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Vietnam calls on international community to condemn China for compromising air safety

Sunday, January 10, 2016, 11:58 GMT+7

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has urged the international community to slam China’s recent activities that violated Vietnam’s sovereignty and endangered air safety.

Letters were sent by the CAAV to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Wednesday and Friday, asking the international organization to apply measures and solutions to prevent the Chinese moves that have imperiled the safety of international aviation.

The CAAV has also issued notices to aviation authorities of the member nations of the ICAO, as well as to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Association (IFALPA), the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), the International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (IFATCA), and over 100 international carriers that usually offer services within the Ho Chi Minh Flight Information Region (FIR) to urge them to protest against China’s flights that have threatened Vietnam’s aviation safety.

The Vietnamese aviation authority asserted that those activities of Chinese aircraft have posed serious threats to international flight routes crossing the East Vietnam Sea, which were established by the ICAO and relevant countries, and affected the operations of air traffic controllers at the Ho Chi Minh FIR.

“We are working hard to closely monitor flight activities and ensure air safety in the airspace managed by Vietnam,” according to the CAAV.

Several civilian Chinese airplanes operated in the Ho Chi Minh FIR between January 1 and 8 without providing any flight plans for, or maintaining radio contact with, Vietnamese air traffic controllers, thus violating regulations on flight safety promulgated by the ICAO, the CAAV underlined.

Radar records showed that the planes interfered with the ATS routes L625, N892 (flight levels from FL135 to FL460, or 4,000 to 13,800 meters) and M771 (flight levels from FL250 to FL460, or 7,500 to 13,800 meters), from the reporting point DONA to ALDAS, Lai Xuan Thanh, chief of the CAAV, told Tuoi Tre on Thursday.

The ICAO requires airplanes to report their positions when they fly to such points.

The CAAV on Friday sent a letter to the Civil Aviation Administration of China to reiterate what was said in a protest note sent by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 2, opposing China’s serious violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago.

Beijing landed two more civilian airplanes on Wednesday on an airfield it had illegally built on Vietnam’s Da Chu Thap (Fiery Cross Reef), four days after its first test flight to the same place, according to Vietnamese authorities.

China is required to stop any flight that may jeopardize aviation safety in Vietnamese regions and not to repeat similar acts in accordance with international law, the CAAV said in the letter.

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