Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have told MPs that they are watching the conflict in the Middle East “very closely” following Iran’s attack on Israel.

CAA chairman Sir Stephen Hillier told MPs that in the current situation the must “continue to monitor” the conflict to ensure passenger safety.

He was asked by the Commons Transport Select Committee if he has concerns over flight safety in the Middle East, Sir Stephen said, “The hard lessons of experience over recent years show the risks of flying in what are active combat areas.

“The system in relation to what happened over the weekend in the region essentially worked as it should do.

“Notams (Notices to Airmen) were issued to avoid the airspace. Aircraft were rerouted to avoid that airspace.

“On occasions aircraft were diverted to different locations to avoid landing in those areas.

“That caused clearly some disruption for passengers but, in the context of protecting passenger safety and the safety of the operation, then clearly that was the priority.

“It’s a situation that we must continue to monitor very closely both as the Civil Aviation Authority working extremely closely with the Department for Transport, who are essentially the lead in this area. We are providing support.

“We make sure that communication channels are there so that airlines and operators are getting the information that they need, and that they are working closely with the Department for Transport as well.

“We maintain close contact internationally through Eurocontrol within this region and more widely just to make sure that we are sharing information and making sure that we don’t put anybody at risk as a result of the serious operations going on there.”

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