FSF Calls for High-Level Ministerial Summit, Criminal Responsibility, in Wake of MH17

Alexandria, VA, July 21, 2014  - The Flight Safety Foundation today requested today that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) call for a High-Level Ministerial meeting to review the systems in place to warn airlines of hostile airspace and take action in response to the shoot down of Malaysia Airlines 17 in the Ukraine, and for authorities to bring criminal prosecutions against those who brought down the aircraft and interfered with the investigation.  "This tragically unfolding affront to safety, security, and humanity must be dealt with swiftly and surely by the international aviation community and law enforcement," said Jon Beatty, President and CEO of the Flight Safety Foundation.

"Where known threats to civil aviation exist, States should assess and widely publish this information, or close the airspace.  If States cannot discharge their responsibilities to manage their airspace safely, ICAO should play a leading role to alerting or prohibiting airlines from flying through known, hostile airspace," Beatty further stated.

"The failure to secure the wreckage, the refusal to grant full and unimpeded access to investigators, the delay in turning over the cockpit voice recorder and digital flight data recorder, and the inhumane treatment of MH 17 victims' remains represent appalling acts of inhumanity and interference," Beatty continued. "Those obstructing this investigation should be held criminally responsible.  ICAO investigators must be given immediate and unimpeded access to the site.

While noting that FSF is often against the criminalization of aviation accidents, Beatty stated:  "Let's be clear: this is now a crime scene, not an accident scene; the perpetrators of this barbaric act of sabotage, must be held criminally responsible."

"If States are unwilling or unable to discharge their responsibilities in the wake of a downed civil aircraft, ICAO must be ready and able to assert control over the investigation," Beatty concluded.

Flight Safety Foundation is an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation's mission is to be the leading voice of safety for the global aerospace community.  

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