New Chinese ADIZ Over the East China Sea: Impact on Business Aviation

PT 2 M minute read
New Chinese ADIZ Over the East China Sea: Impact on Business Aviation

New Chinese ADIZ Over the East China Sea: Impact on Business Aviation

China’s recent establishment of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea is attracting attention and causing confusion among business aircraft operators around the world. An ADIZ is an airspace area over water or land where identification, location, and control of aircraft are required in the interests of national security. Many countries – including India, Japan, the UK, and China – have areas like these.

The following is an overview of what you need to know about these changes:

1. Latest news regarding the new Chinese ADIZ

On November 23, 2013, China unilaterally declared a new ADIZ. This new area covers a region over the East China Sea and includes airspace within the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (FIR) (Japan), Incheon FIR (South Korea), and Taipei FIR (Taiwan). This new ADIZ also includes a group of islands that both China and Japan claim. The Chinese government refers to the islands as the "Diaoyu Islands," while the Japanese government refers to them as the "Senkaku Islands." Note that Taiwan also lays claim to the islands. Please see the diagram below from China’s Ministry of National Defense.

2. Flight planning considerations

This new ADIZ announcement has raised concerns regarding procedures and transit through the affected airspace. As noted below, China Air Traffic Control (ATC) is advised via flight plan messages sent to appropriate addresses that aircraft are crossing this airspace. At this time, there are no further requirements. If a new obligation– such as communicating with China ATC – arises, we will advise accordingly. So far, there have been no issues or incidents in regards to any general aviation or scheduled commercial aircraft.

Please note the following additional data regarding this new change:

  • At the present time, it is not necessary to avoid this airspace.
  • You may avoid this specific area if you like.
  • China ATC is being advised of aircraft traveling through this new ADIZ zone via flight plan messages sent to the necessary addresses that the aircraft are traversing through the airspace.

For operators who choose to avoid this area, please coordinate with your 3rd-party provider, as this may affect permits and require additional stops due to the additional distance added.

3. Additional information

To view the specific region this new ADIZ covers, please see notice posted on the Ministry of National Defense, The People’s Republic of China, website.


This newly claimed Chinese ADIZ seems to remain a work in progress. At this time, there’s a lack of clarity regarding required/recommended procedures and possible repercussions for non-compliance. We will provide operational updates as this situation evolves.


If you have any questions about this article or flight planning in general, contact me at

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