On the evening of Sep 12 there were renewed border clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia – the worst flare-up in hostilities since the war ended in 2020.
The waypoints along the border between the two countries (VETEN, PEMAN, ELSIV, MATAL) were temporarily closed on Sep 13, but reopened the next day, after Russia said it brokered a ceasefire to end the fighting.
Some flights between Europe and Asia are now overflying the border region again, whilst others are continuing to detour through Georgian airspace to the north (the UGGG/Tbilisi FIR), avoiding Armenia.
There are no foreign airspace warnings currently in place for Armenia and Azerbaijan – these were all withdrawn at the end of the war in November 2020.
But with the latest escalation in hostilities, we currently assess both Armenia and Azerbaijan on SafeAirspace.net as Risk Level 3: Caution – any further large-scale ceasefire violations involving missiles or anti-aircraft weaponry present a risk to overflights in the border region.
At the peak of the conflict in late October 2020, the airspace picture looked like this:
- Azerbaijan established a Temporary Restricted Area along the border with Armenia, which meant that all East-West airways between the two countries were effectively closed.
- They also issued a Notam advising caution across the UBBA/Baku FIR due to the spillover of the conflict, with the specific warning of the threat posed by long-range missiles which they claimed Armenia had been using to target locations throughout Azerbaijan.
- Armenia never closed any parts of its airspace. Instead, they issued a Notam advising operators to expect tactical rerouting and short notice closures in the airspace along the border, and recommended they carry additional fuel.
- Germany issued airspace warnings for both Armenia and Azerbaijan. It did not advise that overflights be restricted to a certain altitude, but instead warned of a “potential risk to aviation… from military operation including anti aviation weaponry.”
- The airspace warnings issued by France were a bit different. Essentially, they said that operators should not overfly the border region except on certain airways in the far north of the UBBA/Baku FIR at FL340 or above.
More on the topic:
- More: SafeAirspace: 2021 Update
- More: Midweek Briefing 22JUN: Iceland ATC strike – end in sight, Israel FPL changes
- More: Monday Briefing: North Atlantic Changes, Caspian Sea Missiles