A Malaysian passenger plane was in the Ukrainian zone of flight safety control when it crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday killing all 295 people on board, Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) said.
“The plane has not contacted Russian air traffic controllers in Rostov,” Rosaviatsiya head Alexander Neradko said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.
“The responsibility [for flight safety] falls on the Ukrainian side,” Neradko said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Thursday the air space over Ukraine was open when Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 777 crashed in eastern Ukraine earlier in the day.
“Based on the information currently available it is believed that the airspace that the aircraft was traversing was not subject to restrictions,” the IATA air traffic authority said Thursday in a brief statement published on its website.
It also extended “our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the passengers and crew of MH17.”
This statement runs counter to the announcement of the Ukrainian air traffic authority Ukraerorukh released in early July that the air space over the areas where the government’s “anti-terror” operation is underway was closed over security concerns.
“To guarantee a proper level of air traffic security, the air space over the territory where the ATO [anti-terror operation] is underway has been closed for flights of civil aircraft in the interest of the state aviation,” the message of the Ukraerorukh said.
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed near the city of Donetsk on Thursday. There were at least 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
Flight controllers reported that the plane disappeared from radar screens while flying at an altitude of about 10,000 meters (some 33,000 feet).