Why does ICAO permit civilian aircraft to fly routes which carry them through conflict zones or other dangerous areas?
Sovereign States, and not ICAO, are suitably responsible for advising other States and aircraft operators of any risks to civil aviation safety or security which may arise from activities in their sovereign territories or airspace.
States are similarly responsible for restricting aircraft operations, whether completely or to various pre-determined flight levels, if the potential risks appear to be especially severe.
This framework applies to ash clouds due to volcanic eruptions, conflict zones, missile tests, or any other activity under a State’s sovereign responsibility which has the potential to pose safety risks to international civilian air traffic.
You may learn more about ICAO’s requirements and guidance to assist States, operators and ANSPs regarding conflict zone risks in the following guidance material:
Doc 10084, Risk Assessment Manual for Civil Aircraft Operations Over or Near Conflict Zones