On the matter of MH17’s flight path, Malaysian Airlines confirms that the pilot was instructed to fly at a lower altitude by the Kiev air traffic control tower upon its entry into Ukraine airspace.
”MH17 filed a flight plan requesting to fly at 35,000ft throughout Ukrainian airspace. This is close to the ‘optimum’ altitude.
However, an aircraft’s altitude in flight is determined by air traffic control on the ground. Upon entering Ukrainian airspace, MH17 was instructed by Ukrainian air traffic control to fly at 33,000ft.”
Deviation from the “Normal” Approved Flight Path
With regard to the MH17 flight path, Malaysian airlines confirms that it followed the rules set by Eurocontrol and the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) (emphasis added):
Read the entire articleI would like to refer to recent reported comments by officials from Eurocontrol, the body which approves European flight paths under ICAO rules.According to the Wall Street Journal, the officials stated that some 400 commercial flights, including 150 international flights crossed eastern Ukraine daily before the crash. Officials from Eurocontrol also stated that in the two days before the incident, 75 different airlines flew the same route as MH17.MH17’s flight path was a busy major airway, like a highway in the sky. It followed a route which was set out by the international aviation authorities, approved by Eurocontrol, and used by hundreds of other aircraft.