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Bahrain skies closed to Qatar planes.

MANAMA: Bahrain yesterday denied media reports alleging that the kingdom has opened its airspace to Qatar Airways, affirming that its sovereign skies remain closed to all planes owned by or registered in Qatar.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE also denied allowing Qatar aircraft to use their airspace.

The Civil Aviation Affairs at Bahrain's Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry dismissed the reports which claimed that Manama has opened its airspace to Qatar Airways as "misinformation and contrary to reality".

All air routes over international waters have been open for all types of air traffic since June 11, with this status quo remaining unchanged, the statement said.

The Civil Aviation Affairs is enforcing all measures taken in co-ordination with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Bureau in Cairo to ensure safety of air traffic, including the allocation of additional contingency routes over high seas through Bahrain for aviation data.

"Bahrain has taken this measure in compliance with ICAO's directives to ensure safety in the air traffic system over international waters and it does not mean that the kingdom has allowed Qatar Airways to use its sovereign airspace."

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority clarified that it allowed Qatar aircraft to use the airspace located above international waters and managed by the UAE and not UAE airspace.

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA) issued a statement confirming the ban which prevents Qatar-registered planes from using Saudi airports or crossing its airspace.

"Reports claiming that Qatar Airways planes are using the airspace of some of the countries boycotting Doha are totally untrue," it said. "The airspace from the west of Saudi Arabia is sovereign and Qatar is banned from using it," GACA statement said. The statement said the quartet sought from the beginning to find alternative air routes to avert the congestion of international traffic and ensure its safety.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Aug 10, 2017
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