An aircraft makes it's final approach for landing at Larnaca airport as people enjoy the sea in southern coastal city of Larnaca, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
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Flying over parts of Cyprus is made more dangerous by the fact that rival air traffic control centers on the ethnically split island are giving instructions to planes, creating "confusion and misunderstanding" among pilots, a report by Europe's air safety agency says.For example, the report states that the mean expected accident frequency between two aircraft over Cyprus is about one in a billion.But the agency said the situation inside a large part of the Nicosia Flight Information Region – 175,000 square kilometers of airspace over and around Cyprus – is reaching the point where risks to safety can no longer be considered acceptable.Only air traffic controllers in the internationally recognized, southern part of Cyprus are permitted to issue flight instructions to aircraft passing through the Nicosia FIR.According to the report, which cites Cyprus statistics, there were six instances in 2014 where aircraft came closer to each other than the minimum allowed distance.Separately, the report also raised safety concerns because Turkey does not notify Cypriot authorities of warplane flights as it doesn't recognize the island as a state.
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