The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in relation to the satellite launch of North Korea.
Despite this, the Philippines aviation regulator does not foresee any disruption to local airlines flight operations, as the affected area is away from Philippines commercial flight paths.
NOTAM B1862/23, which was released today, May 30, advises all commercial pilots to avoid the airspace surrounding North Korea, South Korea, and eastern Japan from 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31, until 7:59 a.m. on June 11.
The NOTAM stated that the North Korean government had announced that it was in the final preparations for launching its first completed military spy satellite.
According to news source ABS-CBN News, CAAP spokesperson Eric Apolonio said: “As a safety precaution, CAAP issued the NOTAM. Pilots and commercial airlines know the aviation safety protocol.”
North Korea has a history of launching ballistic missiles and satellites that have posed a threat to international aviation. In 2017, the country launched a long-range missile that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean.
The launch was condemned by the United Nations Security Council and led to new sanctions being imposed.
Missile and Satellite Programs
North Korea has been developing its missile and satellite programs for decades. The country’s first successful satellite launch was in 2012, and it has since launched several more.
In 2017, North Korea launched a long-range missile that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. The launch was condemned by the United Nations Security Council and led to new sanctions being imposed on North Korea.
North Korea’s missile and satellite programs are a major concern for the international community. The country’s missiles could potentially be used to deliver nuclear weapons, and its satellites could be used for surveillance or other military purposes.
The United States and its allies have imposed sanctions on North Korea in an effort to pressure the country to abandon its missile and satellite programs. However, North Korea has shown no signs of complying with these demands.
Risks to International Aviation
The CAAP’s NOTAM is a reminder of the potential risks posed by North Korea’s missile and satellite programs to civil aviation activity. With any launch of a missile or satellite, there is always a risk that the launch could go wrong and the debris could fall into populated areas or onto aircraft.
The CAAP NOTAM specifically advises pilots to avoid the airspace surrounding North Korea, South Korea, and eastern Japan during the proposed launch window.
The risks to international aviation from North Korea’s missile and satellite programs are real. In 2017, a piece of debris from a North Korean missile landed in the Pacific Ocean, just a few hundred miles from a commercial airliner. If the debris had hit the aircraft, it could have caused a major disaster.
The international community has maintained concerns about the risks to international aviation from North Korea’s missile and satellite programs. The United States and its allies have urged the abandoning these programs, but the country has shown no signs of complying with these requests.