TKA’S RECOMMENDATION TO AIRLINES REGISTERED IN LITHUANIA REGARDING THE MINSK FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION
in 2021 May 23 Ryanair flight FR4978, a scheduled commercial passenger flight, was forced to land at Minsk National Airport. While flying from Athens (Greece) to Vilnius (Lithuania), the aircraft, while in the airspace of the Minsk Flight Information Region (hereinafter – FIR), was directed to the capital of Belarus, Minsk, and was forced to land there at the request of the responsible authorities of Belarus. According to available information, a Belarusian military MiG-29 fighter jet and a Mi-24 military helicopter were dispatched to intercept the aircraft and escort it to Minsk National Airport, where it underwent a special inspection. Due to these circumstances, the passengers of the aircraft were kept at Minsk National Airport for several hours and not all passengers were allowed to continue their journey to Vilnius.
In light of the above circumstances, the Transport Competence Agency believes that such a forced landing of the Ryanair plane may be contrary to the Chicago Convention and may be considered an act of unlawful interference, as specified in the Montreal Convention “Convention for the Suppression of Violence against the Security of Civil Aviation”, which prohibits aircraft seizure or deliberate transmission of false information dangerous to the safety of aircraft.
It should be noted that in 2021 May 24 The European Council adopted a decision calling on all air carriers established in the EU to avoid flights over the territory of Belarus. The competent authorities of the Republic of Lithuania applied to the International Civil Aviation Organizations EASA and ICAO for an assessment of the situation.
The Transport Competence Agency assesses that the Belarusian airspace is not safe for flights and, taking into account the decision of the European Council, strongly recommends that all airlines registered in Lithuania do not operate flights in the Minsk FIR.
For this reason, TKA has published the SIB, which can be viewed and downloaded in pdf format