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Periodista del EMAD

Spain conducts Open Skies Treaty observation flight over Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
May 24, 2023
  • Four members of the Spanish Verification Unit of the Spanish Defence Staff took part in an observation flight with 23 participants from four States Parties to the Open Skies Treaty.

 In compliance with the implementation of the Open Skies Treaty, a team of observers from the Spanish Verification Unit (SVU) participated together with other observers from Benelux, Portugal and Romania in an observation flight over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The aircraft used is one of the two certified last 2022 in the European Union with digital sensors for Open Skies missions. The Romanian Antonov AN-30B is a Soviet-built aircraft from the last century that has undergone an avionics upgrade to meet today's demanding European navigation requirements.

These flights, given the high degree of operational and technical training required of the personnel involved, are usually shared by different States Parties, members of the Treaty, thus maximising the economy of resources and favouring closer ties between the participating States.

Once the use of the AN-30B for the flight was approved, the Mission Plan was presented: the proposed flight route, with its corresponding minimum altitudes over the ground (so as not to obtain a ground resolution of more than 30 centimetres).

Despite the adverse weather conditions, which limited the flight options to a small window of time on Wednesday morning, it was possible to successfully complete the flight over the central and north-eastern part of the country.

Throughout the mission, the high degree of collaboration and flexibility on the part of the host country's team was remarkable, demonstrating the good relations and cooperative spirit with the host country.

The Open Skies Treaty is an international agreement within the framework of the OSCE that complements other treaties and agreements, such as the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) and the Vienna Document 2011. All of them aim to build security and confidence among the signatory members. Together with the CFE Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty forms the core of conventional arms reduction and control agreements that emerged at the end of the Cold War.