TAIPEI (Reuters) – China’s plan to set up a no-fly zone to northern Taiwan on April 16 will affect about 33 flights, the island’s transport minister, Wang Kuo, was quoted by Taiwan’s official Central News Agency (CNA) as saying. -Tsai.
Wang was quoted as saying that the impact on flights was significantly reduced after Taiwan said it had succeeded in getting China to significantly narrow its plan to close airspace north of the island.
Reuters initially reported that Beijing initially notified Taipei that it would impose a no-fly zone from April 16-18, but Taiwan’s transportation ministry said that was later reduced to a period of just 27 minutes on Sunday morning after it protested.
The agency said the ministry has discussed with Japan’s aviation authorities about issuing notices later on Thursday for boats and planes to avoid the area for that specified Sunday morning period.
Wang said the ban could add “less than an hour” of additional travel time to affected flights as they would have to divert south from their original routes.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation on Wednesday published a map showing what it described as China’s “airspace activity area” to the northeast of Taiwan and near a disputed island group called the Diaoyu by China and the Senkaku by Japan.
The development comes after days of intense military exercises by China around Taiwan in response to President Tsai Ing-wen’s meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California last week.
When China restricted airspace during military exercises last August, there were significant flight disruptions in the region, with some planes needed to carry extra fuel, according to OPSGROUP, an aviation industry cooperative that advises on aviation risks. .
(Reporting by Yimou Lee and Ben Blanchard) Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Shri Navaratnam
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