No end in sight for Pakistan airspace restrictions 

Most of the restrictions implemented in Feb 2019 remain in place, effective through to 15 MAY at the earliest.

Pakistan

For flights to airports in Pakistan, there are specific routes you have to use – check here for the full list.

For overflights, there are a number of routes available connecting China and Iran, and a few which connect Oman and India through Pakistan’s airspace over the Gulf of Oman. But there’s only one route available for flights connecting India and Iran – airway P518.

Multiple airlines have started using P518 for flights to Europe, particularly from VIDP/Delhi and VABB/Mumbai.

Line shows Airway P518 which is open for overflights

Although the Pakistan Notams do state that all the same waypoints from airway P518 are available for southbound traffic too, airlines only seem to be using this routing for northbound flights – exiting the VABF/Mumbai FIR, transiting Pakistan’s airspace, and heading on into Iran’s OIIX/Tehran FIR and beyond.

Here is the full list of overflights that Pakistan will allow:

A0459/19 (Issued by OPKR and OPLR)
PAKISTAN AIRSPACE WILL REMAIN CLOSED FOR ALL OVERFLYING (TRANSIT) FLIGHTS TILL 15TH MAY 2019,TIME 1000 UTC (EST) EXCEPT THE FOLLOWING ATS ROUTES:
01) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 KALAT G452 DERBO AND VICE VERSA
02) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG G665 ASVIB AND VICE VERSA
03) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 JI-METBI/EGRON AND VICE VERSA
04) PURPA DCT 3550N07210E DCT PS G325 PG T385 TAPDO
05) APELO B505 PG G325 PS DCT 3550N07210E DCT PURPA
06) ALPOR M504 TELEM
07) SAPNA DCT TAPDO AS CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITY FOR WEST BOUND FLIGHTS ON 24 HRS BASIS
08) TRANSIT FLIGHTS ARE ALSO PERMITTED ON ROUTE SEGMENT SERKA-KALAT AND VICE VERSA
09) PIRAN A453 GADER AND VICE VERSA
10) KABIM DCT TAPDO AND VICE VERSA AS BI-DIRECTIONAL CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITY FOR TRANSIT FLIGHTS ON 24HRS BASIS
11) ALPOR G216 LAKIV N894 TELEM
SFC – UNL, 22 APR 12:00 2019 UNTIL 15 MAY 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 22 APR 12:03 2019

A0460/19 (Issued by OPKR)
AA) IN ADDITION TO OUR NOTAM A0459/19 FOLLOWING ATS ROUTES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR OVERFLYING (TRANSITS) FLIGHTS:
1) KABIM P518 PG KEBUD
2) KABIM P518 PG ASVIB

BB) FOLLOWING CONTINGENCY CONNECTIVITIES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FOR OVERFLYING (TRANSITS) FLIGHTS:
1) ASVIB PG PARET PAXUR KABIM
2) KEBUD PG PARET PAXUR KABIM
3) ALPOR DCT KABIM
4) ALPOR DCT SAPNA
5) EGRON/METBI JI LAKIV DCT KABIM
6) EGRON/METBI JI LAKIV DCT SAPNA.
FL280 – FL430, 22 APR 12:25 2019 UNTIL 15 MAY 10:00 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 22 APR 12:28 2019

India and Oman

India and Oman remain congested with a lot of flights re-routing around Pakistan airspace. Both countries have published Notams showing all the restrictions on the various different overflight routes, are advising operators to carry extra fuel, and to expect lower flights levels than requested. India is advising that flights to Europe from all southern Indian airports can use oceanic airway N571.

India

A0788/19 (issued by VOMF)
DUE TO CLOSURE OF PAKISTAN AIRSPACE AND CONSEQUENT ANTICIPATED TFC CONGESTION ON ATS ROUTES L301, N571 AND P574 THE FLIGHTS ORIGINATING FM THE FLW INDIAN AIRPORTS VOHS VOMM VOBL VOGO VOML VOCL VOCI VOTV VOCB VOKN VOTR AND VOMD FOR DEST IN MIDDLE EAST SHOULD FLT PLAN VIA ATS ROUTES MENTIONED BLW:
1. VOHS VIA W120 BBM P574
2. VOBL/VOMM VIA N563
3. VOCL/VOCI/VOTV/VOCB/VOKN/VOTR/VOMD VIA M300/P570/N563 4. VOML VIA N563/M300
5. VOGO VIA P574

FLIGHTS FM THE ABOVE AIRPORTS WITH DEST IN EUROPE MAY FLT PLAN VIA N571. SUCH FLIGHTS MAY BE SUBJECT TO DLA ON GND TO COMPLY WITH FLT LVL RESTRICTIONS.

