14 Jun 2024 World Airspace Risk Summary Print

Risk Summary
14 Jun 2024

ISSUED BY OPSGROUP
SITA HNLFSXH AKLFSXH
AFTN KMCOXAAL

Danger

In assessing risk to flight over each countries borders, two scenarios are predominant for civil flight:
1. Risk of shootdown, inadvertent or intentional.
2. Aircraft emergency requiring a landing.

Both these elements are taken into consideration in determining a classification. The highest level of risk here is “Moderate”, on the basis that calling it “high” or “severe” would exaggerate the actual level or risk in landing or overflying the territories concerned.

Classification

Three levels of airspace risk are used in our assessment.
LEVEL 1. Moderate risk - No Fly
LEVEL 2. Assessed risk
LEVEL 3. Caution

A current overflight risk map is maintained at safeairspace.net. We encourage operators to report any new information to report@safeairspace.net.

Guidance

This document is intended to provide operator guidance in determining whether to avoid specific airspaces. Exclusion from this advice, naturally, does not mean that other airspace is risk free.

Information Sources

The countries that issue the most relevant updates for unsafe airspace are:

  • US (FAA) – through Notams and SFARs
  • UK (DFT) – AIP
  • Germany (BMVI) – Notam
  • France (DGAC) - AIC

Operators should note that in general, the Civil Aviation Authorities of the countries whose airspace is determined to be unsafe are unlikely to issue reliable guidance. Read more at safeairspace.net.

LEVEL 1: Moderate Risk - No Fly

For these countries, the basis for inclusion is the highly unstable current events on the ground, and in all cases the ground factions having access to MANPADS or SAMS. We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. All countries have multiple warnings, and your country of registry is likely to have issued specific instructions not to penetrate these airspaces

Iran
Israel completed an aerial attack on Iran during the night of Apr 19. Iran temporarily closed the western part of the FIR.

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, Canada, Germany, and France. The US has issued an outright flight ban, 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. More info: Iran Airspace Update, Nov 2021 (OPSGROUP article)

The secondary risks come from ballistic missile test launches with no warning by Notam, GPS jamming (including in overwater airspace over the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman), and GPS spoofing. In Sep 2023, OPSGROUP received several reports of enroute aircraft being targeted with fake GPS signals, leading to complete nav failures. This type of GPS spoofing has not been seen before – IRS is quickly “infected” by false position. Suggested Guidance and Procedures, and original crew reports, in Briefing PDF here: Iraq GPS Spoofing, Sep 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

Major events:
Apr 2024: Israel aerial attack on Iran during the night of Apr 19. Iran temporarily closed the western part of the FIR.
Feb 2024: Report of GPS spoofing on airway M701 from ENEDA to NAGRO - the closest airway to Iraqi airspace. One GPS showed no position and the remaining GPS and all 3 IRS showed radically different positions.
Jan 2024: Pakistan launched retaliatory air strikes into southeastern Iran, after Iran carried out strikes in Pakistan the previous day.
Sep 2023: Several reports of GPS spoofing in northern Iraq, plus some in northern Iran.
Jul 2023: Four countries took Iran to the UN court over the the shootdown of UIA flight 752 over Tehran in Jan 2020. Part of their allegations were that Iran has still not provided sufficient evidence that measures are now in place to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.
Jan 2023: Lufthansa temporarily suspended all flights to Iran as a precaution, after an Israeli drone attack on a munitions factory located near the central city of Isfahan.
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 Dec 2019.
17May24 Germany Notam EDWW B0439/24 German operators should not to enter the airspace of Iran due to potential risk from escalating conflict and anti-aviation weaponry.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should maintain FL320 or above in the OIIX/Tehran FIR.
20Sep22 USA SFAR 117 US operators are prohibited from overflying the OIIX/Tehran FIR due to the risk of misidentification, and unannounced military activities in the region.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French 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.
17Feb20 USA Notam KICZ A0016/20 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.
30Jan20 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators in the OIIX/Tehran FIR due to risk posed by anti-aircraft weaponry.
20Jan20 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not overfly the OIIX/Tehran FIR below 25,000ft AGL, due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry.
10Jan20 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the OIIX/Tehran FIR, due to the potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military operations.
Yemen
Yemen remains an active conflict zone, and the vast majority of Yemeni airspace (OYSC/Sanaa FIR) should be avoided. The US, UK, France and Germany all prohibit aircraft from overflying any land portion of the FIR. US operators can still use UT702 and M999, while UK and German operators can use over water portions of Yemeni airspace. Saudi airspace to the north and Somali airspace to the South also have risks.

