WASHINGTON, 29 July 2014. U.S.-based airline passenger organization FlyersRights.org is calling on all airlines to provide detailed route maps on their websites, enabling passengers on international flights to decide whether to take such flights, in light of the shoot down of the MH 17 flight over eastern Ukraine.
"Airlines should no longer be able hide behind weak and ambiguous international regulation and confidential warnings that are not shared with passengers,” says Paul Hudson, the group's president and longtime member of the FAA and TSA advisory committees on aviation safety and security. “After the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, it came to light that governments and airlines had received specific warnings of a likely bombing, but chose to hide this knowledge from passengers and flight crews, those actually at risk. Now it has been revealed that some airlines were flying over eastern Ukraine despite danger warnings that were not shared with passengers.
"Today despite known dangers and the MH 17 shoot down, passengers are not being informed of dangerous flights over or near numerous conflict zones with missile systems capable of shooting down commercial airliners at over 30,000 feet,” Hudson adds. “Such areas in addition to Ukraine and Russia, include Syria, Iraq, Egypt-Sinai,Israel-Gaza, the China Sea, North Korea, Pakistan-Afghanistan. Other conflict areas are known to have anti aircraft weapons capable of downing low flying aircraft including Libya, Yemen, and Mali.
"This week an emergency meeting of the UN International Civil Aeronautics Organization (ICAO) is being held to discuss the situation, but passenger representatives have unfortunately again been excluded from meetings between airlines and regulators, as they were previously after the mysterious disappearance of another Malaysian airliner over the Indian Ocean,” Hudson concludes.