Iran

Risk Level: One - Do Not Fly

[ about risk levels ]
Following the shoot-down of Ukraine Int Airlines flight 752 over Tehran in Jan 2020, several countries issued airspace warnings for Iran, including: the UK, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, and France. The US and Ukraine are the only countries to have issued outright flight bans, but all the others advise against landing or overflying the country at the lower flight levels. The airspace adjoining the Tehran FIR is also at risk: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The primary risk is a misident by Iranian air defense systems. Iran has shown willingness to use long-range, advanced anti-aircraft-capable weapons during heightened tensions and in close proximity to heavily flown international air routes. There is also a potential for Iranian surface-to-surface missile fire from western Iran, targeting terrorist positions in Iraq. The secondary risks come from ballistic missile test launches with no warning by Notam, and GPS jamming (including in overwater airspace over the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman).

Major events:
Jan 2020: Iranian Armed Forces shot-down Ukraine Int Airlines flight 752 over Tehran, having mistaken the aircraft radar return for an inbound missile. Just hours prior to the shoot-down, the US FAA issued “Emergency Order” Notams banning all US operators from overflying the airspace of Iraq and Iran. This was in response to an Iranian missile strike on US military bases in Iraq, which had occurred earlier that night.
June 2019: Iran shot down a US military unmanned aircraft operating in airspace over the Gulf of Oman with a SAM system.
Since 2017: Iran has conducted multiple ballistic missile test launches without issuing any Notams to warn civil operators, the latest taking place in late December 2019.

Read: Iran Airspace Update, March 2020 (OPSGROUP article)

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
USA SFAR 117 29 Oct 2020 Ongoing
France AIC 18/21 09 Apr 2020 Ongoing
Ukraine Notam A3270/20 18 Mar 2020 15 Dec 2020
USA Notam KICZ A0016/20 17 Feb 2020 Ongoing
Germany AIC 08/22 30 Jan 2020 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 20 Jan 2020 Ongoing
Canada AIC 37/21 10 Jan 2020 Ongoing
Italy Notam LIXX A4578/2019 22 Jun 2019 19 Sep 2019
India DGCA Notice 22JUN19 22 Jun 2019 Ongoing
UAE Safety Decision 2019-04 21 Jun 2019 Ongoing
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR 117
Issued: 29-Oct-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: This gives a lot of background info and in-depth detail of the airspace risk in Iran, but it’s basically just a longer version of their old KICZ Notam A0002/20, and the rules haven’t changed - US operators are prohibited from overflying the OIIX/Tehran FIR.
This action prohibits certain flight operations in the Tehran Flight Information Region (FIR) (OIIX) by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier. The FAA finds this action to be necessary to address hazards to persons and aircraft engaged in such flight operations due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East, which present an inadvertent risk to U.S. civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification. This action incorporates the flight prohibition contained in Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) KICZ A0002/20 into the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). This action also sets forth the approval process and exemption information for this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR), consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs.
Source: France
Reference: AIC 18/21
Issued: 09-Apr-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should not overfly the western half of the country (everywhere west of 54 Degrees East longitude); overflights of the eastern half should be at or above FL320.
From 09/04/2020 and until further notice, pilots in command of aircraft performing air services mentioned in paragraph 1.1 are requested not to penetrate in the part of the TEHRAN FIR (OIIX) located west of the 54th meridian and to ensure that their aircraft maintain at all times a flight level above or equal to FL320 in the part of the TEHRAN FIR (OIIX) located east of the 54th meridian.
Source: Ukraine
Reference: Notam A3270/20
Issued: 18-Mar-20, valid until: 15 Dec 2020
Plain English: Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iran
A3270/20 (Issued for UKBV UKDV UKFV UKLV UKOV)

ACCORDING TO THE SAFETY DIRECTIVE OF THE STATE AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OF UKRAINE NUMBER 2020-02 DATED 18.03.2020 UKRAINIAN AIR OPERATORS ARE PROHIBITED TO PERFORM FLIGHTS WITHIN AIRSPACE OF ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN.

15 SEP 12:50 2020 UNTIL 14 DEC 23:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 15 SEP 12:50 2020
Source: USA
Issued: 17-Feb-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: US operators should exercise caution in the overwater airspace in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. Avoid the airways nearest to the OIIX/Tehran FIR whenever possible, to reduce the risk of miscalculation or misidentification by air defence systems.
A0016/20 (Issued for KICZ)
SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ADVISORY FOR OVERWATER AIRSPACE ABOVE THE PERSIAN GULF AND THE GULF OF OMAN.

THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A BELOW SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN OPERATING IN OVERWATER AIRSPACE ABOVE THE PERSIAN GULF AND THE GULF OF OMAN IN THE KUWAIT FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (FIR) (OKAC), JEDDAH FIR (OEJD) , BAHRAIN FIR (OBBB), EMIRATES FIR (OMAE), AND MUSCAT FIR (OOMM) DUE TO CONTINUED ELEVATED MILITARY POSTURING AND POLITICAL TENSIONS IN THE REGION.

