* GRAPHIC-Flights around Donetsk
(Adds comment from European pilots' association ECA, writes
By Victoria Bryan
BERLIN, July 22 Governments should take the lead
in reviewing how risk assessments for airspace are made, the
head of the International Air Transport Association said,
sidestepping calls for a conference of global airlines on the
The issue of flying over conflict zones is in focus after
Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over
rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
The head of Emirates, one of the world's largest
airlines, called on Sunday for an international meeting of
airlines to discuss the industry's response to the downing and
suggested IATA could call a conference.
But Geneva-based IATA, which represents around 200 global
airlines, said on Tuesday it was up to governments and air
traffic control authorities to provide information about routes
"No effort should be spared in ensuring that this outrage is
not repeated," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a
"Governments will need to take the lead in reviewing how
airspace risk assessments are made," he said, adding that the
industry would support governments through the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the aviation safety arm of
the United Nations.
The European Cockpit Association, which represents 38,000
European pilots from 37 European states, said it also believed
the responsibility lay with governments.
"Any threat or risk assessment should be done by governments
because they are the ones with the access to information from
security sources," ECA President Nico Voorbach told Reuters.
Germany's Lufthansa said on Monday it would
support an airlines conference and that airlines, industry
organisations and government authorities would have to jointly
review how they approach international security.
IATA repeated on Tuesday that MH17 was using a route that
"Malaysia Airlines was a clearly identified commercial jet,"
Tyler said. "And it was shot down - in complete violation of
international laws, standards and conventions - while
broadcasting its identity and presence on an open and busy air
corridor at an altitude that was deemed to be safe."
While airlines regularly fly over conflict zones such as
Iraq and Afghanistan and the skies over Ukraine are a major
route for those flying between Europe and Asia, the downing has
shocked the industry and prompted calls for a rethink on
assessing the threats to passenger planes flying thousands of
metres above fighting on the ground.
Malaysia Airlines rerouted a flight over Syria on Sunday
after its usual path over Ukraine was closed, reflecting the
challenges airlines face in finding conflict-free routes between
Asia and Europe.
Tyler also called for the crash site of MH17 to be secured
urgently and for the bodies to be returned in a respectful
A train carrying the remains of many of the nearly 300
victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane downed over Ukraine
arrived in Ukrainian government territory on Tuesday as a
separatist leader handed over the plane's black boxes to
"This was a terrible crime. But flying remains safe. And
everyone involved in global air transport is fully dedicated to
making it even safer," Tyler added.
(Reporting by Victoria Bryan; Editing by Maria Sheahan and