UPDATE 2-UN aviation body: "not our job" to warn about dangers of missiles

Fri Jul 18, 2014 4:55pm EDT
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(Releads with comments by ICAO)

By David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert

OTTAWA/MONTREAL, July 18 (Reuters) - The U.N. civil aviation body on Friday said it was not responsible for issuing warnings about potential dangers such as military conflicts, saying that duty fell to individual nations.

The role of the International Civil Aviation Authority has come under scrutiny after a Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile on Thursday over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.

Montreal-based ICAO rejected suggestions it should have issued a warning about the potential dangers of flying over the area.

"ICAO does not declare airspace safe or unsafe or undertake any other direct operational responsibilities with respect to civilian air services," said spokesman Anthony Philbin.

"It is always the responsibility of our sovereign member states to advise other states of potential safety hazards."

Asked whether ICAO would ever issue warnings about the dangers of missiles, he replied: "It's not our job."

Malaysia's transport minister said earlier that ICAO had shut down a route over eastern Ukraine after the disaster. ICAO said it did not have the power to open or shut routes.   Continued...