Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that Britain is making it a criminal offense for any Russian aircraft to enter British airspace – a move that gives the government the right to detain any aircraft attempting to enter. the country and must prevent those close to Putin from setting foot in the UK. Mr Shapps said: ‘We will stifle the ability of Putin’s cronies to carry on their normal lives while thousands of innocent people die.’
The Transport Secretary has sent a letter to all airports and airfields in the UK advising that from 5am on Tuesday air traffic control has the power to issue instructions to a pilot or operator of a Russian plane – private or commercial – not to enter British airspace or to leave by a certain route.
His letter states: “The aviation sector is fundamental to connectivity and international trade and we must play our part in restraining Russia’s economic interests and holding the Russian government to account.
“Please note that failure to comply may result in a criminal offence.”
Under the new law, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has the right to refuse to register an aircraft in the UK if the information provided means that the aircraft “appears to be owned, chartered or operated by a person who has been designated for air sanction purposes”.
The CAA can also terminate a UK-registered aircraft if it is owned, chartered or operated by a Russian person or company.
The decision, in which Mr Shapps said the aviation sector has played a crucial role “as the UK supports Ukraine in the fight against the Russian invasion”, follows an earlier ban on Russian planes in British airspace, which the government imposed during the first week of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in line with nearly 30 countries blocking airlines from flying west in above Europe.
The United Kingdom, Ireland, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were the first to take the plunge on the third day of the attack on Moscow.
Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Norway and Finland joined, and soon after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the whole block would adhere to the measure.
Ukrainian leaders and civilians have called on Britain and the rest of NATO to impose a no-fly zone.
On Tuesday afternoon, in a moving address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to MPs in the House of Commons, he said: “Please increase the sanctions pressure against this country, and please recognize this country as a terrorist state.
“And please make sure our Ukrainian skies are safe.
“Please make sure you are doing what needs to be done and what is stipulated by the greatness of your country.”
Along with other Western leaders, Prime Minister Boris Johnson resisted the request, arguing it could lead to an escalation of the conflict.
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This notice was published: 2022-03-08 22:10:00