Special Update Thursday 9 JAN: Members, please see either your email or this post in the Members forum, for a special briefing and update.

Information last updated Weds 15JAN, 2000Z

The situation in Iran/Iraq is complex, and developing. On this page we’ll keep a summary of the current situation. If you have additional info, please email us at team@ops.group.

Iraq

Official warnings:

  • US: FAA Notam 01/20 – US operators are prohibited from overflying Iraq.
  • Germany: Notam  07/20 – New warning with airways of concern below FL260, and Baghdad Airport.
  • Iraq: Notam 18/20 – Airlines are advised to exercise caution.
  • France: Notam F24/20 – Do not penetrate the Baghdad FIR.
  • Ukraine: Notam A33/20 – Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iraq
  • EASA: “as a precautionary measure, the overflight of Iraqi airspace should be avoided, until further notice.”
  • UK: Notam V0003/20 – UK operators prohibited from entering the Baghdad FIR.
  • Canada: Notam H0044/20 – Canadian operators advised not to enter the airspace of Iraq.
  • US Background notice to follow…

Relevant recent events:

  • 08 Jan: Iranian missile attack on Iraqi airbases
  • Multiple airstrikes on Baghdad airport

Iran

Official warnings:

  • US: FAA Notam 02/20 – US operators are prohibited from overflying Iran
  • US: FAA Notam 10/20 – US operators are prohibited from overflying the overwater airspace in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, except to certain airports, providing that the guidance in the Notam is followed (must be on an instrument procedure or under the direction of ATC, must minimise overwater operations to the maximum extent possible, and must not enter the OIIX/Tehran FIR). The Notam also clarifies that overflights through the overwater part of the OOMM/Muscat FIR south of airway M628 are permitted.
  • France: Notam F24/20 – Do not penetrate the Tehran FIR
  • Ukraine: Notam A33/20 – Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iran.
  • EASA: “as a precautionary measure, the overflight of Iran airspace should be avoided, until further notice.”
  • UK: Notam V0002/20 – UK operators prohibited from entering the Tehran FIR.
  • Canada: Notam H0047/20 – Canadian operators advised not to enter the airspace of Iran.
  • US Background notice to follow…

Relevant recent events:

  • 08 Jan: Iranian missile attack on Iraqi airbases
  • 08 Jan: The shooting down of Ukraine Int Airlines AUI 752 has been confirmed by Iran to have been carried out by the Iranian Armed Forces, having mistaken the aircraft radar return for an inbound missile to Tehran.
  • 08 Jan: At least 2 direct reports of N-reg aircraft being told to leave Iranian airspace immediately:
    “The 180 was NOT initiated by us. It was a matter we had no choice in. We were rerouted and that route contained a route out of their FIR. We were cleared to an enroute fix outside the FIR, not an airport. And it was up to us to put the diversion in place from there. I am positive it was due to our N registry. It was us and one other N registered aircraft given the route out. Nobody else was re-cleared outside the FIR.”

Reroutes

By and large, all operators other than Middle Eastern carriers are now avoiding the Iran/Iraq FIR’s entirely.

Traffic that normally operates through the Tehran and Baghdad FIR’s now needs another route. Based on member reports to OPSGROUP, the predominant choice for east-west flights into the Dubai area is a southerly routing via Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There are warnings for both of these airspaces as well – see below.

Northerly reroutes for Europe-Asia flights are predominantly using a Turkey-Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan routing. If entering Afghanistan airspace, note the current warnings.

For many operators, you may be starting to use routes that are unfamiliar and not before flown. Take the time to ensure your crews have the full package of charts, are aware of the risks in each FIR, are aware of the potential for GPS outages enroute (especially in the Turkish FIR), and have considered drift down over mountainous areas on the northerly routes.

This advice received from one of our members that provides risk assessment services is worthwhile:

  • Defer all operations to airports in Iraq and Iran
  • Avoid overflight of Iraqi and Iranian airspace due to risk of misidentification.
  • Avoid overwater airspace above the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
  • Monitor airport/airspace NOTAMs prior to departure for flight planning and situational awareness purposes. Follow guidance issued by leading civil aviation governing bodies regarding conflict zone overflight.

Saudi Arabia

Official warnings:

  • See list at SafeAirspace.net
  • Note that the German Notam expired on Jan 04, there is no current warning from Germany.

Relevant recent events:

  • The area of concern is in the south of Saudi Arabian airspace, near the border with Yemen, related to the ongoing conflict.

Egypt

Official warnings:

Relevant recent events:

  • The Sinai peninsula remains off limits to most and should be avoided.

Further discussion:

Mark Zee

Mark Zee

OpsGroup Founder. mark at ops.group

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