Published on January 23rd, 2022 | by Mark Dwyer


ICAO Publish Fact-Finding Report into Ryanair Forced Diversion to Belarus

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has released its fact-finding report into the event involving Ryanair flight FR4978 in Belarus airspace. The report was made accessible to all 193 ICAO Member States, including the 36 States presently elected to the ICAO Council. The report was not made publicly available but a leaked version of it was made available on the Politico website here.

Council representatives will formally consider any further actions to be taken by ICAO as a result of the report’s findings during a meeting presently scheduled for 31st January. On that day the Council will also review a request from Belarus regarding what the State considers to have been unlawful restrictions or sanctions which were placed upon it in the aftermath of the event, by other States and the EU.

The FR4978 fact-finding report is based solely on the data and information countries have made available to ICAO, and includes operational details, technical analyses of the various measures and decisions undertaken, and references where applicable to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and applicable international legal instruments.

The report was compiled by a special Fact-Finding Investigation Team composed of ICAO experts in the fields of aviation security, aircraft operations, air navigation, and international air law.

ICAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations created by governments in 1944 to support their diplomacy on international air transport matters. Since that time, countries have adopted over 12,000 standards and practices through ICAO which help to align their national regulations relevant to aviation safety, security, efficiency, capacity and environmental protection, enabling a truly global network to be realised. ICAO forums also provide opportunities for advice and advocacy to be shared with government decision-makers by industry groups, civil society NGOs, and other officially-recognised air transport stakeholders.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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