On Wednesday 21 September 2022, NATO hosted civil and military aviation experts to discuss aviation security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Civil-Military Airspace Security Team (CMAST) Workshop at NATO Headquarters in Brussels brought together aviation personalities to discuss how civilian flights can continue to operate in safely during Russia’s war against Ukraine.
CMAST is part of NATO’s engagement with the international aviation community to create common awareness, strengthen civil-military cooperation and promote safe air operations. Today’s workshop was an important opportunity to enable the sharing of information and best practices.
Russia’s renewed invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 resulted in the closure of Ukrainian airspace to civilian flights and the unavailability of Russian airspace to European carriers, leading to cancellations and reroutings of civilian flights. NATO air activity has also increased in Eastern Europe to keep the skies safe. Therefore, at a time when civil and military aircraft are present in volumes close to airspace, coordination between countries and institutions is of paramount importance.
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Investment Camille Grand said: “The Civil-Military Airspace Security Team event reflects NATO’s enduring commitment to promoting transparency of our defensive air activities in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, building assurance with civil air navigation service providers along NATO’s eastern flank and maintaining security.
Allied and partner nations took part in the event, with support from international aviation organizations including EUROCONTROL, the International Air Transport Association, the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization and the European Safety Agency Aerial. NATO military leaders also participated in the discussions, including NATO Air Command and STRIKEFORNATO, as well as the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE).