BERLIN, April 3 Europe's aviation safety
authority warned on Thursday of "serious risks" for
international airlines flying over Crimea because there may be
two services managing airspace there after the region's
annexation by Russia.
The European Aviation Safety Agency said Russia had
published a series of notices saying it intended to provide air
traffic services within the area controlled by the flight
information centre at Simferopol, Crimea's main airport.
EASA, which is based in Germany, therefore said national
aviation authorities in Europe should encourage carriers to
avoid the airspace over Crimea, which Russia seized from Ukraine
last month, and use alternative routes.
"It is unsafe if more than one Air Traffic Service provider
is in charge of one single Flight Information Region (FIR); no
compromise can be made with the safety of the flying
passengers," Patrick Ky, executive director at EASA, said.
Eurocontrol, the European air traffic management agency,
said it strongly advised carriers against flying through the
region, known as Simferopol FIR, and published a map of
Separately, Ukraine's interim government, installed after
mass protests toppled pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich in
February, has reported that it can no longer deliver mail to
Crimea, according to the U.N. Universal Postal Union.
A UPU spokesman said a message from Ukrainian postal
operator Ukrposhta sent late last month stated that it was
experiencing "difficulties" in getting any kind of postal item
to the regional capital Sevastopol and other parts of Crimea.
Until Russian troops took over Crimea last month and closed
Simferopol airport to flights from mainland Ukraine, most
foreign and domestic mail for the peninsula and its majority
Russian population was flown in from Ukraine's capital Kiev.
(Reporting by Michelle Martin and Victoria Bryan in Frankfurt
and Robert Evans in Geneva, editing by Mark Heinrich)