MONTRÉAL, 18 July 2014 – In response to an official request from the Government of Ukraine for assistance with the official accident investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will be sending a team to assist the Ukrainian National Bureau of Incidents and Accidents Investigation of Civil Aircraft (NBAAII).
Under Article 26 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, as well as Annex 13 to the Convention relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Ukraine is officially in charge of the MH17 accident investigation by virtue of being the State of Occurrence. Annex 13 also provides comprehensive international requirements for the investigation of aircraft accidents and incidents and spells out which States may participate in an investigation, such as the States of Occurrence, Registry, Operator, Design and Manufacture. It also defines the rights and responsibilities of such States.
A State which has a special interest in an accident, by virtue of fatalities or serious injuries to its citizens for instance, is also entitled to appoint an expert to the investigation and who would be entitled to visit the scene of the accident, have access to relevant factual information which is approved for public release by the lead State, and to receive a copy of the accident investigation Final Report.
“ICAO strongly condemns the use of weapons against international civil aviation,” commented ICAO Council President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “This tragic action against the civilian passengers and crew of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is wholly incompatible with the principles of the Convention. ICAO experts will shortly be dispatched to begin assisting NBAAII officials and we are grateful to be able to support these efforts.”