The Mediterranean Flight Safety Foundation (FSF-MED) on Thursday celebrated “International Civil Aviation Day”, which is celebrated worldwide on December 7, by highlighting Cyprus’ reliance on the aviation sector for its tourism-driven economy.

In a statement, the foundation expressed concerns over Turkey’s infringements in the Cypriot flight information region (FIR) and the existence of an illegal airport and control centre in the north, posing serious political challenges for Cyprus.

The foundation also stressed Cyprus’s unique role in the Eastern Mediterranean, urging the development of a comprehensive national aviation strategy, calling it “a longstanding recommendation unaddressed despite continuous appeals by FSF-MED.”

According to the FSF-MED, the aviation sector annually operates 45 million flights worldwide, transporting 4.2 billion passengers, with a substantial annual turnover of €3.5 trillion.

“On ‘International Civil Aviation Day’, the FSF-MED underscores the essential role of aviation not only in economic development but also in fostering global cooperation and safety standards,” the statement said.