NOTAM KICZ A0002/20, WHICH PROHIBITS U.S. CIVIL AVIATION OPERATIONS IN THE TEHRAN FIR (OIIX), REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

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 OPERATE IN THE ABOVE-NAMED AREA MUST REVIEW CURRENT SECURITY/THREAT INFORMATION AND NOTAMS AND COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FAA REGULATIONS, OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS, MANAGEMENT SPECIFICATIONS, AND LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION, INCLUDING UPDATING B450.

C. OPERATIONS. AVOID AIR ROUTES NEAREST TO THE TEHRAN FIR (OIIX) BOUNDARY, WHENEVER POSSIBLE, TO REDUCE THE RISK OF MISCALCULATION OR MISIDENTIFICATION BY AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS. ADDITIONALLY, AIRCRAFT OPERATING IN THE ABOVE-NAMED AREA MAY ENCOUNTER INADVERTENT GPS INTERFERENCE AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS JAMMING, WHICH COULD OCCUR WITH LITTLE OR NO WARNING.

THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A MUST REPORT SAFETY AND/OR SECURITY INCIDENTS TO THE FAA AT +1 202-267-3333. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AT: HTTPS://WWW.FAA.GOV/AIR_TRAFFIC/PUBLICATIONS/US_RESTRICTIONS/.

SFC - UNL, 17 FEB 19:54 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 17 FEB 20:00 2020
Source: Germany
Reference: AIC 08/22
Issued: 30-Jan-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Caution in the Tehran FIR due to risk posed by anti-aircraft weaponry.
Hazardous situation in Iran. Civil German air operators are advised to take potential risk into account in their risk assessment and routing decisions within FIR TEHRAN (OIIX) including landing, taxiing, parking and take off. Potential risk to aviation from anti-aviation weaponry.
Source: UK
Issued: 20-Jan-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: UK operators should not overfly the Tehran FIR below 25,000ft AGL
Hazardous Situation in Iran

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

Operators are advised to avoid operating at less than 25,000 FT above ground level (AGL) in the Tehran Flight Information Region.
Source: Canada
Reference: AIC 37/21
Issued: 10-Jan-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should not enter the airspace of Iran.
Level 2 (Recommendation)
As of January 10, 2020, and until further notice, Canadian Air Operators and owners of aircraft registered in Canada are advised not to enter the airspace of Iran (Tehran FIR (OIIX)), due to the potential risk from heightened military activity and dedicated anti-aviation weaponry in Iran.
Source: Italy
Issued: 22-Jun-19, valid until: 19 Sep 2019
Plain English: Unsafe situation in Persian Gulf
A4578/19 (Issued for LIBB LIMM LIRR)
AIRCRAFT OPERATORS WHEN PLANNING FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN, OVER THE PERSIAN GULF, THE GULF OF OMAN AND IRANIAN AIRSPACE/FIR THERAN (OIIX), SHALL TAKE INTO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION THE UNSAFE RISKY SITUATION POSED TO AIR OPERATIONS BY ONGOING IRANIAN POLITICAL TENSIONS AND UNANNOUNCED HIGH INTENSITY MILITARY ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED TO MISSILE LAUNCHES RMK: LATEST OPERATIONAL INFORMATION ON AIRSPACE CLOSURES AND WARNINGS ARE AVAILABLE THROUGH NETWORK MANAGER WEBSITE 'NOP PORTAL' (PROTECTED VERSION REQUIRED PASSWORD).
22 JUN 21:32 2019 UNTIL 19 SEP 23:59 2019 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 22 JUN 21:33 2019
Source: India
Issued: 22-Jun-19, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Indian aircraft operators required to avoid 'affected' part of Iranian airspace.
From DGCA India: All Indian operators in consultation with DGCA have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian Airspace to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably.
Source: UAE
Issued: 21-Jun-19, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Risk to UAE Operators over Gulf, required to conduct risk assessment for overwater area of Tehran FIR.
Due to recent heightened military activities and increased tensions above certain areas of the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The UAE GCAA have been closely monitoring and assessing the situation in the regions to determine possible impact on the safe Air Operation. And since there may be an unintentional risk to UAE Operators operating in specific areas over the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman in Tehran FIR, this Safety Decision was issued for the interest of safety of Civil Aviation.



REQUIREMENTS: With immediate effect, All UAE Air Operators are required to conduct risk assessments in accordance with their GCAA approved procedures on the operation in the overwater area of Tehran (OIIX) Flight Information Region over the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The risk assessments shall take in to account the available information concerning the operation in to the subject areas and the dynamic nature of the situation to determine the necessary measures and mitigations which must be taken Into consideration prior to and during operating in the areas referenced in this Safety Decision.



All UAE Air Operators shall continuously monitor and assess the situation and shall immediately report to GCAA any anomalies or unsafe conditions related to this Safety Decision. The UAE GCAA will keep monitoring the situation and issue further instruction if required.