Mali

Risk Level: Two - Danger exists

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The Northern Mali conflict continues, and there has been no improvements in stability. It remains the deadliest place to serve in the UN. US, Germany, and the UK all have warnings in place, advising to operate FL250/260 or higher, and avoiding GATB, GAGO, and GAKL airports.

Senegal and Niger control the airspace over Mali, and they have long-standing Notams (published under the GOOO/Dakar and DRRR/Niamey FIRs) warning that you can only fly between FL320-400 through the entire airspace in Mali north of the GABS/Bamako TMA (click here to see a rough map of the area) due to military ops across the region.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
Germany Notam B0385/20 25 Mar 2020 25 Jun 2020
USA Notam A0019/20 26 Feb 2020 26 Feb 2021
USA US FAA Background Notice 26 Feb 2020 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 09 Jun 2017 Ongoing
Source: Germany
Reference: Notam B0385/20
Issued: 25-Mar-20, valid until: 25 Jun 2020
Plain English: Avoid GATB, GAGO, GAMB and GAKL airports. Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
B0385/20 (Issued for EDWW EDGG EDMM)
SECURITY MALI POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION FIR NIAMEY (DRRR)

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY ADVISES CIVIL GERMAN AIR OPERATORS NOT TO PLAN AND CONDUCT FLIGHTS WITHIN THE TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC OF MALI BELOW FL260 INCLUDING LANDING, TAXIING, PARKING AND TAKE OFF AT THE AIRPORTS TOMBOUCTOU (GATB), GAO (GAGO), MOPTI (DAMB) AND KIDAL (GAKL) DUE TO POTENTIAL RISK TO AVIATION FROM DEDICATED ANTI-AVIATION WEAPONRY AND POSSIBLE TERRORIST ATTACKS.

EMERGENCY SITUATION: IN AN EMERGENCY THAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE DECISION AND ACTION FOR THE SAFETY OF THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT IN COMMAND MAY DEVIATE FROM THIS NOTAM TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY THAT EMERGENCY.

25 MAR 23:59 2020 UNTIL 23 JUN 23:59 2020. CREATED: 23 MAR 11:08 2020
Source: USA
Reference: Notam A0019/20
Issued: 26-Feb-20, valid until: 26 Feb 2021
Plain English: Exercise caution if operating below FL260 in Mali's airspace. If you plan to, notify the FAA 3 days in advance.
A0019/20 (Issued for KICZ)
SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ADVISORY FOR MALI. THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A BELOW SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN FLYING INTO, OUT OF, WITHIN OR OVER THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF MALI AT ALTITUDES BELOW FL260 DUE TO ONGOING FIGHTING AND EXTREMIST/MILITANT ACTIVITY.

A. APPLICABILITY. THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO: ALL U.S. AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS; ALL PERSONS EXERCISING THE PRIVILEGES OF AN AIRMAN CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE FAA, EXCEPT SUCH PERSONS OPERATING U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT FOR A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER; AND ALL OPERATORS OF AIRCRAFT REGISTERED IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT WHERE THE OPERATOR OF SUCH AIRCRAFT IS A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER.

B. PLANNING. THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A PLANNING TO FLY INTO, OUT OF, WITHIN, OR OVER THE ABOVE-NAMED AREA AT ALTITUDES BELOW FL260 MUST REVIEW CURRENT SECURITY/THREAT INFORMATION AND NOTAMS; COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FAA REGULATIONS, OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS, MANAGEMENT SPECIFICATIONS, AND LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION, INCLUDING UPDATING B450; AND PROVIDE AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCE NOTICE OF PLANNED FLIGHTS TO THE FAA AT ASH-AXE-CITE-WATCH@FAA.GOV WITH SPECIFIC FLIGHT DETAILS TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT POSSIBLE.

