Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZs) recently became contentious when China announced an ADIZ over the East China Sea, and much of the current research, information and commentary on these zones are outdated or incorrect. There are common misconceptions about the number of countries currently operating ADIZs, the specific procedures involved and the political and security implications of ADIZs.

The International Civil Aviation Organization should establish a set of best practices and a template for implementing and operating an ADIZ. This template would outline the purpose of ADIZs, emphasizing their capacity for reducing uncertainty, building confidence and reducing the risks of inadvertent conflict. In cases where zones overlap, countries should look to the existing India-Pakistan agreement on the prevention of air space violations as a guide for cooperative agreements. Countries should engage in ongoing dialogue about how to effectively manage and administer ADIZs, especially in East Asia.

The CIGI Graduate Fellows program at the Balsillie School of International Affairs provides students with mentorship opportunities from senior scholars and policy makers. The program consists of research assistantships, policy brief writing workshops, interactive learning sessions with senior experts from CIGI and publication opportunities. Working under the direction of a project leader, graduate fellows conduct research in one of CIGI’s program areas. This series presents those policy briefs that have met CIGI’s publications standards.
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