On Nov 15, authorities in Venezuela issued a Notam immediately suspending all GA/BA flights from operating to airports in the country. The ban was due to remain in place until 2359z on Nov 20, but got cancelled on Nov 18.

Here was the Notam, issued by the SVZM/Maiquetia FIR:

A0842/19 – GENERAL AND PRIVATE AVIATION OPS INCLUDING REMOTELY PILOTED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM (RPAS) ARE SUSPENDED. OVERFLIGHTS CROSSING SVZM / FIR ARE ALLOWED. 15 NOV 10:00 2019 UNTIL 20 NOV 23:59 2019. CREATED: 15 NOV 04:01 2019

The last time the Venezuelan government issued a ban like this was back in Feb 2019, which seemed to be related to wider attempts by the government to limit the travel of opposition politicians. This latest ban probably had similar motivations – with Venezuela’s President Maduro calling for government supporters to march and rally across the country on Nov 16 to counter protests called for by oppposition leader Juan Guaidó in Caracas on the same date.

U.S. operators have been prohibited from operating to Venezuelan airports — and from overflying the country below FL260 — ever since 1st May 2019 when the US FAA issued a “Do Not Fly” instruction. Two weeks after that, the U.S. ordered the suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the U.S. and Venezuela, and this applies to both U.S. and foreign registered carriers.

Our advice remains the same: you don’t want to go to Venezuela at the moment. The official advice of both the US and Canada couldn’t be clearer, they both say the same thing: do not travel to Venezuela due to risks posed by the ongoing unstable political and economic situations and the significant levels of violent crime.

For overflights, here’s what we suggest…

To the WEST
– via Colombia (SKED/Bogota FIR) – permit required for all overflights.
Note: watch out if planning a flight through the TNCF/Curacao FIR – although a permit to overfly is not required here, you will need to prepay for navigation fees in advance. More on that here.

To the EAST
– via Guyana (SYGC/Georgetown FIR) – permit not required
– via Suriname (SMPM/Paramaribio FIR) – permit required
– via French Guyana (SOOO/Rochambeau FIR) – permit required unless operating a GA aircraft under 12.5k lbs.

If you need a tech stop and previously used/considered SVMI, then look at alternatives like TNCC, TTPP, SBEG, SMJP. Use OpsGroup’s GoCrow planning map to figure your best alternate options:

David Mumford

David Mumford

Opsgroup team member. International flight ops news hound.

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