The primary risk is intentional targeting by terrorist groups with access to sophisticated anti-aircraft weaponry. Civil aircraft may also be at danger from on-going high intensity military operations including the use of explosive drones and missiles. Saudi-led airstrikes can occur at any time with little regard to civil traffic, including in the capital Sana’a.
 
Major events:
Jan 2024: US and UK carried out airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen including targets near the capital, Sanaa. This is in response to recent missile and drone attacks in the Red Sea.
Sep 2023: Houthi drone attacks near the Yemen-Saudi border.
Apr-Oct 2022: All parties in the Yemeni conflict agree a ceasefire.
2018-2022: Frequent Saudi airstrikes on Sanaa and other targets in Yemen in retaliation for Houthi drone attacks across the border.
2017: OYSN/Sanaa Airport badly damaged by coalition airstrikes.

Read: Saudi-Yemen Airspace Update, Oct 2020 (OPSGROUP article)

10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the OYSC/Sanaa FIR below FL320.
17Mar22 USA FAA Information Note Saudi Arabia/Yemen There is a potential risk to ops at Saudi airports and for overflights of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR due to Houthi drone and missile attacks from Yemen and the associated defensive operations.
04Nov21 France AIC 17/23 French operators should avoid Yemeni airspace, except at or above FL320 in the oceanic airspace in the east of the OYSC/Sanaa FIR (airway B400 and east of).
09Feb21 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the OYSC/Sanaa FIR, including the oceanic part up to airway UT702, due to the potential risks from anti-aviation weaponry and military operations
11Dec19 USA SFAR 115 US operators are prohibited from overflying the OYSC/Sanaa FIR north of a line KAPET-NODMA-IMPAG-TIMAD-PARIM-RIBOK (i.e. the landmass). The US FAA specifically mentions UT702 and M999 offshore routes as being ok to use.
08Sep15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should avoid the OYSC/Sanaa FIR except airways N315, UL425 and R401, due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry.
19Jun15 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators are prohibited from operating on airways over the Yemen landmass within the OYSC/Sanaa FIR.
Syria
Syria is an active Conflict Zone. A civil war is ongoing since 2011. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. Syrian airspace (OSTT/Damascus FIR) should be avoided entirely. Airspace adjoining the Damascus FIR is also at risk: Cyprus, Turkey, Israel. Total flight ban for US, UK and German operators, and several other countries have issued warnings to avoid the airspace of Syria.

The primary risk is a misident by Syrian air defense systems. Civil aircraft may be targeted in error, or caught in crossfire during ongoing air attacks involving Israel, Russia, Iran. Missiles may erroneously lock on to civil aircraft. Israeli airstrikes on Syria are regular, and do not show any regard for civil traffic. There is a risk to civil aircraft operating on overwater airways east of Cyprus.

Major events:
Oct 2023: OSDI/Damascus and OSAP/Aleppo airports were targeted again by airstrikes. OSDI closed temporarily due to runway damage.
Feb 2020: An A320 enroute OSDI/Damascus caught in crossfire during attack by 4 Israeli F-16’s, forced to divert to Russian controlled air base.
Sep 2018: Russian IL-20 shot down in error on FIR boundary with Cyprus (Nicosia FIR) - airline flights on UL620 within 50nm of this position.

Read: OpsGroup Note -Syria, Sep 2018 (PDF)
27Dec23 USA SFAR 114 US operators are prohibited from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
23Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Syria/Israel An errant surface-to-air missile fired by Syrian air defences missed its target and landed in Israel on 22 Apr 2021. Syria is actively using long range anti-aircraft weaponry which poses a risk to civil aircraft in the region. While US operators are banned from the OSTT/Damascus FIR, the FAA warns the threat is extended to adjacent FIRs in the Eastern Mediterranean region including the LLLL/Tel Aviv, OJAC/Amman, OLBB/Beirut and LCCC/Nicosia FIRs. Use caution if operating in the area. 
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French operators should avoid Syrian airspace.
09Feb20 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the airspace of Syria, due to the potential risk from anti- aviation weaponry and military operations. There is a potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
22Oct18 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators advised of potential risk within 200nm of the OSTT/Damascus FIR due to anti-aviation weaponry.
14Apr18 USA Notam KICZ A0009/18 Exercise caution within 200nm of the Damascus FIR due to military activity. Possibility of GPS Interference, Communication jamming, and long-range surface to air missiles in the area.
15Oct15 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators are prohibited from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators must avoid the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
Iraq
Iraq is an active conflict zone. Local and foreign military continue to fight against an armed insurgency that has existed since 2017. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. Iraqi airspace (ORBB/Baghdad FIR) should be avoided entirely.

