October 12, 2019Direct air corridor from Turkey to Nakhchivan
On August 10, according to a tweet by the Director General of Turkey's Airports Operator Hussein Keskin, the Turkish Hürriyet newspaper's e-version of Turkey announced that a direct air corridor between Turkey and Azerbaijan will be opened since August 15.
It is known that the main territory of Azerbaijan is not borders with Turkey and that is why this corridor will be established between Turkey and Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.
Hussein Keskin added that the issue of establishing a direct air corridor from Turkish airports to Nakhchivan, assigned to (International Civil Aviation Organization - ICAO) for a long time has been successfully completed. Earlier, Turkey was communicating with Nakhchivan through air corridors passing through Armenia and Iran.
Regular flights, operating in accordance with existing regulations, are conducted by air corridors established by the states over their territory.
The status of these corridors is regulated by international air law, domestic law, and bilateral agreements and register in the relevant ICAO registry.
During the Soviet era, as in any area within a single boundary, it was not a matter of which republic or region the air corridors went through.
After the independence of Azerbaijan, the exclave character of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and the communication blockade of the autonomy as a result of the conflict with Armenia forced the search for external communications and alternatives beyond the territories controlled by the Armenians.
From 1991 to 2014, the air communication between Nakhchivan and the main territory of Azerbaijan (via Baku and Ganja airports) was carried out through the air corridor over the territory of Armenia.
In November 2014, an Armenian Air Force helicopter was shot down by the Azerbaijani army during illegal military exercises conducted by Armenia over the occupied territories. Thereafter, the two countries imposed mutual restrictions on civilian flights.
Since December of that year, the air communication of Nakhchivan with Baku began to be carried out through Iran, and today the flights are conducted through this international air corridor. These restrictions, of course, were not applicable to third-party air carriers.
Since 2010, Turkish Airlines (first by its side, AnadoluJET) has started to arrange international flights to Nakhchivan, using the air corridor over Armenia (sometimes used in the Iranian air space).
At the latest initiative of the Turkish aviation administration consulted with ICAO (which is officially recognized) is crucial for the region as the third, alternative international air corridor that will connect Nakhchivan to the world. The political importance of this corridor is very important from an economic point of view and will open new opportunities in this regard. Thus, the economic and transport potential of the strategic “Dilucci Corridor” will be used not only as a land segment but also as an airspace.
An interesting aspect of this issue is that it is limited by the limited size of the corridor. Thus, the length of the "Diluçu Corridor" to the point where the Nakhchivan Sadarak station is located, is 20 km, the width of the corridor is 5-6, and in some places only 3 kilometers, , and in some places only 3 kilometers, In addition, the relief conditions of the area (mountainous area up to 550 feet high, close to corridor, etc.).
In accordance with ICAO regulations, international air law and current practice, different air corridors are created for low and high airspace. The Low Altitude Airways (LAA) width of the lower airline is 10 nautical miles (18.52 km), with the highest point of relief in that area being 3,000 feet (1,000 meters). The upper air corridor does not specify the width of the corridor, and flights in the aisle are based on the FIS (Flight Information Services) system (non-visual). Despite these conditions, the decision to establish this air corridor shows that this project is of considerable political character.
The new air corridor significantly reduces the third-party dependency factor on direct transportation with Turkey, as a strategic partner of Azerbaijan.
According to international air law, airlines must comply with a number of rules when operating flights from the air corridors of the country to which they are operating, and many of them must be approved (eg, freight or passenger manifest). It also undertakes the responsibility of the international air carrier not to carry any military equipment on board without the consent of the air carrier.
In practice, a number of incidents related to the implementation of these rules (1, 2, 3) periodically appear in the external media. Given these points, the aforementioned air corridor will also serve to eliminate the risks of third-party airspace use during cargo transportation.