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Special rules for air alerts: what will happen to airports during a threat of an air strike

Roman KostyuchenkoNews
What will happen to airports under the threat of an air strike?
What will happen to airports under the threat of an air strike

Once civilian flights are resumed in Ukraine, airports will decide on their own how to act during air alerts. However, these decisions must be approved by the relevant regulator.

Bohdan Dolintse, an expert on aviation market development, told OBOZ.UA. He noted that these powers may be expanded in the future, but only after a corresponding request from the companies themselves.

"Each aviation company must develop its own approaches, regulations, and procedures in accordance with existing European rules and regulations, which have already been largely implemented in Ukraine. And to offer them to the regulator, which should assess how adequate they are, how much they take into account existing risks, in particular security risks, and, based on this, give or not give permission to perform certain operations," the expert explained.

What requirements will be imposed on airports?

He also emphasized that there are a number of security parameters that will be imposed on airports. In particular:

  • whether the airport applying for opening can provide the required number of shelters;
  • whether its staff is trained, i.e. whether they know how to act in case of an alarm.

Why airports should develop their own security approaches

At the same time, Dolintse said, airports should independently develop approaches to security in connection with Ukraine's implementation of European regulations and standards of self-government in the aviation industry. These, unlike the Soviet ones that were in place before, "do not provide for strong government intervention in operational processes."

"Ukraine is implementing European regulations and standards of self-governance in the aviation industry. Whereas previously, mostly Soviet standards were in effect - where the state dictated how an airport should operate - European regulations are much more flexible. They do not involve such strong government intervention," he explained.

Which airports will be opened first

At the same time, Dolintse emphasized that Kyiv Boryspil and Lviv airports are the main contenders for reopening for civilian air travel in Ukraine. However, who will be chosen depends on their readiness and availability of trained personnel, necessary shelters, etc.

"It will depend on how well each airport demonstrates its readiness and confirms to the aviation regulator that they have trained personnel, the necessary shelters, that they are prepared and can act properly. Only a proper audit can tell us that," Dolince explained.

In general, he noted, the main contenders for opening are Kyiv Boryspil and Zhuliany airports. And also Lviv.

"Based on the status and readiness of each airport, we can talk about the possibility of opening or partial opening. And, of course, it could be Lviv airport, another airport, or Kyiv airports," he summarized.

Why Ukraine is talking about resuming flights again

The resumption of talks about the possibility of resuming civilian flights in Ukraine was preceded by a statement by the Minister of Community Development, Territories and Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov that Ukraine was starting official negotiations on the opening of passenger airports. In particular:

  • negotiations will be held with aviation regulators of the United States and the European Union (EU);
  • the Ukrainian side is also consulting with the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority to learn from its experience in ensuring flight safety.

At the same time, he said, it is not yet possible to talk about any specific timeframe for the resumption of passenger air traffic.

"It is impossible to carry out international air travel without the approval of two regulators - European and American... The Ukrainian side is already sharing with the regulators its vision of how the market will work under martial law, its risk assessment, approaches, algorithms... I don't want to say any terms, but now we will officially convey our vision to the regulators, and we are entering into official negotiations with them," Kubrakov said.

According to him, several plans are currently being developed to resume passenger flights, and they cover a different number of airports. The main plan can be chosen only after receiving the first comments from aviation regulators.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, the first flights of civil aviation in the country at war may be cargo flights rather than passenger flights. The reason is the rather complicated procedure for approving the safety of such flights. In the course of this procedure, Ukraine may receive a number of recommendations from its partners on what conditions should be provided for air carriers.

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