Ukraine has formally blocked its airspace to civilian planes as Russian troops advance into the nation, the government said on Thursday.
In an announcement made on Reuters.com, the Ukraine State Air Traffic Services Enterprise said that the country’s airspace had been blocked to civilian planes and that air traffic services had been halted. Airspace within 100 nautical miles of Ukrainian boundaries, according to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), may potentially present safety issues to civilian planes.
As a result of a warning from European aviation authorities that civilian flights may be shot down over Ukraine, neighboring countries such as Belarus and Moldova have restricted their airspace.
According to EASA authorities, “there is a possibility of both deliberate targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,” which they described as “particularly serious.” Civil aircraft operating at all altitudes and flight levels face a significant danger as a result of the existence and potential deployment of a broad variety of ground and aerial warfare equipment.
A warning from Russia’s military ministry to air traffic controllers in Ukraine of an impending assault was published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which requested that all planes be grounded to prevent civilian fatalities amid the growing hostilities.
On Thursday morning, air traffic monitoring websites reported that there was no aircraft activity above Ukraine, with commercial flights avoiding the country’s airspace and creating clogged routes to the north and west.
Russian authorities also declared that domestic flights to and from airports near the Ukrainian border, such as Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, and Stavropol, will be stopped until at least March 2 until further notice.
Aviation authorities in the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy, the United States, and other countries have issued warnings to their carriers to avoid airspace near a potential fighting zone in the region if at all possible.