Iraq

Risk Level: One - Do Not Fly

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There was an Iranian missile strike on US military bases in Iraq on Jan 8, quickly followed by the shooting down of Ukraine Int Airlines flight 752 in Tehran by the Iranian Armed Forces, having mistaken the aircraft radar return for an inbound missile to Tehran.

In the days following these events, many countries issued warnings to avoid the airspace of Iran and Iraq. We now classify both these countries as Level 1 - Do Not Fly airspace. Tehran and Baghdad FIRs are off limits. Operating to airports in either Iraq or Iran is equally unadvisable.

The US and the Ukraine have since prohibited operators from those countries from overflying the airspace of Iraq. The UK, Canada and France have issued warnings not to enter the airspace. There’s a Notam published by Germany on Jan 6 advising operators not to overfly Iraq below FL260, showing new airways of concern in the north-east of the country, and adding a warning for ORBI/Baghdad.

Most airlines other than Middle Eastern carriers have now stopped overflying Iraq entirely. Traffic that normally operates through the Baghdad FIR now needs another route. The predominant choice for east-west flights into the Dubai area is a southerly routing via Saudi Arabia and Egypt. There are warnings for both of these airspaces as well. Northerly reroutes for Europe-Asia flights are predominantly using a Turkey-Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan routing.

The aviation security picture in the Middle East, already fragile and unstable, is now unpredictable. For many operators, you may be starting to use routes that are unfamiliar and not before flown. Take the time to ensure your crews have the full package of charts, are aware of the risks in each FIR, are aware of the potential for GPS outages enroute (especially in the Turkish FIR), and have considered drift down over mountainous areas on the northerly routes.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
UK Notam V0004/20 17 Jan 2020 17 Apr 2020
France Notam F0050/20 14 Jan 2020 22 Jan 2020
Ukraine Notam A0068/20 14 Jan 2020 09 Apr 2020
Canada Notam H0044/20 10 Jan 2020 Ongoing
Iraq Notam A0018/20 08 Jan 2020 15 Jan 2020
USA Notam KICZ A0001/20 07 Jan 2020 09 Jan 2020
Germany Notam B0007/20 06 Jan 2020 05 Apr 2020
France AIC 03/19 24 Jan 2019 Ongoing
USA SFAR SFAR 77 26 Oct 2018 26 Oct 2020
South Africa Notam A2919/18 29 Jul 2018 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 05 Dec 2017 Ongoing
Source: UK
Reference: Notam V0004/20
Issued: 17-Jan-20, valid until: 17 Apr 2020
Plain English: UK operators should not overfly the Baghdad FIR, except on airways UL602 to ALPET, UM860 and UM688, when operating above 25,000ft AGL.
V0004/20 (Issued for EGTT EGPX EGGX)

AIRSPACE SECURITY WARNING ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT IN RESPONSE TO THE HAZARDOUS SITUATION IN IRAQ. POTENTIAL RISK FROM DEDICATED ANTI-AVIATION WEAPONRY IN IRAQ. OPERATORS ARE ADVISED NOT TO ENTER THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF IRAQ (INCLUDING THE BAGHDAD FIR) WITH THE EXCEPTION OF AIRWAYS UL602 (TO ALPET), UM860 AND UM688 WHEN OPERATING ABOVE 25000FT AGL. FOR INFORMATION CONTACT UK DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT +44 (0)207 944 6322 OR +44 (0)207 944 5999 OUT OF HOURS. 2020-01-0122/AS5.

SFC - UNL, 17 JAN 21:51 2020 UNTIL 17 APR 17:00 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 17 JAN 21:55 2020
Source: France
Reference: Notam F0050/20
Issued: 14-Jan-20, valid until: 22 Jan 2020
Plain English: French operators should not overfly Iraq
F0050/20
(Issued for LFBB LFEE LFFF LFMM LFRR) - FRENCH AIR CARRIERS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO AUTHORIZE THEIR AIRCRAFT TO PENETRATE INTO THE AIRSPACE OF IRAQ (FIR ORBB (BAGHDAD) ) AND IRAN (FIR OIIX (TEHERAN).

SFC - UNL, 14 JAN 14:05 2020 UNTIL 22 JAN 23:59 2020. CREATED: 14 JAN 14:06 2020
Source: Ukraine
Reference: Notam A0068/20
Issued: 14-Jan-20, valid until: 09 Apr 2020
Plain English: Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iraq
A0068/20
(Issued for UKBV UKDV UKFV UKLV UKOV)

ACCORDING TO THE SAFETY DIRECTIVE OF THE STATE AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OF UKRAINE NUMBER 2020-01 DATED 08.01.2020 UKRAINIAN AIR OPERATORS ARE PROHIBITED TO PERFORM FLIGHTS WITHIN AIRSPACE OF ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN AND REPUBLIC OF IRAQ.

14 JAN 09:00 2020 UNTIL 09 APR 23:59 2020 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 14 JAN 09:03 2020
Source: Canada
Reference: Notam H0044/20
Issued: 10-Jan-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Canadian operators advised not to enter the airspace of Iraq
CZQX/GANDER H0044/20 10JAN 1748Z

- AIRSPACE SECURITY WARNING ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT
IN RESPONSE TO THE VOLATILE SECURITY SITUATION IN IRAQ. POTENTIAL
RISK FROM HEIGHTENED MILITARY ACTIVITY AND DEDICATED
ANTI-AVIATION WEAPONRY IN IRAQ. AIR OPERATORS ARE ADVISED NOT TO
ENTER THE AIRSPACE OF IRAQ, INCLUDING THE BAGHDAD FIR (ORBB. 10 JAN 17:48 2020
UNTIL PERM.
Source: Iraq
Reference: Notam A0018/20
Issued: 08-Jan-20, valid until: 15 Jan 2020
Plain English: Iraq issues warning to operators that Iran fired missiles into the ORBB/Baghdad FIR, altitude and trajectory unknown.
ORBB A0018/20

ACCORDING TO MEDIA INFORMATION MISSILES WERE REPORTED BEING LAUNCHED FROM OIIX INTO ORBB. ALTITUDE AND TRAJECTORY UNKNOWN. AIRLINES ARE ADVISED TO EXERCISE CAUTION.

08 JAN 14:35 2020 UNTIL 15 JAN 23:59 2020. CREATED: 08 JAN 14:34 2020
Source: USA
Issued: 07-Jan-20, valid until: 09 Jan 2020
Plain English: US operators are prohibited from overflying Iraq
KICZ A0001/20

SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE BAGHDAD FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (FIR) (ORBB).

THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A (APPLICABLITY) BELOW ARE PROHIBITED FROM OPERATING IN THE BAGHDAD FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (FIR) (ORBB) 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 MIS-IDENTIFICATION.

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. PERMITTED OPERATIONS. THIS NOTAM DOES NOT PROHIBIT PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A (APPLICABILITY) FROM CONDUCTING FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE BAGHDAD FIR (ORBB) WHEN SUCH OPERATIONS ARE AUTHORIZED EITHER BY ANOTHER AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE FAA OR BY A DEVIATION, EXEMPTION, OR OTHER AUTHORIZATION ISSUED BY THE FAA ADMINISTRATOR. OPERATORS MUST CALL THE FAA WASHINGTON OPERATIONS CENTER AT 202-267-3333 TO INITIATE COORDINATION FOR FAA AUTHORIZATION TO CONDUCT OPERATIONS.

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

THIS NOTAM IS AN EMERGENCY ORDER ISSUED UNDER 49 USC 40113(A), 44701(A)(5), AND 46105(C).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AT: HTTPS://WWW.FAA.GOV/AIR_TRAFFIC/PUBLICATIONS/US_RESTRICTIONS/.

SFC – UNL, 07 JAN 23:45 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 07 JAN 23:49 2020
Source: Germany
Reference: Notam B0007/20
Issued: 06-Jan-20, valid until: 05 Apr 2020
Plain English: New warning with airways of concern below FL260, and Baghdad Airport
(NOTAMR B0002/20) - SECURITY IRAQ POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION FIR BAGHDAD (ORBB)

POTENTIAL RISK TO AVIATION WITHIN FIR BAGHDAD (ORBB) BELOW FL260 IN
THE FOLLOWING AREA:

AIRWAY UM860 BETWEEN NAMDI AND NINVA,
AIRWAY UM688 BETWEEN RATVO AND SOBIL,
AIRWAY L718 BETWEEN TAGRU AND KABAN,
AIRWAY L417 BETWEEN MUTAG AND VUSEB,
AIRWAY M434 BETWEEN UMESA AND BOXIX,
AIRWAY R652 BETWEEN MUTAG AND DAVAS
AND BAGHDAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (ORBI)

DUE TO ONGOING MILITARY OPERATIONS. CIVIL GERMAN AIR OPERATORS ARE ADVISED TO TAKE POTENTIAL RISK INTO ACCOUNT IN THEIR RISK ASSESSMENTS AND ROUTEING DECISIONS.

