Inter-Korean flights to start soon if ICAO grants North Korea’s request

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North Korea has requested that the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) review a proposal to establish new routes between DPRK airspace and South Korean airspace

ICAO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Director, Mr. Arun Mishra, will be conducting a joint mission with ICAO’s Director of Air Navigation Bureau, Mr. Stephen Creamer, to the DPRK next week, where this request will be further discussed among other air navigation and safety matters“.

The request specifically is for “the establishment of a new ATS routes (sic) between the Pyongyang Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Incheon FIR.” FIR refers to Flight Information Region and typically dictates territorial airspace.

“The request was conveyed to the Korea Office of Civil Aviation (KOCA), Republic of Korea, indicating ICAO’s willingness to facilitate and support further discussions. The latest update from KOCA is that the request is presently under their consideration”

This includes a lack of prior warnings issued by North Korea when it previously tested missiles that encroached upon established flight routes.

“It was noted that the DPRK missile launches had occurred over international air routes and without prior notice being given, causing significant concerns to the safety of international civil aviation in the region,” one such ICAO statement issued on October 6 read.

ICAO has also raised concerns over North Korea activities related to jamming the GPS.

North Korea’s only airline, Air Koryo, and all the planes in its fleet are sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, however, the airline is not subject to any designations from the United Nations.

© Maarten Van Den Driessche

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