Emirates warned over breach of no-fly zone in Yangon
Here is some news you probably have not heard – Myanmar’s (formerly Burma) Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) has reportedly warned Emirates Airline that they may take action against the carrier after one of its aircraft crossed a no-fly zone in Yangon, the largest city in the country, on May 20, 2018.
Emirates Flight EK 388, bound for Phnom Penh International Airport (PNH) in Cambodia, departed Yangon International Airport (RGN) in Myanmar at 6:50 PM. On its route, the Boeing 777ER passenger jet reportedly passed through restricted areas above Yangon city. The flight was diverted to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) in Thailand.
The DCA director U Soe Paing told state media that the Emirates pilot has admitted to authorities to crossing the restricted airspace above Yangon, explaining that bad weather conditions after takeoff forced him to make a turn and fly through the no-fly zone for the safety of his passengers. The DCA said it will issue an official notice to its UAE counterpart, expecting the Dubai-based airline to take action against the pilot for the breach.
The no-fly policy applies to much of the city‘s airspace and restricts any aircraft from flying below an altitude of 24,000 feet over the Yangon civil area including the Shwedagon Pagod, The Global New Light of Myanmar explains. Entrance into the no-fly zone under any circumstances is forbidden by international rules. Playback of the flight by Flightradar24 shows where the Emirates jet quickly changed route after departure. According to the flight tracking website, the aircraft was flying at 2,100 feet when it made the sharp turn over Yangon.
“We are preparing the letter to give to the Emirates to charge their pilot with breaking the rules. They have the option to choose the route before the flight when the weather is not good. We understand safety is the first priority, but rules are rules,” U Soe Paing was quoted as saying by The Myanmar Times on May 23, 2018. Emirates have not released any official statement on the incident.
In case you are wondering, Emirates has been flying a daily service from Dubai International Airport (DXB) in the UAE, to Yangon and Hanoi (Vietnam) since August 2016. In July 2017, the airline began a four days per week service on the Yangon and Phnom Penh route to and from Dubai operated with Boeing 777-300ERs.
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