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Greece Closes Its Airspace to Russian Airplanes

February 28, 2022

ΑΤΗΕΝS – The Greek Civil Aviation Authority on Monday issued a notam that bans flights over the national airspace of Greece by all aircraft operated by Russian interests, effective from Monday, February 28 and for a period of three months.

The aviation directive prohibiting the use of Greece’s national airspace by Russian air carriers followed the European Union’s decision to close its airspace for the Russian Federation.

In particular, according to an announcement by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the notam provides for the following:

Aircraft owned by Russian companies, Russian Airlines (AOC) or Russian-controlled companies, including private jets, are prohibited from landing, taking off, entering or passing through Greek national airspace.

– The aviation directive excludes flights of humanitarian interest, hospital flights and flights for search and rescue purposes with the approval of the Greek government as well as all emergency flights.

– The notam will have a duration of three months and is valid from Monday, February 28.

Other EU states and Canada said Sunday they would close their airspace to Russian airlines after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, raising the pressure on the United States to do the same.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the European Union would shut down its airspace for planes owned, registered or controlled by Russians, “including the private jets of oligarchs.”

Canada’s transport minister, Omar Alghabra, said his nation was closing its airspace to all Russian planes to hold the country accountable for an unprovoked attack on its neighbor.

The European Union action came after many of its member countries had said they were barring Russian planes or planned to do so by Sunday night.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo tweeted that European skies are “open for those who connect people, not for those who seek to brutally aggress.”

“There is no room in Dutch airspace for a regime that applies unnecessary and brutal violence,” Mark Harbers, the Netherlands’ minister of infrastructure and waterworks, said on Twitter.

Robert Mann, an aviation consultant in New York, said the moves by the European Union and Canada would put added pressure on the U.S. to also bar Russian flights.

“It is difficult to understand why we are last to move, both operationally and financially,” he said.

Transport Canada later said that an Aeroflot flight violated the prohibition and that it would “not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action and other measures to prevent future violations.” The department said Canadian officials “mistakenly permitted a banned aircraft into Canadian airspace. This shouldn’t have happened. “

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