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M. Skuodis: The deadline for the ICAO investigation into the forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft in Minsk has been extended to collect all the necessary information

Date

2021 06 30

Rating
2
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The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), at the end of May having started an international investigation of the forced landing of a Ryanair aircraft in Minsk on 23 May, prepared an interim report within a month. After assessing the report at a meeting on Monday, the ICAO Council announced that more time will be needed for the investigation to be concluded as additional information related to the incident must be collected from countries and organisations.

Another report is scheduled for September.

On 27 May, the ICAO Council decided to pursue a fact-finding investigation into the incident, which would present the information the countries possess and the relevant legal documents, possible gaps would also be identified to ensure the safety of international civil aviation in the future.

On 28 June, the ICAO Council stated that the information received from countries and organisations is not sufficient to fully determine the circumstances of the incident and the exact sequence of events, as well as to answer all questions. It should be noted that Belarus has submitted a lot of information in Russian for the investigation. This information must be translated. 

It was also stated that additional information is still required from countries and organisations to conclude the fact-finding investigation. Therefore, further cooperation with countries and organisations involved in the investigation of this incident will be ensured to collect the necessary information and conclude the investigation.

“The investigators have already received many questions from us alone. There was little time, and the scope of information is huge. Such investigations usually take time. It is not surprising that the deadline for this investigation has been extended for the purpose of quality and objectivity,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Marius Skuodis.

According to the Minister, the Ministry will not provide further comments on the interim report, as a group of ICAO investigators has been formed to carry out the investigation. 

Marius Skuodis, who participated at an ICAO Council meeting at the end of May, has repeatedly urged a comprehensive and objective investigation of the incident on 23 May, when an international Ryanair flight to Vilnius with 126 passengers was forcibly landed in Minsk. ICAO, which unites 193 countries, has taken account of the proposals of Lithuania and other countries – the organisation of the United Nations has started an investigation in accordance with Article 55 of the Chicago Convention to examine all circumstances of the incident.

On the basis of the Chicago Convention, Lithuania called upon the ICAO Council to carry out a comprehensive and objective investigation of this incident for violations of the Convention on Road Traffic and international law.