UN to warn pilots about flying over war zones

The United Nations's International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is planning to warn pilots about flying over war zones after a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine last month.

Officials with the agency said this week that they are launching a pair of programs designed to give pilots better mid-flight information about flights over areas that are home to violent conflict.

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The first program will rely on the Federal Aviation Administration's existing Notices to Airmen system. The notices are issued when the agency is recommending that pilots avoid dangerous airspace, officials with the international aviation association said.

The second program will involve the creation of a "a new centralized system to be established for the prompt sharing of conflict zone risk information," the agency added.

“This has been an especially productive two-day session on what were some very challenging objectives,”  the chairman of ICAO's Task Force on Risks to Civil Aviation, David McMillan, said in a statement.

“We saw some very strong consensus around the two specific projects we’ll now be pursuing and I am very confident that we’ll be submitting a very mature and practical set of proposals to the ICAO Council," McMillan continued. "These recommendations will help to ensure the safety of civilian passengers and crew, no matter what airline they are flying on or where they are flying.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine in the beginning of July, resulting in the deaths of 295 passengers who were on board the plane.

The deaths have been blamed on Russian separatists who are involved in a dispute over the area of Ukraine near Crimea.

U.S. officials have alleged that the plane was shot down using technology that was supplied by the Russian government.

The FAA responded to the crash by banning U.S. airlines from flying over most of Ukraine. The agency has also issued warnings about flights over Israel, Syria and Ferguson, Mo., in recent months.