As a response to the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, Canada and the European Union (EU) have decided to close their respective airspaces to Russian aircraft operators.
This means that all of Canada’s airspace, as well as that of the 27-nation bloc that makes up the European Union, will be immediately closed to most Russian air traffic. Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra stated that Canada’s airspace remains open to Russian carriers; however, the Transport Department is considering several options and is working with their allies on this matter.
As well, Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission announced this past Sunday that the EU plans to send military aid and weapons to Ukraine, plus ban some pro-Russia media outlets.
However, a related incident involving an Aeroflot jet occurred in the wake of these announcements. According to FlightRadar24, a flight tracking website, a flight by the Russian national airline from Miami to Moscow passed through Canadian airspace on Sunday.
According to a statement from a spokesperson for Alghabra, air traffic control manager NAV Canada had mistakenly permitted a banned aircraft into Canadian airspace and steps are now being taken to ensure it did not happen again. A review into the conduct of both Aeroflot and NAV Canada that led to the violation will take place in the near future.
Transport Canada said it was launching a review into the conduct of Aeroflot and NAV Canada leading up to the violation.
In a move by Russia as a response to the airspace ban, it was announced that they are banning commercial flights from the U.K., Poland, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.
Other government moves resulting from the invasion of Ukraine include a levy of sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin Russia by Canada that are described by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “severe” and “co-ordinated”, as well as a move by several North American and European countries to cut off some Russian banks from the essential SWIFT financial communications system.