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.

06 JAN 17:08 2020 UNTIL 05 APR 23:59 2020.
Source: France
Reference: AIC 03/19
Issued: 24-Jan-19, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Overflights should only be on airways UM860 and UM688, and UL602 between TASMI and ALPET. Fly at or above FL320.
From 08/02/2018 and until further notice, French carriers are requested not to authorize their aircraft to penetrate into the airspace of Iraq (ORBB FIR (BAGHDAD)), except for routes UM860, UM688 and UL602 (between TASMI and ALPET) on which French air carriers are requested to maintain at all times a flight level above or equal to FL320.
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR SFAR 77
Issued: 26-Oct-18, valid until: 26 Oct 2020
Plain English: US Operators can overfly Iraq, but at FL260 or above.
The FAA continues to assess the situation in the Baghdad FIR (ORBB) as being hazardous for U.S. civil aviation at altitudes below FL 260, subject to the limited exceptions described in this final rule. The risk to U.S. civil aviation originates from the potential for fighting in certain areas of northern and western Iraq between the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS), other extremist/militant elements, Iraqi security forces and other elements. ISIS and other extremist/militant elements are known to possess a variety of anti-aircraft-capable weapons, including man-portable air defense systems, and have fired on military aircraft during combat operations in Iraq. This presents a continued risk of anti-aircraft fire to civil aircraft, particularly in areas where fighting may occur. There is also a risk of potential hostile activity by ISIS elements or other anti-U.S. militants/extremists elsewhere in Iraq.
Source: South Africa
Reference: Notam A2919/18
Issued: 29-Jul-18, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Overflights should be above FL300
A2919/18 (Issued for FAJA FAJO FACA)
FLT TO AND FM IRAQ POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION - IRAQ AIRSPACE.
DUE TO THE POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION CREATED BY THE ARMED CONFLICT IN IRAQ. ALL FLT OPS IN THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF IRAQ AT OR BLW FL300 BY THE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A, ARE STRONGLY ADZ UFN.
(1) OVERFLIGHTS OF IRAQ ABOVE FL200 BUT AT OR BLW FL300
(2) OPS AT OR BLW FL300 BY FLT DEP FM THE COUNTRIES ADJ TO IRAQ WHOSE CLIMB PER WILL NOT PERMIT OPS ABV FL300 PRIOR TO ENTERING IRAQI AIRSPACE
(3) FLT ORIGINATING FM OR DESTINED TO AREAS OUTSIDE OF IRAQ TO OR FM ERBIL INTL AP (ORER) OR SULAYMANIYAH INT AP (ORSU) WI THE TERRITORY OF IRAQ NORTH OF 34DEG 30MIN NORTH LAT.
APPLICABILITY: THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO ALL SOUTH AFRICAN AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPR, ALL OPR/PERSONS EXER THE PRIVILEGES OF AN AOC ISSUED BY THE SACAA (SOUTH AFRICAN CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY), EXC SUCH OPR/PERSONS OPR SOUTH AFRICAN REGISTERED ACFT FOR A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER. THIS ADVISORY ON OPS IN THE AIRSPACE SPECIFIED IN THIS NOTAM AND THE ASSOCIATED JUSTIFICATION WILL BE RE-EVALUATED AS THE SITUATION REQUIRES.
29 JUL 06:12 2018 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 29 JUL 06:12 2018
Source: UK
Issued: 05-Dec-17, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Overflights should only be on airways UL602 to ALPET, UM860 and UM688, and should be above FL250.
Hazardous Situation in Iraq

Potential risk from dedicated anti-aviation weaponry in Iraq. Operators are advised not to enter the territory and airspace of Iraq (including the Baghdad FIR) with the exception of routing on Airways UL602 to ALPET, UM860 and UM688 when operating above 25,000 ft above ground level (agl).

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