C. OPERATIONS. EXERCISE CAUTION DURING FLIGHT OPERATIONS DUE TO THE POSSIBILITY OF ATTACKS ON CIVIL AVIATION BY EXTREMISTS/MILITANTS. AIRCRAFT MAY ENCOUNTER FIRE FROM SMALL ARMS; INDIRECT FIRE WEAPONS, SUCH AS MORTARS AND ROCKETS; AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT-CAPABLE WEAPONS, INCLUDING MAN-PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MANPADS). SUCH WEAPONS COULD TARGET AIRCRAFT AT LOW ALTITUDES, INCLUDING DURING THE ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE PHASES OF FLIGHT, AND/OR AIRPORTS AND AIRCRAFT ON THE GROUND.

THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A MUST REPORT SAFETY AND/OR SECURITY INCIDENTS TO THE FAA AT +1 202-267-3333. THE JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS ADVISORY WILL BE RE-EVALUATED BY 26 FEBRUARY 2021. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AT: HTTPS://WWW.FAA.GOV/AIR_TRAFFIC/PUBLICATIONS/US_RESTRICTIONS/.

SFC - 259, 26 FEB 12:00 2020 UNTIL 26 FEB 23:59 2021 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 26 FEB 12:00 2020
Source: USA
Issued: 26-Feb-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Exercise caution if operating below FL260 in Mali's airspace.
Due to the fragile security situation created by ongoing fighting between military forces and extremist/militant groups, the FAA assesses there is continuing risk to U.S. civil aviation flying into, out of, within or over the territory and airspace of Mali at altitudes below Flight Level (FL) 260. As a result, on 26 February 2020, the FAA published Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) KICZ A0019/20, advising U.S. civil aviation to exercise caution when flying into, out of, within or over the territory and airspace of Mali at altitudes below FL260.

International civil air routes transiting Mali’s airspace and aircraft operating to and from Malian airports, particularly in the area north of Mopti, are at risk from small arms; indirect fire weapons, such as mortars and rockets; and anti-aircraft-capable weapons, including man- portable air defense systems (MANPADS). Such weapons could target aircraft at low altitudes, including during the arrival and departure phases of flight, and/or airports and aircraft on the ground. Some extremist/militant groups in Mali are suspected of possessing or having access to MANPADS. Some MANPADS have the capability to reach a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet. Attacks against aircraft in flight and/or Malian airports may occur with little or no warning.

Extremists/militants primarily target United Nations (UN) and Malian forces; however, those forces are often based in close proximity to Malian airports. As a result, attacks against UN and Malian forces present an indirect threat to civil aviation and associated infrastructure at the airports. Extremist/militant groups have demonstrated their intent and capability to conduct both direct and indirect fire attacks, particularly in northern Mali, targeting airports and/or adjacent military camps. In late-January 2020, extremists/militants attacked an army camp in central Mali, resulting in over twenty casualties. The January attack follows several extremists/militants attacks in 2019 targeting UN and Malian armed forces. In November 2019, extremists/militants conducted a complex attack on an army post in northern Mali, resulting in over fifty casualties. Between late-September and early-October 2019, extremists/militants conducted coordinated attacks targeting UN and Malian forces. In April 2018, extremists/militants attacked UN peacekeepers at two bases near the airport in Timbuktu using both indirect fire weapons and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). Additionally, in mid-January 2017 and late-November 2016, extremists/militants conducted VBIED attacks against, or in close proximity to, Gao Airport (GAGO) and rocket attacks against Timbuktu Airport (GATB).

Southern Mali has been subjected to lower levels of violence. However, terrorism targeting U.S. or Western interests has occasionally occurred in Bamako. In November 2015, transnational terrorists affiliated with al-Qa’ida attacked the Radisson hotel in Bamako, resulting in the deaths of 20 people, including six crew members of a non-U.S. operator.

The FAA will continue to review the situation regarding threats to U.S. civil aviation operating in the territory and airspace of Mali and make adjustments to its advisory for U.S. civil aviation as necessary.
Source: UK
Issued: 09-Jun-17, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Risk to aircraft overflying Mali airspace below FL250.
Hazardous Situation in Mali

Potential risk to aviation overflying this area at less than 25,000 ft above ground level (agl) from dedicated anti-aviation weaponry.

Operators are strongly advised to take this potential risk into account in their risk assessments and routing decisions.