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NATO Opens Kosovo Airspace To Civilian Overflights

NATO has reopened the upper airspace over Kosovo, allowing civilian planes to fly high over the region for the first time since the Kosovo war 15 years ago.

The airspace over Kosovo, however, will remain under NATO control.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called the decision to open the upper airspace "a significant step that benefits the entire western Balkans."

The move means that airliners travelling between northern Europe and southeastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia will no longer have to maneuver around Kosovo but can fly over it.

NATO said it estimates that around 180,000 civilian flights will be affected each year.

The NATO air war over Kosovo in 1999 ousted Serbian troops from the territory and eventually led to Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.
Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters