What is an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ)?
An air defence identification zone (ADIZ) is a defined area of airspace over land and water that a country declares and controls in the interest of national security. Its main purpose is to identify, locate, and control any civil aircraft in the designated area. ADIZs are established unilaterally, meaning they are declared by a single country without the consent or agreement of other nations. They may also extend beyond a country’s territorial borders to give the country more time to respond to potentially hostile aircraft.
ADIZs are not recognized by any international treaty or body, and the concept is not defined in any international law. The United States established the first ADIZ on December 27, 1950, during the Korean War. Currently, around 20 countries and regions have ADIZs, including Canada, India, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, China, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States, Sweden, Iceland, and Iran. In addition, Russia and North Korea also have unofficial ADIZs.
ADIZs typically only cover undisputed territory and do not apply to foreign aircraft that are not intending to enter a country’s territorial airspace. They also do not overlap with other ADIZs. It is important to note that ADIZs should not be confused with flight information regions (FIRs), which are used to manage air traffic.
Taiwan has an ADIZ that covers most of the Taiwan Strait, parts of Fujian, Zhejiang, and Jiangxi provinces in China, and a portion of the East China Sea. It was designed and created by the United States Armed Forces after World War II and serves as the basis for the Taipei Flight Information Region.
Although the ADIZ covers parts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in its north-western part, Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) flights in those areas are not reported as incursions. Maps of the Taiwan ADIZ often include the Taiwan Strait median line as a reference. Approximately 9% of Taiwan’s national defence budget is reportedly dedicated to responding to Chinese sorties, which usually involve flights inside the south-western part of the ADIZ, crossing the median line, or circumnavigating Taiwan.
In summary, an ADIZ is an area of airspace over land and water that a country declares and controls for the purpose of national security. It is used to identify, locate, and control civil aircraft in the designated area. ADIZs are established unilaterally and may extend beyond a country’s territorial borders. Around 20 countries and regions have ADIZs, and Taiwan has one that covers the Taiwan Strait, parts of China’s Fujian and Zhejiang provinces, and a portion of the East China Sea. ADIZs should not be confused with FIRs, which are used to manage air traffic.
Written by princy