Following up the recommendations in the MH17 report takes time

In 2018, the Dutch Safety Board will assess whether the follow-up of the recommendations to improve the management of risks associated with flying over conflict zones is adequate. In 2018, the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO will complete the work programme, launched as a result of the MH17 investigation. The Board would like to obtain clarification sooner, but concludes that, based on official reactions to the MH17 report, the necessary international coordination takes time.

In 2018, the Dutch Safety Board will assess whether the follow-up of the recommendations to improve the management of risks associated with flying over conflict zones is adequate. In 2018, the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO will complete the work programme, launched as a result of the MH17 investigation. The Board would like to obtain clarification sooner, but concludes that, based on official reactions to the MH17 report, the necessary international coordination takes time.

In the final report the Dutch Safety Board concluded that Ukraine already had sufficient reason for closing the airspace above Eastern Ukraine as a precaution, before 17 July 2014, the day the crash of flight MH17 occurred. That day, Flight MH17 was shot down with a Buk missile system, fired from an area where an armed conflict was taking place. The investigation also revealed that none of the parties concerned recognised the risks that conflict posed to overflying civil aviation.

Therefore the Dutch Safety Board made eleven recommendations in its final report aimed at improving management of the risks associated with flying over conflict zones worldwide. On the one hand the recommendations encourage countries to share more information about conflicts that pose a risk to civil aviation, in management of their airspace. On the other hand it must become clearer in which circumstances states should close their airspace. Finally the recommendations focus on airlines and the states in which they are based with the aim of reliable risk analyses related to flying over conflict zones being performed from now on.

Reactions
The Dutch Safety Board has received a reaction from, among others, the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO and the International Air Transport Association IATA, to the recommendations that are aimed at these organisations. The Dutch Safety Board has made these reactions public on its website.
 
To achieve improvements related to the safety of civil aviation worldwide, European countries, along with Australia, Malaysia and EUROCONTROL have outlined proposals in a work document to ICAO related to the way in which the Dutch Safety Board's recommendations could be implemented. The work document was submitted by 46 ICAO member states, including the Netherlands, and will be part of the triennial Assembly of ICAO member states at the end of this month. ICAO made the work document public via its website at the end of August.

At the moment it is not yet possible to offer a balanced assessment of the announced measures or of whether they will lead to improved safety in civil aviation. This largely depends on the implementation method. For this reason the Dutch Safety Board will draw its conclusion in 2018.