FLIGHTS UNDER EXTENDED DIVERSION TIME OPS RESTRICTIONS MAY EXP ALTN ATS RTE AT SUB OPTIMAL FLT LEVELS.
05 APR 14:15 2019 UNTIL 25 APR 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 05 APR 14:23 2019

Oman

A0286/19 (issued by OOMM)
DUE TO CLOSURE OF PAKISTAN AIRSPACE AND CONSEQUENT ANTICIPATED TFC CONGESTION ON ATS ROUTES L301,N571 AND P574, TFC ENTERING MUSCAT FIR FROM UAE FIR, JEDDAH FIR AND POINT ULDUN AND DESTINED TO THE FLW INDIAN AIRPORTS VOHS VOMM VOBL VOGO VOML VOCL VOCI VOTV VOCB VOKN VOTR AND VOMD SHOULD FLT PLAN VIA ATS ROUTS MENTIONED BELOW :
1-VOHS VIA TOTOX P574
2-VOBL/VOMM/VOGO VIA REXOD N563
3-VOCL/VOCI/VOTV/VOCB/VOKN/VOTR/VOMD VIA M300 LOTAV P570 KITAL N318 REXOD THEN N563.
4-VOML VIA N318 REXOD N563 OR M300 LOTAV.
FLIGHTS UNDER EXTENDED DIVERSION TIME OPS RESTRICTIONS (EDTO) MAY EXP ALTN ATS RTE AT SUB OPTIMAL FLT LEVELS.
H24, 21 APR 07:15 2019 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 21 APR 07:19 2019

A0269/19 (issued by OOMM)
DUE TO CLOSURE OF PAKISTAN AIRSPACE AND TO ANTICIPATE CONGESTION ON ATS ROUTES IN MUSCAT FIR, THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE IMPLEMENTED:
1. 30NM SEPARATION IS APPLIED BETWEEN ALL UAE DEPARTURES TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR TO TEHRAN OR MUMBAI FIRS OR PAKISTAN AIRSPACE.
2. 50NM SEPARATION IS APPLIED TO TFC AT SAME FLIGHT LEVEL ENTERING MUSCAT FIR AT MESPO.
3. ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR MAY EXPECT TACTICAL RE-ROUTING AND/OR ALLOCATION OF NON-ECONOMICAL FLIGHT LEVELS. AIRLINES ARE ADVISED TO CARRY APPROPRIATE CONTINGENCY FUEL.
FLOW CONTROL MAY BE ADJUSTED SUBJECT TO SITUATION AND DISCRETION OF MUSCAT ACC WATCH SUPERVISOR.
H24, 14 APR 08:45 2019 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 14 APR 08:29 2019

A0268/19 (issued by OOMM)
DUE TO CLOSURE OF PAKISTAN AIRSPACE AND TO ANTICIPATE CONGESTION ON ATS ROUTES IN MUSCAT FIR, THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE IMPLEMENTED:
1. ROUTE SEGMENT BETWEEN MUSRU AND KIPOL ON ATS ROUTE N881 IS CLOSED.
2. ROUTE SEGMENT BETWEEN RASKI AND KIPOL ON ATS ROUTE N881 IS UNI-DIRECTIONAL WESTBOUND ONLY.
3. ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR VIA MESPO SHALL EXIT VIA RASKI.
4. RASKI IS NOT AVBL FOR ALL EASTBOUND TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR FROM TONVO LALDO AND GOMTA.
5. PARAR IS NOT AVBL FOR TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR DESTINED TO AIRPORTS WITHIN WSJC, VTBB, WMFC AND WIIF FIRS.
6. DENDA IS NOT AVBL FOR ALL TFC TRANSITING MUSCAT FIR AND DEPARTING FROM NORTHERN UAE AIRPORTS. TFC SHALL FILE VIA A791.
7. FL300 ONLY AVBL FOR TFC ENTERING MUSCAT FIR FROM DENDA AND TAPDO.
8. FL300 IS NOT AVBL FOR ALL TFC ENTERING MUSCAT FIR VIA RASKI AND PARAR.
9. FROM 1700 T0 0300 UTC TRANSITING THROUGH MUSCAT FIR BETWEEN MUMBAI FIR AND PAKISTAN AIRSPACE IS NOT PERMITTED.
10. FROM 1700 T0 0300 UTC TRANSITING THROUGH MUSCAT FIR BETWEEN TEHRAN FIR AND PAKISTAN AIRSPACE IS NOT PERMITTED.
H24, 14 APR 08:45 2019 UNTIL 30 APR 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 14 APR 08:28 2019

Why?
On Feb 26, Pakistan shot down two Indian military jets and captured a pilot in a major escalation between the two countries over disputed Kashmir. This came a day after India launched air strikes on militant bases across the border in Pakistan, which itself was a response to a deadly attack on Feb 14 when a militant killed more than 40 Indian troops in Kashmir. The captured pilot has since been returned to India, but tensions remain heightened between the two countries in wake of airstrikes by each side in areas in the border region.

Airspace warning
The US FAA has since updated its airspace warning for Pakistan, which now notes that military activity by Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region poses a potential inadvertent risk to aviation at all altitudes. The US continues to warn against flying into or over Pakistan due to the risks posed by “extremist and militant activities”, although it does not recommend any specific minimum safe altitude for overflights; other countries advise FL250 or above, but we think FL300 is more sensible. More info

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