After the UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council formally approved in principle a proposal, Qatar has moved closer to creating its Doha Flight Information Region (FIR) and Doha Search and Rescue Region (SRR), according to Doha News.
The proposal was acknowledged at the Shura Council’s 223rd session, which began on June 18, according to Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC).
The FIR/SRR, if approved, would allow the Gulf state to expand its present sovereign airspace into the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and Bahrain while ensuring safe and sustainable air transportation operations in the area.
“The proposal by the State of Qatar to establish a Doha FIR/SRR is of great importance for the future of civil aviation, not only in the Middle East region but also the entire world and is fully consistent with the objectives of the Chicago Convention,” Qatar’s Minister of Transport Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti told.
According to Article 2.1.1 of Annex 11 of the Chicago Convention, through this proposal, Qatar also intends to withdraw from a joint agreement it signed with Bahrain in 2000, under which it entrusted Manama with providing air navigation services over its territory.
The ICAO also invited Qatar and Bahrain, as well as neighboring countries, to agree on the technical implementation of the Doha FIR/SRR and submit the results of the talks at the 224th session in November for approval, according to the MOTC.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed an air, land, and sea embargo on Qatar’s aviation industry in 2017, which was subsequently lifted on January 5, 2021.