President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias addressing a dinner organized in Nicosia on the occasion of the international conference entitled “Aviation Safety: Implementation, Regulation, Training,” underlined the difficulties which have emerged due to the fact that Turkey continues to refuse to allow the use of its air space by Cypriot air carriers,.

Christofias noted that Turkey’s refusal to lift occupation and abide by international law regulations has caused this irregular situation. He added that “as a result of this situation the Cypriot Civil Aviation Authorities face a lot of difficulties in fulfilling their mission. These difficulties are due to Turkey’s refusal not to allow the use of its airspace by Cypriot air carriers”, he added.

He also said that such difficulties also arise from the refusal of Ankara’s Flight Control Centre to communicate with Nicosia’s Flight Control Centre and the interventions of the illegal Control Tower at the illegal airport of Tympou in Turkish occupied Cyprus, which affect the security of flights. “This is an issue of major importance which concerns the international civil aviation and constitutes violation of international conventions,” Christofias said.

He noted that “we have informed all international organizations about this illegal situation. We are in constant contact mainly with Eurocontrol and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The EU has recognized this illegality, which is continuously indicated to Turkey. This issue affects and will affect Turkey’s accession course. Beyond the political aspect of the issue, our effort aims to resolve the technical aspect of this issue,” Christofias added.

He also said that the security of flights is an international issue, which concerns all countries and international organizations that handle these issues.

As regards Cyprus, he noted that the civil aviation sector has reached very satisfying levels, noting however that the security of flights is a sector, which requires continuous vigilance, improvement and modernization of infrastructures, use of state-of the-art technologies and assured that “we are working towards this direction.”
“We are continuing to make all necessary efforts to further develop our air transports. Our goal is to restructure the Civil Aviation Department, so that it can fulfill its important mission in the best possible way,” he added.

Furthermore, Christofias stressed that “our strategic goal continues to be to make our island an important transit centre in the region and to this end the government will continue to offer every possible support that will give a new dynamic and a renewed impetus to the country’s economy.”

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