The US State Department is unable to provide a full list of confirmed violations of Greece’s airspace by Turkish fighter jets after 1 January 2017 due to a lack of consensus on the breadth of Greek national airspace, according to a report to Congress prepared in the context of the East Med Act.
The report states that Greece claims an airspace that extends up to 10 nautical miles and a territorial sea of up to 6 nautical miles.
“Under international law, a country’s airspace coincides with its territorial sea. The US thus recognizes an airspace up to 6 nautical miles consistent with territorial sea. Greece and the US do not share a view on the extent of Greece’s airspace.”
The report adds that although Athens currently claims up to a 6-nautical-mile territorial sea in the Aegean, “Greece and its neighbors have not agreed on boundary delimitation in those areas where their lawful maritime entitlements overlap.”
“Lack of such delimitation means there is no clarity on the extent of Greece’s territorial sea and corresponding airspace in these areas rendering any assessment of total violations not feasible,” the report said.
The State Department report said Washington encourages Greece and Turkey “to resolve outstanding bilateral maritime boundary issues peacefully and in accordance with international law.”