Updated guidance to States on flights over or near conflict zones

Montréal, 23 October 2023 – ICAO has released updated guidance today to help aviation regulators and operators manage their airspace in times of conflict, including the decision on whether or not to allow flights over or near conflict zones.

The guidance was first issued in 2017 as a result of the work undertaken by ICAO after the downing of flight MH17 in 2014. The shooting down of flight PS 752 in 2020 triggered a decision by the following ICAO Assembly, in 2022, to prioritize the review of the existing manual. The update comprises inputs from individual, States, industry stakeholders and from the Safer Skies Initiative Committee.

The Third Edition of the Risk Assessment Manual for Civil Aircraft Operations Over or Near Conflict Zones has now been expanded to encompass advice for States and operators regarding the risks from surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), ballistic missiles, surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs), air-to-air missiles (AAMs), and to provide guidance on conducting conflict zone airspace closures and reassessing post conflict zone airspace. 

New guidelines for harmonization of risk assessments and risk-related communication have also been incorporated in this edition.
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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is a United Nations agency which helps 193 countries to cooperate together and share their skies to their mutual benefit. 

Since it was established in 1944, ICAO’s support and coordination has helped countries to diplomatically and technically realize a uniquely rapid and dependable network of global air mobility, connecting families, cultures, and businesses all over the world, and promoting sustainable growth and socio-economic prosperity wherever aircraft fly.

As it enters a new era of digitization, and of incredible new flight and propulsion innovations, air transport is relying more than ever on ICAO’s expert support and technical and diplomatic guidance to help chart a new and exciting future for international flight. ICAO is innovating itself to answer this call, and expanding its partnerships among UN and technical stakeholders to deliver a strategic global vision and effective, sustainable solutions.

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