The US reimposed sanctions against Iran on Nov 5. Despite this, so far there has been no change to the FAA guidance to US operators issued on 9th September 2018: flights to Iran are not prohibited, but operators should “exercise caution” when flying in Iranian airspace.
However, with the reimposed sanctions comes a new problem if you’re a US operator: you’re allowed to overfly Iran, but you’re not allowed to pay for all the things needed to make that happen – things like overflight permits, and nav fees.
The rule is simple: no US person or business can pay for services in countries with sanctions against them (like Iran), unless that person or business has a licence to do so, issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
And you’re not allowed to get an agent to do it for you either; it’s illegal to skirt the OFAC laws by using a 3rd party company (unless, of course, they’ve been approved by OFAC).
So the big question we have now is this: if you’re planning to overfly Iran, have you figured out the legalities of paying for services? How are you making that work? Know someone who’s got an OFAC licence for Iran? Let us know!
And one other thing to watch out for – operators with US based insurers should double-check their policies, as you may now no longer be covered for flights to Iran, due to the new sanctions. This is worth checking, even if you’re only planning on overflying the Tehran FIR, as any unplanned landing (decompression, medical, engine fire) may force you into Tehran or another airport – it’s a big chunk of airspace.
The Iraqi CAA will ban all international flights to/from ORER/Erbil and ORSU/Sulaimaniyah starting from Friday 29th Sep.
From then on, those airports will only be open for Iraqi carriers and domestic ops.
Tensions around the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq are rising following a referendum on independence.
The Iraqi govt has demanded that the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) hand over control of its two international airports – ORER and ORSU. Until the KRG comply with this request, the international ban on flights to these airports is set to continue.
At the request of the Iraqi govt, Iran had already closed it’s airspace to ORER/ORSU traffic earlier this week, and Turkey was considering implementing the same ban.
The KRG are now deciding whether to give up control of their airports or lose their international flights. Should it be the latter, then from now on anyone attempting to travel to the region will have to transit via Baghdad.
We will update as more information becomes available.
Feb 1st, 2017 Traffic is getting far busier through the Turkey-Iran FIR boundary (Europe-Asia main flight route). ALRAM is the new “corner” for avoiding Iraq. Here’s updated flight planning guidance from Turkey for Jan-March 2017 – use these when planning your ATC route (refer LTAA A5716/16). We’ve translated the Notam a little for clarity, here’s the highlights:
1. SRT-ALRAM segment of UG8 – use FL330 or higher.
2. ULTED-ALRAM segment of UT36 – use FL330 or higher.
3. Going via UG8 or UT36, to leave Tehran FIR via ALRAM, at FL320 and below: Route EZS-UG81/UL124-VAN-BONAM-UMH. Check Iran AIP Sup 93/15 for more.
4. ALRAM-BAYIR segment UT888 minimum FL330. If entering LTAA/Ankara FIR via ALRAM lower than FL330, then route UMH-BONHAM-UI124/UG81-VAN-UI124-UG81-BAYIR.
5. VAN-BONAM segment of UG81 and UI124 can be used bidirectional below FL330.
6. ULTED-NINVA segment of UM688 – use FL330 or higher.
7. Entire R/UR21, SRT-KABAN segment of M/UM860, and ULSAB-KABAN segment of UT334 closed FL180-FL310.
8. UT332 – use FL330 or higher.
9. UT301 totally closed.
10. UT333 closed FL180-FL310 inclusive.
31AUG 2016 OIZZ/Iran has approved the use of its airbases by Russian fighter aircraft; Russia has notified intention to launch missiles in the direction of Syria from the Caspian Sea fleet. The Russian Air Force has deployed six Tu-23M3 BACKFIRE bomber aircraft and multiple Su-34 FULLBACK strike fighter jets to Hamedan Air Base (OIHS/NUJ). FSBIOBXX
17AUG 2016 On August 16, Russian TU-22 bombers based in Hamedan, Iran, attacked targets in the Syrian towns of Deir Ezzour, Aleppo and Idlib. These were the first Russian airstrikes carried out from bases in Iran.
07DEC2015 German Authorities published a new Notam last week warning of a risk to flight for aircraft operating in the vicinity of OITT/Tabriz, OITL/Ardabil, and OIGG/Rasht. DFS, the German ATC agency, recommends overflying this general region at FL260 or higher. A6875/15.
13OCT 2015 On 06 OCT 15 the Russian military launched 26 Kalibr-class cruise missiles from 4 ships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria. These missiles were routed through the airspace of Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria, causing concern as to the safety of international air traffic crossing the missiles trajectory. Full notice.
- Iran Conflict Zone/Overflight risk warnings at safeairspace.net