Airlines are sufficiently aware of the risks of flying over conflict areas. This is evident from the study 'Overflowing conflict areas' that the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) carried out on behalf of Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW). The report has been presented to the Lower House. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate reports this on their website through this message.
Safety management system
Minister Van Nieuwenhuizen wanted to know whether airlines are carefully assessing the safety risks of flying over a potentially dangerous zone. It research of the ILT mainly focused on the functioning of the safety management system. The ILT has investigated how decision-making is procedurally established in that system and whether this is done carefully.
All airlines that took part in this survey regard overflying conflict areas as a very serious topic. Decision-making on this subject takes place carefully at all the companies surveyed, with continuous consideration of the safety risks.
Dutch airlines are themselves responsible for identifying the dangers and risks of flying or not flying over conflict areas. The ILT notes that the airlines have sufficient information about, among other things, (alternative) flight routes, geopolitical circumstances and force fields and about the military capabilities of countries involved in a conflict zone. Because the threat information on the basis of which decisions are made is strictly confidential, the ILT only has an opinion on the decision-making process and the care with which this takes place.