Kathmandu: The Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has approved the proposal of the State of Qatar to establish the Doha Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Doha Search and Rescue Region (SRR), which includes Qatar’s sovereign airspace, to enhance safety and efficiency levels in the airspace. The proposal was approved during the 223rd session of the Council’s meetings.
The proposal of Qatar also included its intention to withdraw from the current arrangement whereby the Kingdom of Bahrain was assigned the task of providing air navigation services over its sovereign territory in accordance with the provisions of the Chicago Convention.
The Council acknowledged the right of Qatar to request the establishment of the Doha Aeronautical Information Region and the Doha Search and Rescue Region over its sovereign territory and the airspace above it, pursuant to Article (1) of the Chicago Convention and in accordance with General Assembly Resolution.
Qatar aims to support the development of safe and sustainable air transport operations in the region.
It should be noted that the Air Navigation Committee, through its review of the technical aspects of the proposal, confirmed that the State of Qatar possesses the capabilities and ingredients necessary to manage air traffic in a safe and effective manner, and to provide pioneering services in the field of search and rescue.
The ICAO Council called on the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Qatar, along with neighboring countries with an interest in this issue, to initiate a cooperative dialogue under the auspices of the Chairman of the Council, to agree on appropriate technical arrangements for the implementation of the Doha Aeronautical Information Region and the Doha Search and Rescue Region, and to present the results of these discussions to the Council at its 224th session.
This was preceded by a video call, made on June 9, 2021, between Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport and Communications, Eng. Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transport and Communications in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Salvatore Chachitano, President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), to discuss the technical aspects of Qatar’s proposal.
Then a meeting between the technical committees of the two countries followed on June 14, 2021.
In his speech during the 223rd session of Council’s meetings, Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti said Qatar’s proposal is of great importance to the future of civil aviation not only in the Middle East region but also in the entire world, and is fully consistent with the objectives of the Chicago Agreement. He added that it expresses the sovereign rights of the State of Qatar and reflects the huge investments made by the State to develop its air navigation system for the benefit of the entire region by providing safe, efficient and smooth navigation services, in light of its possession of all the ingredients and capabilities necessary for air traffic management and its readiness to provide distinguished and effective services in the field of search and rescue.
He stressed the commitment of the State of Qatar, since its accession to ICAO, to apply the principles of the 1944 Chicago Convention with high professionalism, in terms of the peaceful use of airspace, freedom of navigation and protection of the air environment.