North Korean airspace could be declared a no-fly zone in response to the country’s missile tests, the aviation industry’s global trade body says, after the latest launch came within sight of a passenger plane.
Excluding aircraft from the area is one option open to aviation safety regulators as they ponder how to deal with the arbitrary firing of missiles that has encroached on busy commercial air routes between Asia and North America.
Pilots on a plane operated by Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific Airways saw from a distance what were believed to be the remnants of a North Korean rocket fired last Wednesday.
While no international flights currently use North Korean airspace, the area around it is full of activity.
“The ICAO could declare a no-fly zone,” Alexandre de Juniac, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said at its Geneva headquarters on Tuesday.