UN site on flight in conflict zones to start up Thursday

Wed Apr 1, 2015 11:54am EDT
 
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April 1 (Reuters) - A new United Nations website distributing warnings about risks to aircraft in conflict zones is set to go live on Thursday, the agency running the site said in a letter to its member states.

The website, a test program proposed after a Malaysian airliner was downed in Ukraine last year, will be accessible to the public at the url www.icao.int/czip starting on Thursday.

The U.N.'s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which has been under pressure to come up with a new system to protect aircraft from risks, is hosting the site.

Countries are not mandated to contribute information and getting states to divulge sensitive information could hamper the site's effectiveness.

States can submit warnings about risks in their own territories or elsewhere, but they must be based on publicly available documents, according to a procedural document distributed with the letter.

When countries submit warnings about other states' sovereign territory, the affected government will get 72 hours to respond, and ICAO may publish any objections along with the warning.

The plan was endorsed by members of the International Civil Aviation Organization at a conference in Montreal in February. (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by David Gregorio)