FAA Bans U.S. Airlines from Flying Over Iraq and Iran

By Jesse Sokolow on 8 January 2020
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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration banned U.S. airlines from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and Persian Gulf airspace early Wednesday.  The move followed Iran’s missile attack on U.S. forces in Iraq.

The agency issued Notices to Airmen, or NOTAMS, “outlining flight restrictions that prohibit U.S. civil aviation operators from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.”  It cited “heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations.”

On Tuesday, Tehran fired over a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against two Iraqi military bases where U.S. personnel are stationed.

Non-U.S. carriers are avoiding the airspace as well.  Singapore Airlines said it would divert flights that would normally fly over the region to Europe.

To complicate matters, a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed shortly after takeoff from Tehran’s international airport early Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.  The Ukrainian Embassy in Iran said that a possible cause of the crash was an engine failure early Wednesday, but later the same day said that “anything was possible” and refused to rule out that the plane was struck by a missile.

At a media briefing in Kyiv, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk refused to rule out the possibility that the aircraft had been downed by a missile and cautioned against speculation until the investigation concluded.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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