Libya

Risk Level: One - Do Not Fly

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Libya is an active Conflict Zone. A civil war is ongoing since 2014. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. Libyan airspace (HLLL/Tripoli FIR) should be avoided entirely. Total flight ban for US, UK, Canadian and French operators.

The primary risk is a misident by Libyan air defense systems, or by militia who have threatened to shoot down aircraft operating in western Libya, including HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga airport. Risk remains high across Libya at all flight levels, and avoidance of all airspace and airports is strongly recommended. The secondary risk is that reliable ATC services cannot be guaranteed. The past few years have seen regular ATS and radar outages across the HLLL FIR airspace, and severe limitations in VHF capability, with operators having to communicate with Malta ATC for guidance.

Major events: Jan 2020: Multiple airstrikes targeting HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga airport. Videos on social media showing planes landing at the airport as shells are falling in the background. Nov 2019: Militia advancing on the capital, Tripoli, declared a no-fly-zone around the city, threatening to shoot-down civil aircraft attempting to fly to HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga airport. Oct 2019: The US issued an emergency order prohibiting US operators from overflying the HLLL/Tripoli FIR except for altitudes at or above FL300 “outside of Libyan territorial airspace” - which is basically the international airspace over the southern Mediterranean Sea that is managed by Libya.

Read: Libya Airspace Update, Oct 2019 (OPSGROUP article)

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
Germany Notam EDWW B0410/21 16 Apr 2021 21 May 2021
France AIC 02/21 11 Feb 2021 Ongoing
USA SFAR 112 27 Jul 2020 20 Mar 2023
Canada AIC 07/21 18 Feb 2020 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 12 Jun 2015 Ongoing
Source: Germany
Issued: 16-Apr-21, valid until: 21 May 2021
Plain English: Operators should avoid Libyan airspace. (Their previous warning, issued on 09 Apr 2019 and contained in AIC 07/21, completely prohibited German operators from entering Libyan airspace).
SECURITY LIBYA POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION FIR TRIPOLI (HLLL).
CIVIL GERMAN AIR OPERATORS ARE ADVISED NOT TO PLAN AND CONDUCT FLIGHTS WITHIN FIR TRIPOLI (HLLL). POTENTIAL RISK TO AVIATION FROM MISSILES, UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE ATTACKS, ANTI-AVIATION WEAPONRY AND ONGOING MILITARY OPERATIONS.
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.
19 APR 00:00 2021 UNTIL 20 MAY 23:59 2021. CREATED: 16 APR 09:53 2021
Source: France
Reference: AIC 02/21
Issued: 11-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
From 09/04/2020 and until further notice, French air carriers and aircraft owners registered in France are requested not to authorize their aircraft to penetrate into the airspace of Libya (HLLL FIR (TRIPOLI)).
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR 112
Issued: 27-Jul-20, valid until: 20 Mar 2023
Plain English: US operators are prohibited from overflying the HLLL/Tripoli FIR except for altitudes at or above FL300 “outside of Libyan territorial airspace” - which is basically the international airspace over the southern Mediterranean Sea that is managed by Libya.
This action amends, with modifications to reflect changed conditions in Libya and the associated risks to U.S. civil aviation safety, the prohibition against certain U.S. civil flight operations in the Tripoli FIR (HLLL) 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.

Specifically, this amendment prohibits all persons described in paragraph (a) of SFAR No. 112, § 91.1603 of title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), from conducting flight operations in the territory and airspace of Libya at all altitudes due to the geographic expansion and escalation of the ongoing conflict between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Tobruk-based Libyan National Army (LNA) for control over Libya's government, territory, and resources.

This amendment incorporates the flight prohibition contained in NOTAM KICZ A0026/19, issued on October 23, 2019, into SFAR No. 112, § 91.1603. This amendment also continues the prohibition against all flights by U.S. civil operators and airmen at altitudes below FL300 in those portions of the Tripoli FIR (HLLL) outside the territory and airspace of Libya.

Cumulatively, the result is that U.S. civil operators and airmen may only operate in the Tripoli FIR (HLLL) if they remain outside the territory and airspace of Libya and at altitudes at or above FL300, unless they have received an exemption or approval from the FAA. Consequently, U.S. operators continue to have the option of using several airways connecting western Africa with the Middle East, provided that they operate at altitudes at or above FL300 while they are in the Tripoli FIR (HLLL).

This action also extends the expiration date of this SFAR from March 20, 2021, to March 20, 2023. The FAA also republishes the approval process and exemption information for this SFAR, consistent with other recently published flight prohibition SFARs, and makes minor administrative revisions.
Source: Canada
Reference: AIC 07/21
Issued: 18-Feb-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should not enter the airspace of Libya.
Level 2 (Recommendation)
As of February 18, 2020, and until further notice, Canadian Air Operators and owners of aircraft registered in Canada are advised not to enter the airspace of Libya (Tripoli FIR (HLLL)), due to the hazardous situation created by the expanding conflict in Libya.
Source: UK
Issued: 12-Jun-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
Hazardous Situation in Libya

Potential risk to aviation overflying from dedicated anti-aviation weaponry. In accordance with Direction under the Aviation Security Act 1982, UK registered operators so served shall not enter the territory and airspace (including Tripoli FIR) of the State of Libya.

UK operators not currently subject to direction under the Aviation Security Act should contact UK Department for Transport (DfT) before operating in this area.