GENEVA (Reuters) - Global airlines body IATA has called on the UN to regulate anti-aircraft weaponry in a similar way to chemical weapons following the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine earlier this year.
"We are calling on ICAO to work within the UN framework to implement the responsible design, manufacture and deployment of weapons with anti-aircraft capability into international law," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said at a media briefing on Wednesday, referring to the United Nations' aviation safety agency.
He described the shooting down of MH17, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, over eastern Ukraine in July as an "outrage" and said the fact that powerful weapons were now in the hands of non-state entities had raised a new threat that the airline industry had to deal with.
Dutch investigators are trying to reconstruct the wreckage of MH17 in order to establish exactly what brought down the plane, killing all 298 people on board.
UN conventions prohibit the use of chemical weapons and anti-personnel landmines and regulate their destruction.
Tyler said achieving something similar for weapons with anti-aircraft capability would take time. "But it must be pursued."
(Reporting by Tom Miles and Tim Hepher; Writing by Victoria Bryan; editing by Keith Weir)