Flight Clearance For PM’s Plane Not Subject To Its Provisions, Says ICAO

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New Delhi: In response to India’s complaint against Pakistan for refusing to let the Prime Minister’s plane go through its airspace to Saudi Arabia, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has said that flights carrying national leaders are considered as “state aircraft” and are not subject to its provisions.

India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace on October 28 for PM Modi, who is currently visiting Saudi Arabia to participate in an international business conference on October 29.

“The Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention), which ICAO helps governments to cooperate under, only applies to the operations of civilian aircraft and not to State or military aircraft,” read a statement from the ICAO.

“Flights carrying national leaders are considered State aircraft, and are therefore not subject to ICAO provisions,” it said.

It may be mentioned here that India had taken up Pakistan’s denial of use of its airspace to the PM’s flight with the ICAO. In a statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan has decided to not allow Prime Minister Modi to use the country’s airspace, state-run Radio Pakistan reported. He said the decision has been taken in the context of the “black day” and in view of the alleged human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan had earlier also denied Prime Minister Modi’s aircraft access to its air space for his visit to the United States to attend the 74th UN General Assembly session on September 20.

Prior to this, President Ram Nath Kovind had also been denied permission to use Pakistan’s airspace for his official trip to Europe.

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