Sunday, September 01, 2019

How a Notam caused confusion over India airspace closure

Karachi: Pakistan’s 11 air traffic routes continue to remain open for Indian flights contrary to media reports that three of them via Karachi had been closed.

The confusion arose when the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a Notam (notice to airmen) about three alternate routes for Karachi.
Under the CAA’s standard operating procedure, whenever an unusual decision regarding the closure of route is made, it immediately informs all the airlines around the world about it through a notam so that they could reorganise their routes and issue a new schedule accordingly for their arrival and departure.

Since the Notam came soon after Pakistan announcement that it was considering a complete airspace closure to India in the wake of a spike in tensions over the developments in occupied Kashmir, some sections of the media erroneously reported that Islamabad had shut down three air routes for Indian flights.
The international media also reported the closure of the routes citing the incorrect local reports.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi later clarified that the decision on airspace closure to India would be taken by the prime minister.

Several Indian flights use Pakistani airspace to travel west, mostly towards destinations in Europe and the US. Therefore, Indian suffers greater losses in comparison with those of Pakistan.
01/09/19 Tufail Ahmed/Express Tribune
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