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- Qatar to establish its own Flight Information Region in its airspace.
- Qatar to withdraw from an agreement signed with Bahrain, under which it had delegated its air navigation services.
- The proposal represents one of the sovereign rights of the State of Qatar.
Qatar announced today that the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) gave preliminary approval to country’s proposal to control its own airspace, months after settling a row with its Gulf neighbors.
According to Qatari officials, the UN body has given its consent ‘in principle’ to let Qatar establish its own Flight Information Region (FIR) in its airspace.
ICAO’s decision was in response to a request from Qatar to withdraw from an agreement signed with neighboring Gulf state of Bahrain, under which it had delegated its air navigation services.
A three-year rift with group of neighboring Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia had highlighted the flaws in the deal, which left Qatar completely reliant on access to airspace controlled by other countries.
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.
It would “include Qatar’s sovereign airspace and, to optimize safety and efficiency of the regional airspace, other contiguous airspace over the high seas”, it added.
Qatar’s proposal also covered “its intention to withdraw from the current arrangement whereby it has delegated to Bahrain the provision of air navigation services over its sovereign territory”.
“The proposal represents one of the sovereign rights of the State of Qatar and demonstrates the huge investments made by Qatar to develop its air navigation system,” Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Al-Sulaiti said in the statement.