Several countries have issued airspace warnings advising against operating in Iraqi airspace at the lower flight levels. The airspace adjoining the Baghdad FIR is also at risk: Iran, Turkey, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
 
The primary risk is intentional targeting by terrorist organisations who possess portable anti-aircraft weaponry. Civil aircraft may also be misidentified by the air defence systems of both local and foreign military who are active in the country. Drone attacks from Turkey and Iran are common in northern Iraq, which could place civil aircraft at risk - especially at ORSU and ORER airports. Airspace warnings issued by foreign aviation authorities allow for overflights at the higher flight levels (and eastern airways UM860 and UM688 are heavily flown international air routes), but there is a clear risk to civil aircraft operating throughout the FIR at all levels. More info: Iraq Airspace Risk For Overflights, Sep 2022 (OPSGROUP article)

The secondary risk is from GPS spoofing. In Sep 2023, OPSGROUP received several reports of enroute aircraft being targeted with fake GPS signals, leading to complete nav failures. This type of GPS spoofing has not been seen before – IRS is quickly “infected” by false position. Suggested Guidance and Procedures, and original crew reports, in Briefing PDF here: Iraq GPS Spoofing, Sep 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

Major events:
Sep 2023: Several reports of GPS spoofing in northern Iraq.
Apr 2023 - present: Several instances of drone and missile attacks in northern Iraq, launched from Turkey and Iran. ORSU and ORER airports targeted several times. Turkey has closed its airspace to any flight operating to or from ORSU over security concerns.
Oct 2021: US operators can now overfly the ORBB/Baghdad FIR above FL320. KICZ Notam A0036/20 which banned flights at all levels has been cancelled, and the SFAR now applies.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should maintain FL320 or above in the ORBB/Baghdad FIR due to the risk from anti-aircraft weaponry.
05May23 Iraq Notam ORBB A0398/23 Iraq is warning operators to expect GPS jamming on approach to ORER/Erbil Airport, as well as for overflights heading southbound in the northern part of Iraq along airway UM688 from RATVO to VAXEN.
06Oct22 USA FAA Information Note Iraq Ongoing political turmoil, militant activities, and military operations in Iraq poses an elevated risk to aviation and airspace safety. In recent months, militants have fired rockets in Baghdad’s Green Zone, causing flight disruptions at nearby ORBI/Baghdad airport; Iran continues to target northern Iraq with missile and drone attacks; and Turkey has been launching attacks along Iraq’s northern border.
20Sep22 USA SFAR 77 US operators are prohibited from overflying the ORBB/Baghdad FIR below FL320 due to risks posed by military activity, and terrorist attacks against airports.
12Sep22 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not overfly the ORBB/Baghdad FIR below FL320, due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry.
02Sep22 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not overfly the ORBB/Baghdad FIR below FL280.
28Apr22 France AIC 17/23 French operators overflying the ORBB/Baghdad FIR should only be on airways UM860 or UL602/L718 northbound or UM688 southbound, at or above FL320.
18Nov21 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not overfly the ORBB/Baghdad FIR below FL320, due to the potential risk from anti- aviation weaponry and military operations.
22Oct21 USA FAA Information Note Iraq US operators can now overfly the ORBB/Baghdad FIR above FL320. KICZ Notam A0036/20 which banned flights at all levels has been cancelled, and the SFAR now applies.
15Jun21 USA FAA Information Note Iraq ORBI/Baghdad airport was targeted by weaponized drones on June 14, for the second time in a week. Local militia continue to show intent to target US interests at airports. This is exposing low level aircraft to risk from rocket and drone activity along with air defence systems.
08Jun21 USA FAA Information Note Iraq Recent rocket and drone attacks on ORBI/Baghdad and a nearby air base. Local militia are showing a renewed intent to target US interests at airports. This is exposing low level aircraft to risk from their activities, along with misidentification or miscalculation by air defence systems.
23Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Iraq More weaponised drones and indirect fire attacks are likely across Iraq, increasing the risk to aviation. At least three rockets were fired at ORBI/Baghdad on Apr 22, which wounded one person. Several more unfired rockets were found stashed on the rooftop of a nearby building which overlooks the airport. Iranian backed militia are thought to be responsible and continue to actively target US interests at airports throughout Iraq.
15Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Iraq Explosive drone attack by militia on US interests at ORER/Erbil Airport on April 14. It is unique as these kinds of attacks usually use less accurate rockets and mortars. It may signify that militia have increasing access to more sophisticated weapons which may pose a new threat to airports throughout Iraq including ORBI/Baghdad.
11Apr20 South Africa Notam FAJA A1491/20 Overflights should be above FL300.
08Jan20 Iraq Notam A0018/20 Iraq issues warning to operators that Iran fired missiles into the ORBB/Baghdad FIR, altitude and trajectory unknown.
Libya
A civil war has been ongoing since 2014. Some progress made in Oct 2020 with the formation of a new government, but Libya remains an active conflict zone with armed clashes between various rival militia groups across the country. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. Libyan airspace (HLLL/Tripoli FIR) should be avoided entirely. Essentially a total flight ban for US and UK operators, and several other countries have warnings in place.

