Iran eyes Southern Ring ATM work

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Iran has expressed interest in co-operating in the development of future air traffic management concepts in the Caucasus region.

Ten countries presently participate in the Southern Ring programme air traffic management programme aimed at improving air navigation in the former Soviet states as well as Mongolia.

Azerbaijan air navigation services development department head Elkhan Nakhmedov, who currently represents the ten states, says the group recently met with Iranian officials to discuss the country’s possible inclusion in further projects.

“We met the Iranians about three months ago,” he says. “Iran, like the other states, is located around the Caspian Sea region. And if you look at the main air routes many are focused in this particular area. It resembles the Silk Road.”

Nakhmedov admits that Iran’s political isolation is a potential problem but says the group is keen to maintain contact with the Iranian authorities over potential collaboration.

ATI acknowledges the assistance of British Mediterranean Airways (BMA) in visiting the Southern Ring states. BMA serves Baku, Bishkek, Tbilisi and Yerevan from London.