(a) In order to enhance their safety whenever in the vicinity of hostilities, civilian aircraft must file with the relevant air traffic control service required flight plans, which will include information as regards, e.g., registration, destination, passengers, cargo, identification codes and modes (including updates en route).
(b) Civilian aircraft ought not to deviate from a designated air traffic service route or flight plan without air traffic control clearance unless unforeseen conditions arise, e.g., safety or distress, in which case appropriate notification ought to be made immediately.
- This Rule is derived from Para. 76 of the SRM/ACS. The main difference is that filing required flight plans with the relevant air traffic control service is obligatory during armed conflict. Filing such flight plans will enhance the safety of the aircraft by reducing the risk that it will be attacked by mistake.
- As to the right of Belligerent Parties to take measures to control civil aviation in the immediate vicinity of hostilities, see Rule 106.
- It is particularly important that advance information on the flight plans of civilian aircraft, emergency communication channels and identification modes and codes for civilian aircraft associated with the Secondary Surveillance Radar system (as specified in Annex 10 [“Aeronautical Communications”] to the Chicago Convention) be made available to military forces by the relevant air traffic control service.
- Rule 53 (a) applies also in non-international armed conflict.
- Para. 76 of SRM/ACS: “Civil aircraft should file the required flight plan with the cognisant Air Traffic Service, complete with information as to registration, destination, passengers, cargo, emergency communication channels, identification modes and codes, updates en route and carry certificates as to registration, airworthiness, passengers and cargo. They should not deviate from a designated Air Traffic Service route or flight plan without Air Traffic Control clearance unless unforeseen conditions arise, e.g., safety or distress, in which case appropriate notification should be made immediately.”
- If a civilian aircraft deviates without clearance from designated air traffic service routes or from a flight plan that has been appropriately filed, it runs an increased risk of being fired upon by mistake when it is in the vicinity of hostilities.
- Information about any such deviation ought to be provided immediately through the appropriate channels in order to reduce the risk of being fired upon by mistake. This applies also to delays.
- Rule 53 (b) applies also in non-international armed conflict.