Canada to call for improvements to global air investigation rules

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General view of the debris of the Ukraine International Airlines, flight PS752, Boeing 737-800 plane that crashed after take-off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Iran January 8, 2020 is seen in this screen grab obtained from a social media video via REUTERS

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MONTREAL, March 28 (Reuters) - Canada is expected to call on Tuesday for improving global rules governing air accident investigations, telling a virtual safety forum that such changes are needed in cases like the 2020 downing of a Ukrainian jetliner, a government source told Reuters.

Canadian Transport Minister Omar Alghabra is to tell the Safer Skies forum that the rules need reform in cases where the main country investigating a crash caused or participated in the downing of the aircraft, the source said.

Hosted virtually by Transport Canada and the Safer Skies Consultative Committee, the forum brings international representatives and the civil aviation industry, including the International Air Transport Association, to mitigate airspace risks over conflict zones.

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Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB), an independent agency, called for such changes in 2021, arguing that while the rules known throughout the industry by their legal name "Annex 13" work well, Iran's downing of PS752 showed their limitations. read more

Under those rules, Iran retained overall control of the investigation into the crash which killed 176, even as the country's military was implicated in the event leading to an "unprecedented" situation, the TSB argued.

Iran's civil aviation body in 2021 blamed misalignment of a missile launcher's radar and an error by an Iranian air defense operator for the January 2020 downing of the aircraft. read more

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Reporting By Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Denny Thomas and Aurora Ellis

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