Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Missile test raises flight safety concerns

Missile test raises flight safety concerns

At the latest launch on November 29, flight crews on planes run by airlines such as Korean Air and Cathay Pacific reported sightings of missile activity while in the air.

Singapore Airlines has changed the path of its Seoul-Los Angeles flights after a recent North Korean missile test.

The organization condemned the Pyongyang regime in October for its repeated launch of ballistic missiles.

"Currently, our flight routings do not transverse in the vicinity of the missile trajectory as we have taken earlier steps to avoid the northern part of the Sea of Japan", noted an SIA spokesperson to Channel NewsAsia.

The government of Japan noted that the rocket after a 50 minute flight fell into the sea in the exclusive economic zone of Japan, reports Japanese broadcaster NHK.

Cathay said there was no current plan to change air routes, saying its plane was "far from the event location".

According to guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN agency in charge of air safety, nations have the "responsibility to issue risk advisories regarding any threats to the safety of civilian aircraft operating in their airspace".

Last Wednesday, a series of ballistic missiles that the North Korea regime claimed to be able to reach the USA mainland were launched in defiance of stern warnings and global sanctions.

It joins a growing group of airlines who have re-routed planes because of Pyongyang's more frequent launches.

European airlines Lufthansa and Air France-KLM shifted their paths in August after two North Korean test launches in July.

In newly released report, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee claimed that F-35 Joint Strike Fighters could shoot down North Korea's ballistic missiles in their boost phase.

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