NICOSIA, April 12 (Xinhua) — Britain has requested Cyprus to close air space around its Akrotiri air base on the island’s southern coast, Cypriot air control officer said on Thursday.
Head of Nicosia Air Control Center Haris Antoniades told the state television that Cypriot authorities have not yet examined the British request.
“The Sovereign Base authorities at Akrotiri requested the reservation of the air space for reasons of preparedness,” Antoniades said.
He did not reveal when and for how long the reservation of air space was requested.
Antoniades also said that there have been no cancellation of flights through Cyprus’s Flight Information Region, but some airlines have been re-arranging the flight path of their planes following advice by Eurocontrol, the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation.
The British request came as British Prime Minister Theresa May called her senior ministers to a meeting later on Thursday to consider whether the British military will join the United States and France in possible military action against Syria because of an alleged poison gas attack on the citizens of Douma near Damascus.
Akrotiri air base on the south shores of Cyprus is currently used by British fighter-bombers for strikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq and for collection of intelligence.
Six Tornado and eight Typhoon fighter-bombers are based at Akrotiri, which Britain retained as a sovereign area of 123 square kilometers when Cyprus gained its independence in 1960.