Last Update 12:53
Monday, 14 October 2019

Transport hub UAE says Qatar fighter jets harassing civil aviation

AFP , Tuesday 27 Mar 2018
Views: 1954
Views: 1954

The United Arab Emirates said two Qatari fighter jets "dangerously approached" an Emirati passenger flight and a civilian helicopter on Monday, sparking a swift denial by Doha in the latest such incident between the Gulf rivals.

The UAE General Civil Aviation Authority condemned the "reckless manner" in which the Qatari fighter jets purportedly harassed its planes.

"The distance was so close that the traffic collision avoidance system was triggered," said Ismail al-Blooshi, assistant director of the aviation authority's safety affairs division.

In the case of the commercial passenger plane, he said the aircrafts came within 700 feet of one another at high speed -- with the Emirati plane taking an emergency climb in altitude.

"Any wrong manoeuvre at this stage by either aircraft would have been a catastrophe," Blooshi told AFP by phone.

The Qatari jets "were not on scheduled routes", he added.

Blooshi declined to specify to which company the passenger plane belonged, but aviation is a key sector in the UAE economy.

Its metropolis Dubai, situated on transcontinental air routes, was the busiest airport for international passengers for the fourth year running -- hosting more than 88 million travellers in 2017.

The UAE and Qatar, a rival air transit hub, have rowed repeatedly over alleged airspace violations this year, as a diplomatic crisis in the Gulf enters its 10th month.

Abu Dhabi in January said it would re-route flight routes to pass over its ally Bahrain to avoid Qatari airspace.

The latest incidents -- according to Blooshi -- occurred over Bahrain.

He said the UAE would be filing a fresh complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

"We were one of the first countries to ban (our planes) flying over areas of conflict when there is a risk to civil aviation," he told AFP.

"These are declared international routes and this is unacceptable."

Doha denied the accusation in a statement released by its civil aviation authority.

Qatar -- under boycott by the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt over alleged support for Islamist extremist groups -- is banned from using its rivals' airspace.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.