The Canadian Ministry of Transport confirmed that a plane belonging to the Russian airline, Aeroflot, entered Canadian airspace on Sunday evening, violating the ban imposed by Canada the same morning. An investigation has been opened.
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“Last night, Aeroflot Flight 111 violated the ban on Russian aircraft operating in Canadian airspace,” Transportation Department spokeswoman Valerie Glazer said.
Transport Canada has embarked on a review of the conduct of Aeroflot and the air navigation service provider that led to this breach. “We will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement and other measures to prevent violations in the future,” she added.
Minister Omar Al-Ghubra met earlier Monday with the CEO of Nav Canada, a company responsible for providing security screening for Canadian airspace.
The organization explained, in a press release, that the Russian flight took off from Miami, heading to Canada.
“The pilot was informed that he was being denied entry by NOTAM into Canadian airspace. The pilot said he was aware of the NOTAM, but nevertheless confirmed his intention to enter Canadian airspace, declaring the status of the human flight.”
“Nav Canada does not have the authority to deny access to the airspace of a self-proclaimed humanitarian flight,” the organization continued, noting that it had no choice but to “take your word for it” in the pilot’s statement.
“Since then, NAV CANADA’s priority has been to ensure the safety of aircraft in the area and to maintain good separation between all aircraft until the flight in question leaves the airspace, which is what happened,” the company added.
Two other Russian planes that took off from the United States later attempted to enter Canadian airspace using the same ploy, before being asked to circumvent Canadian airspace.
Canada closed its airspace to Russian aircraft, along with a group of European countries.
The United States, still resisting the idea of closing its airspace to the Russians, urged Americans living in Russia to leave the country as soon as possible, before the ban continues to increase.
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