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. Military activity reported over the high-seas which is either operating as OAT or not in control with ATC. 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.

Read: Libya Airspace Update, Feb 2024 (OPSGROUP article)

Major events:
August 2023: Major evacuation of aircraft from Tripoli due to violent clashes and gunfire at Mitiga airport. Read: Tripoli mass evacuation of aircraft (OPSGROUP article)
July 2023: Italy cancelled its 10-year ban on flights to/from Libya. Aircraft are no longer banned from Italian airports and airspace if they want to fly from Libya.
Aug 2022: Militia air defense forces claimed to have shot down a US drone operating in the vicinity of Benghazi during a period of increased tensions and threats of renewed violence between competing militias vying for control of Tripoli.
June 2022: Failed attempt by militia to enter Tripoli to seize control of government offices, resulting in armed clashes and suspension of flights at HLLM/Mitiga airport.
Jan 2020: Multiple airstrikes targeting HLLM/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/Mitiga airport.
2014: HLLT/Tripoli airport closed after clashes between rival militias destroyed most of the airport's facilities. The airport remains closed to this day; most flights operate out of HLLM/Mitiga airport.

21Mar23 USA SFAR 112 US SFAR updated: flights remain prohibited in the HLLL/Tripoli FIR, but are now permitted in the overwater airspace off the north coast of Libya and a tiny portion in the south of the FIR over Chad.
19Apr21 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
18Feb20 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the HLLL/Tripoli FIR, due to the potential risk from anti- aviation weaponry and military operations.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators must avoid the HLLL/Tripoli FIR.
Afghanistan
US and allied forces pulled out of Afghanistan in Aug 2021, and the Taliban took control of the country. Afghanistan’s airspace now has no ATC service - the OAKX/Kabul FIR is uncontrolled Class G airspace, and overflying traffic should route around the country.

Some countries say that overflights should only be on airways P500 and G500 in the far east of the OAKX/Kabul FIR. The US and France permit overflights across the entire FIR at and above FL320. Overflights must be on specific contingency routes.

The primary risks are direct and indirect fire targeting airports and from surface-to-air fire targeting aircraft operating at low altitudes. Additionally, the conflict has resulted in no ATC service across the country's airspace and an extreme threat to aircraft and crew safety and security on the ground.

Major events:
Aug 2021: US and allied military evacuations have finished at OAKB/Kabul airport. It is now under Taliban control. The FAA advises that there are no longer any ATC services available here, along with the entire OAKX/Kabul FIR.

