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. 

In their joint statement, they reiterated in short some of the pitfalls that led to the destruction of the civilian aircraft, described later on as the result of an unfortunate error chain that included sloppy intelligence, lack of misidentification awareness, and procedural shortcomings that was ultimately set off by a jumpy officer seeing hostile aircraft when there were none. In hindsight, the decision to continue civil aviation in a region watching its skies with some paranoia seems to not be worth the risk, and the possibility of retreading dangerous ground is seen again today. 

The joint statement urges all involved to look back and implement changes, if they have not already, to prevent the occurrence of another senseless tragedy, if they have not already. 

"The current situation now expands over a much larger area. IFALPA and ECA are extremely concerned that the same false sense of security might arise again. They call on States and operators to carefully consider the lessons that should have been learned from MH17. States should not hesitate to take appropriate measures, such as closing down their own airspace or banning the overflight of high-risk areas," said the two. 

"In case of doubt, always choose the safest option. The safety and security of the passengers and crew should be of paramount importance." 

FMI: www.ifalpa.org, www.eurocockpit.be

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