The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council member States has considered the ICAO Secretariat’s Report on the Fact-Finding Investigation into the events surrounding the diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 on 23 May 2021.
Also taking part in the discussions were official representatives of non-Council States considered to have a special interest in the proceedings namely, the Republic of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland and Ireland.
A point of convergence from States’ discussions included the Council’s appreciation to the ICAO fact-finding investigation team for the exhaustive analysis undertaken and the high quality of the report is produced.
The Council expressed concern at the gaps in the information provided by Belarus and the inconsistencies contained in the evidence available at the time of the investigation in relation to crucial aspects of the factual reconstruction of the events and highlighted that the bomb threat against FR4978 was deliberately false and had endangered the safety of an aircraft in flight.
The Council further recalled that communicating false information which endangers the safety of an aircraft is an offence under the Montreal Convention, and in this connection, strongly condemned such practices.
In light of some newly emerging information relating to the FR4978 events and timeline, the Council requested the ICAO investigation team to continue its work with a view to establishing the missing facts, including in connection with the related ongoing criminal and other investigations, and to report to it any further findings.
Additionally, the Council called upon all Member States and other relevant stakeholders, to continue to collaborate with the ICAO investigation, and requested the President of the Council to eventually forward the final Fact-Finding Investigation Report to the United Nations Secretary-General.