Read: OpsGroup Note - Afghanistan Ops Update & Situation Overview AUG2023

06Oct23 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR below FL330.
28Sep23 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not overfly the OAKX/Kabul FIR below FL320.
25Jul23 USA SFAR 119 US operators are now permitted to overfly the OAKX/Kabul FIR at FL320 and above (previously, flights were only allowed on airways P500/G500 in the east of the country).
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR, except on airways P500/G500.
28Jul21 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the airspace of Afghanistan except for overflights at or above FL320 on airways P500 and G500, due to the potential risk from extremist and militant activity and limited risk mitigation capabilities.
08Oct15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR below 25,000ft AGL except on airways P500/G500, due to potential risk from anti-aircraft weaponry.
Sudan
Following a military coup in April 2023, Sudan remains closed to all civilian flights. In South Sudan, air navigation services remain suspended above FL245. There is ongoing fighting in Sudan between government and militant forces, despite a ceasefire agreed at the end of April. HSSK/Khartoum airport is closed, but no Notams are being issued. If routing via nearby airspace, be aware of other active warnings in close proximity.

Several countries are now advising operators not to enter the airspace of Sudan, due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry and military activity. Germany has prohibited operators from the HSSS/Khartoum FIR.

The primary risk now relates to security on the ground for any unplanned diversions to airports in Sudan. Throughout the conflict, there have been reports of passenger jets being targeted by gunfire at HSSK/Khartoum Airport.

The secondary risk relates to Sudan’s proximity to South Sudan - which has poor levels of ATC provision for overflights below FL245.

Major events:
Apr 2023: Military coup on Apr 15. Sudan’s airspace closed, South Sudan’s airspace closed above FL245.
Oct 2021: Military coup on Oct 25. HSSK/Khartoum airport closed for two days, with all flights suspended.
Jan 2020: HSSK/Khartoum airport was closed for five hours late on Jan 14 following clashes were between the army and former security agents.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Sudan Airspace Update, Apr 2023
14Dec23 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not enter the airspace of Sudan, nor file Sudanese airports as alternates.
20Oct23 Germany Notam EDWW B1244/23 German operators are prohibited from entering the HSSS/Khartoum FIR due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry and military activity.
13Jul23 UK Notam EGTT V0014/23 UK operators should not enter the airspace of Sudan due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry and military activity.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the HSSS/Khartoum FIR due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry and military activity.
18May23 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should avoid the HSSS/Khartoum FIR due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry and military activity.
21Apr23 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators are prohibited from entering the HSSS/Khartoum FIR.
Ukraine
Ukraine closed its entire airspace to all civil traffic on Feb 24, 2022, due to a military invasion by Russia. There is an ongoing active conflict in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Russia, Belarus and Moldova have closed large sections of their own airspace near to their FIR boundaries with Ukraine.

All the major countries who regularly issue airspace warnings (the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy) have since issued total flight bans for Ukraine due to risk from military activity at all levels. (Several other countries have also issued flight bans for Ukraine but we have not listed them all here due to sheer volume).

The primary risk is an unintended targeting of civil aircraft by military, including misidentification (as with MAS17, UIA752), or confusion.

The secondary risk is potential lack of Ukrainian Air Traffic Control Service at short notice (Cyber Attack), and other unforeseeable non-normal operating environments for civil aircraft.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Ukraine and Russia Update March 2022



Prior to February 2022, there were two areas of concern in Ukraine - the conflict in the far east of the country (affecting UKDV/Dnipro FIR) and the double claim over ATC and airspace in Crimea (UKFV/URFV/Simferopol FIR).
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators are prohibited from the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).
10Jul23 Ukraine Notam UKBV A0640/22 Ukraine airspace remains closed to all civil flights (since Feb 2022) due to Russian invasion and ongoing conflict.
17Nov22 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not enter the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).
14Nov22 USA FAA Information Note Russia/Ukraine The Russia/Ukraine conflict spillover risk is increasing. Russia periodically launches missiles targeting Ukraine which transit Moldovan airspace. Reports of comms and GPS jamming outside the conflict zone, particularly over the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Expanded drone activity, especially around Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
24Feb22 USA Notam KICZ A0004/22 US operators are are prohibited from the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).
24Feb22 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators are prohibited from the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).
24Feb22 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators are prohibited from the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).
24Feb22 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators are prohibited from the airspace of Ukraine, including the contested UKFV/Simferopol FIR over Crimea (claimed by Russia as the URFV FIR).

