Canada orders two Russian planes out of its airspace after declaring they were ‘humanitarian’ flights

(Reuters) – Canada ordered two Russian flights out of its airspace on Monday, the Air Traffic Control Service said, after planes that described themselves as “humanitarian” flights violated a ban on Russian planes.

Canada has banned Russian aircraft from its airspace from Sunday as part of tough sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

But on the same day, an Aeroflot AFL111 flight violated the ban after declaring it a humanitarian flight. Under normal circumstances, NAV CANADA does not have the authority to deny access to the airspace of an aircraft declaring itself as a humanitarian flight.

Another Russian plane that tried to enter Canadian airspace had taken off from American airports.

NAV CANADA along with Transport Canada have issued a directive to all air traffic control units to prevent all identifiable Russian aircraft from entering their airspace. The only exception to this prohibition is prior approval by Transport Canada.

In the event of a further violation, NAV CANADA will direct the violating aircraft to the nearest airport and notify the regulator, to inform the Canadian Air Defense Sector and the regulator immediately.

(Reporting by Rachna Dhanrajani and Denny Thomas; Editing by Michael Berry)

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