Aegean air route deal is signed

Greece and Turkey yesterday signed an agreement on new civil aviation routes in the Aegean, ending disagreements that had held up implementation of the deal for nearly three months. The agreement was criticized in Greece by the opposition because it cancels two flight routes over the northeastern island of Lemnos and creates two new ones, but at a higher altitude. Critics say this will allow Turkish military aircraft to fly under the passenger plane routes, which was not possible until now. «The Letter of Agreement was signed by the competent authorities of Greece and Turkey in Paris this afternoon, within the framework of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO),» said Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis. «The agreement includes all the necessary technical adjustments which were a precondition for making the new air corridors functional,» he said. «This is a very positive development which protects our country’s interests and contributes to greater security for civil aviation in the broader Aegean region.»