LEVEL 2: Assessed Risk

Assessed Risk applies to countries that are the subject of airspace warnings by EASA, FAA, UK DFT, German BMVI, French DGAC, but only for specific portions or below certain altitudes

Israel
On Apr 14, Iran attacked Israel with a mix of drones and missiles. The majority were shot down before reaching Israel. A slew of airspace closures created a very challenging evening for flight ops.

A briefing with all known information on the Israel/Iran situation is now live in the OPSGROUP Members Dashboard. Briefing URL: https://ops.group/dashboard/briefings/middle-east/

Since October 2023, Israel has been involved in a major offensive against Hamas in Palestine. The conflict zone is primarily in the Gaza Strip, but there is also significant activity on the Israel-Lebanon border.

The primary risk is the fact that parts of Israel are active conflict zones. Periods of apparent stability in the rest of Israel, including Tel Aviv, could change at short notice. Rocket attacks from Hamas continue, albeit at a lower level than before the ground offensive was launched. A day-to-day review of the current situation is essential prior to operating.

The secondary risk is a multitude of factors from operating in a conflict zone: misidentification, debris from air defences, GPS spoofing, false EGPWS alerts (now common in Israeli airspace), and reduced route and diversion options in the event of an aircraft emergency.

Read: Opsgroup article - Israel: Tel Aviv airport & FIR risk, Oct 2023

Prior Major Events:

Oct 2023: Major offensive against Hamas launched by Israel, conflict ongoing.

May 2023: Israel published a Notam advising caution in the LLLL/Tel Aviv FIR due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza, following a major rocket attack on May 10.

Aug 2021: Following an Israeli airstrike on Syria, Syria sent a surface to air missile towards Tel Aviv. The missile detonated off the coast of Israel and there was no damage.

May 2021: LLBG/Tel Aviv Airport was forced to close on several occasions, as air defence systems were activated around the country to repel incoming rocket attacks.

July 2014: Major rocket fire from Gaza against Tel Aviv during the Gaza War. The US FAA responded by imposing restrictions at LLBG/Tel Aviv airport for a two day period, and EASA advised that operators suspend flights, which ultimately resulted in 30 airlines cancelling flights.
08Jan24 Canada Notam CZQX H0063/24 Caution to Canadian operators in the LLLL/Tel Aviv FIR due to potential risk from military activity.
11Oct23 Israel NOTAM A1092/23 Israel advises operators to review security, threat information, and NOTAMs.
09Oct23 Russia NOTAM A5843/23 Night operations to LLBG/Tel Aviv prohibited, daylight ops only - Russian operators
09Oct23 USA FDC NOTAM FDC 3/2603 2nd NOTAM, FAA advises caution, no restrictions currently, monitor airspace developments.
07Oct23 USA FDC NOTAM FDC 3/2050 Exercise extreme caution within Tel Aviv FIR (LLLL)
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should exercise caution in the LLLL/Tel Aviv FIR and follow Notams and ATC instructions closely (Israel might publish restrictions at short notice when air defenses are repelling attacks from Gaza and Syria).
12May21 EASA Advisory EASA advised operators exercise caution for flights in the LLLL/Tel Aviv FIR, following rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza. Rescinded following the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza agreed on May 21, 2021.
23Jul14 EASA SIB 2014-22 EASA Service Information Bulletin advising operators to avoid LLBG/Tel Aviv Airport until further notice. The SIB was withdrawn on July 24, 2014.
22Jul14 USA Notam KFDC 4/3630 On July 22, 2014, US operators were prohibited from flying to or from LLBG/Tel Aviv Airport for a period of up to 24 hours. The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from the airport that morning.
Somalia
The situation on the ground is highly unstable and there is an inherent risk to civilians and aircraft. The central government has little control of the major cities and ports, with ongoing attacks from extremist militants targeting civilians who continue to show an intent to target aviation interests.

The primary risk is to overflying aircraft at the lower flight levels, which may be targeted by anti-aircraft-capable weapons. The US prohibits flights across Somalia’s airspace (the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR) below FL260 except for flights transiting the overwater portion of the airspace going to/from HDAM/Djibouti airport across the border in Ethiopia. Several other countries have issued airspace warnings advising against operating below FL260.

The secondary risk is from aircraft transiting Somalia being contacted by unauthorized ATC units, who have been issuing climb/descent instructions that conflict with the official ones issued by Mogadishu Control.

