Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 10 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Armenia's attempts to use the airport in Khankendi are a provocation, chairman of the Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Azerbaijani Republic Public Association, Bayram Safarov told media on Thursday.
"There are international laws in civil aviation," he said. "Without Azerbaijan's permission, no one can take advantage of our airspace. I think that this is a provocation." He added that a sensible person will not violate Azerbaijan's air space.
He complained that the public association has no authority to appeal to international organisations. Mr Safarov said that the Azerbaijani government operates in this direction.
"Perhaps, several flights were made from Khankendi airport," he said. "However, our people, led by the Supreme Commander, made a protest. Armenians will fly, but then they will see that they will remain on the ground."
The issue of making flights between Yerevan and Khankendi must be resolved between Armenia and Azerbaijan on a bilateral basis," press secretary for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Denis Chagnon said earlier.
This is a perfectly reasonable and logical position as Khankendi is the Azerbaijani town, but Yerevan is the Armenian capital.
Night lighting of the 2300 metre long runway which is also 20 metre wide has been already tested, the Armenian media said.
The airport runway was expanded to enable big aircraft to land. For the first time it is planned to make flights from the airport in Khankendi to Yerevan.
In 2008 the Armenians began to build the main airport building. It was planned to open on May 9 this year. However, for technical reasons it was postponed for an indefinite time.
It is illegal to construct the airport in the Azerbaijani occupied territories and to make flights to Khankendi without official Baku's permission, the Azerbaijani Civil Aviation Administration said earlier. Otherwise, official Baku will take measures envisaged by the legislation, including the physical annihilation.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 per cent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.