While the details of the passenger plane carrying 295 people that was said to have been shot down in Ukraine Thursday are still murky, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration passed a rule earlier this year that seemed to predict the possibility for such an event.
A picture taken on July 16, 2014 of an airliner flying under white smoke left by a Ukrainian army plane over Marynivka, in Ukraine, a few kilometers from the russian border. A Malaysian airliner flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur has crashed in east Ukraine, where pro-Russian rebels are battling government forces. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)
The "Prohibition Against Certain Flights in the Simferopol (UKFV) Flight Information Region (FIR)" rule, which was adopted by the FAA in April, according to the Federal Register, prohibited flight operations in this region of the Crimean peninsula by "all U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of a U.S. airman certificate, except when such persons are operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when such operators are foreign air carriers."
The FAA said it believed this action was "necessary to prevent a potential hazard to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations."
The FAA stated in the rule that it saw the potential for aircraft to "receive confusing and conflicting air traffic control instructions" from Ukrainian and Russian air traffic control in this region, making it a "potential hazard to civil flight operations in the disputed airspace."
"In addition, political and military tension between Ukraine and the Russian Federation remains high, and compliance with air traffic control instructions issued by the authorities of one country could result in a civil aircraft being misidentified as a threat and intercepted or otherwise engaged by air defense forces of the other country," the rule, which was immediately adopted a the time said.
The plane that went down Thursday was from the Malaysian Airlines fleet. The airline said it lost contact with flight MH17 from Amsterdam, marking its last known location in Ukrainian airspace. It later specifically said air traffic control last detected the plane, which was destined for Kuala Lumpur, about 50 kilometers from the Russia-Ukraine border.
Get more details on the still developing story in TheBlaze's original post.