Major events:
Feb 2024: OPSGROUP received several reports of aircraft within the Mogadishu FIR being contacted by a ‘fake controller’ on the same frequency, issuing conflicting instructions. More info here.
Aug 2023: Reports of uncontrolled operations including combat helicopters flying at low levels (FL030) not reporting position, altitude or routing,
Oct 2022: The Somalian government issued a warning that HCMM/Mogadishu airport may be targeted by militant groups amid the escalating conflict in the country.
May 2022: Class A airspace implemented in the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR above FL245. More info here.
2020-ongoing: Multiple instances of Al-Shabaab attacks on HCMM/Mogadishu and nearby targets, including a UN compound.
May 2020: An Embraer EMB-120 was shot down while on approach to Bardale airstrip, killing all six people on board - an accidental shoot-down by Ethiopian forces stationed in the region to combat Al-Shabaab.

15Apr24 Germany Notam EDWW B0266/24 German operators should not overfly the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR below FL260, except the oceanic part east of E54 degrees. So that basically means that oceanic airways UM314 and UN764 are fine.Map here.
14Dec23 France AIC 17/23 French operators should stay at or above FL260 in the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR, except in the overwater portion.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should maintain FL260 or above in the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR.
27Dec22 USA SFAR 107 US operators are prohibited operating below FL260 in the airspace of Somalia (the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR). Aircraft transiting through the airspace to or from HDAM/Djibouti airport across the border in the airspace of Ethiopia (the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR) are permitted to operate below FL260 providing they remain overwater and fly a published instrument procedure or stay under the direction of ATC.
09Feb21 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators overflying the HCSM/FIR Mogadishu FIR should be at FL260 or above, due to the potential risk from anti- aviation weaponry and military operations.
13Apr18 Somalia Notam A0035/18 Somalia themselves published a Notam in 2018 saying that armed conflict and a lack of Aeronautical information present a safety and security risk to aircraft.
04Feb16 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not overfly the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR below FL260, except for airway UR401.
15Jan16 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should avoid the HCSM/Mogadishu FIR below 25,000ft AGL, due to the potential risk from anti-aircraft weaponry.
Ethiopia
Improving airspace risk picture in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region (the Ethiopia/Eritrea border) since a peace deal was agreed to end the conflict in early Nov 2022. Airspace warnings remain in place though - several states say to avoid the area.



The primary risk to aviation is from any large-scale ceasefire violations involving missiles or anti-aircraft weaponry, which may present a risk to overflights in the region - civil aircraft being mistaken for something of military interest, or simply caught in the crossfire.

Read: Ethiopia Airspace Update, July 2022 (OPSGROUP article)

Major Events:
Feb 2024: New flare-up in fighting in the Amhara region (south of Tigray region), including air strikes.
Nov 2022: Peace deal agreed in the Tigray region. Ethiopian Airlines is planning to resume flights to HAMK/Mekele airport.
Nov 2021: Several western countries issued airspace warnings, as well as “do not travel” travel warnings for the Tigray region following increased fighting there.
July 2021: HAAA/Addis FIR published a Notam closing a section of airspace below FL290 over the Tigray. This followed reports that militia shot down a military transport plane in the region the previous week, near the capital Mekele.
Nov 2020: Major escalation of the conflict in the Tigray region. Some airways were closed by the Ethiopian and Sudanese CAAs. Other airways that were still open were very close to the conflict zone. These are frequently used by international operators on the Europe-East Africa route. In particular: UN321, UG300 and UL432. Multiple airports were targeted by rockets. Missiles were fired across the border into Eritrea, targeting HHAS/Asmara. Within Ethiopia, HABD/Bahir Dar and HAGN/Gondar were also targeted.
Sep 2018: Risk due to hidden ATC strike. Ethiopian ATC controllers went on strike, and the ECAA and Ethiopian Airlines recruited both retired and foreign controllers to pick up the slack. Ethiopia denied several times that there was in fact a strike happening at all. The strike ended Sep 7. Many were not qualified to operate in Ethiopian airspace, due to inexperience.
14Dec23 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not fly in the northern section of the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR below FL320 (previous advice advised against all flights in this area).
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Caution to Italian operators in the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR due to risks from anti-aircraft weaponry.
04Jul23 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators in the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR due to risk posed by anti-aircraft weaponry.
16Nov21 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators advised of potential risk in the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR due to anti-aviation weaponry.
17Nov20 OPSGROUP Airspace Risk Warning ARW11-2020 Airspace Risk warning for Ethiopia/Eritrea - Tigray Conflict Zone. Risk to overflights on adjacent airways, and airports in region.
30Aug18 KACTA Letter of Concern Safety Issues in Ethiopia Kenyan ATC Controllers have listed out several major issues with safety both in Ethiopia and in the area shared with Kenyan airspace.
29Aug18 OPSGROUP Research Article Ethiopia Covering Up ATC Strike Ethiopian ATC Controllers went on strike, and ECAA and Ethiopian Airlines used foreign and retired controllers to cover, causing safety concerns.
Russia
Ukraine closed its entire airspace to all civil traffic on Feb 24, 2022, due to a military invasion by Russia. There is an ongoing active conflict in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Russia, Belarus and Moldova have closed large sections of their own airspace near to their FIR boundaries with Ukraine.

