U.S. Airlines Told to Comply with China Air Defense Zone Rules
The U.S. government is telling commercial airlines that they should comply with China’s demands to be notified in advance of flights through its recently declared air defense zone, even as the Obama administration continues to defy the Chinese by sending military planes into the zone unannounced.
While the government rejects China’s attempt to take control of airspace over a large portion of the East China Sea, the guidance given to the airlines is intended to avoid an unintended confrontation.
In a statement issued on Friday, the State Department said that “[t]he U.S. government generally expects that U.S. carriers operating internationally will operate consistent with” notice requirements “issued by foreign countries,” adding that the notice “does not indicate U.S. government acceptance of China’s requirements.”
Delta Air Lines said on Saturday that it had been complying with the Chinese requests for flight plans for the past week. American Airlines said it, too, was complying, but did not indicate for how long it had done so.
Meanwhile, the Japanese government asked several Japanese airlines, which had already begun to voluntarily follow China’s rules, to stop, fearing that compliance would bestow an air of legitimacy to Chinese claims to islands below the zone which are administered by Japan.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)