On 17 July 2014, flight MH17 crashed in Ukraine, following the detonation of a surface-to-air missile outside the aircraft’s cockpit. All 298 persons on board lost their lives in the crash. The Dutch Safety Board investigated the crash and published a final report (in 2015) and a follow-up report (in 2019) about the risks of flying over conflict zones.
Less than six years later, on 8 January 2020, flight PS752 was also shot down by a surface-to-air missile, shortly after taking off from Teheran Airport in Iran. All 176 persons on board were killed. This crash once again raised concerns about the decisions taken in respect of flying over or near conflict zones.
Despite the fact that there was no Dutch involvement in the crash of flight PS752, the Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management requested the Dutch Safety Board to reflect further on the implementation of the recommendations from the MH17 Crash report. This request was focused on possible improvements to the national, European and global system for better managing the risks involved in flying over conflict zones. In response to this request, the Dutch Safety Board decided to start an additional follow-up investigation into the safety of flight routes.