Beijing must respect air travel: minister

UNFOUNDED CLAIMS: Hong Kong air traffic controllers told a Taiwanese aircraft to leave due to ‘dangerous activities,’ but the military said it found no reason for the claim

Taipei Times
Date: Oct 17, 2020
By: Staff writer, with CNA

The Pratas Islands are pictured on Nov. 5, 2017.
Photo courtesy of the Water Resources Agency via CNA

Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa (嚴德發) yesterday called on Beijing to respect international aviation rules and refrain from undermining air travel after Hong Kong air traffic controllers on Thursday morning warned off a Taiwanese flight.

A military chartered supply flight operated by Uni Air (立榮航空) from Kaohsiung to the Taipei-controlled Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島) in the South China Sea was forced to turn back on its way to the disputed islands, where 250 Taiwanese coast guard personnel are deployed, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.

Hong Kong air traffic controllers denied the Uni Air ATR2-600 aircraft authorization to enter the Hong Kong Flight Information Region (FIR) because of “dangerous activities” being conducted in the area, the CAA said.

The ministry did not find any Chinese military exercises being conducted in the region, Yen said.

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