The US, Canada, and Italy have since banned their operators from the section of airspace in Russia along its FIR boundaries with Ukraine, and France and Germany have also issued warnings for this airspace.

The primary risk is an unintended targeting of civil aircraft by military near the Russia-Ukraine border, including misidentification (as with MAS17, UIA752), or confusion.

Major events:
Jan 2024: Crash of military transport aircraft in Russian airspace near Belgarod, approx 20nm from the Ukrainian border. Both Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shooting it down.
Aug 2023: The private jet believed to be carrying Wagner mercenary chief Yevgeny Prigozhin crashed en route from Moscow to St Petersburg on Aug 23. Speculation that the crash was due to a bomb onboard - though this has not been confirmed. So far there have not been any new airspace warnings issued for Russia by other states following this incident. Most foreign operators remain banned from Russian airspace as per the prohibitions listed in the UUUU Notams.
July-Aug 2023: Several incidents of drone strikes on targets in Moscow and surrounding region. Not all of these are repelled by Russian air defences, with some drones damaging buildings, and Moscow airports being forced to close temporarily on many occasions. These types of events are becoming more frequent inside Russian airspace - air defence activity can put civil aircraft at extra risk.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Ukraine and Russia Update March 2022

10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators are prohibited from Russian airspace within 200nm of the Russia/Ukraine border, and must do a risk assessment if planning to operate in the UUWV/Moscow FIR.
17Nov22 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not enter the airspace of Russia within 200nm of the FIR boundaries with Ukraine, and exercise caution in the rest of the UUWV/Moscow and URRV/Rostov FIRs.
14Nov22 USA FAA Information Note Russia/Ukraine The Russia/Ukraine conflict spillover risk is increasing. Russia periodically launches missiles targeting Ukraine which transit Moldovan airspace. Reports of comms and GPS jamming outside the conflict zone, particularly over the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Expanded drone activity, especially around Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
25Feb22 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not enter the airspace of Russia within 200nm of the FIR boundaries with Ukraine.
24Feb22 USA Notam KICZ A0005/22 US operators are prohibited from Russian airspace within 160nm of the FIR boundaries with Ukraine.
24Feb22 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators are prohibited from the URRV/Rostov FIR, and the airspace of Russia within 200nm of the FIR boundaries with Ukraine in the UUWV/Moscow FIR.
Pakistan
Couple of issues: Conflict with India in the Kashmir region in the northeastern corner of Pakistan, and concentration of terrorist group representation in the country.

The primary risk in Pakistan’s airspace (the OPKR/Karachi and OPLR/Lahore FIRs) is from military activity by Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region, which poses a potential inadvertent risk to aviation at all altitudes, particularly in the OPLR/Lahore FIR. Pakistan closed its airspace to overflights from Feb-Aug 2019, following escalating clashes with India in this region, with numerous airstrikes on both sides.

Several countries have long-standing airspace warnings for Pakistan which advise against overflights at the lower levels. Diversion/Landing in Pakistan is recommended against. Avoid operating to OPPS/Peshawar and OPQT/Quetta airports - both are near the border with Afghanistan. OPKC/Karachi Airport was attacked in 2014.

Major events:
Jan 2024: Iran used ballistic missiles and drones to attack a militant group in western Pakistan.
Dec 2023: Crew report of GPS spoofing around OPLA/Lahore airport.
Feb-Aug 2019: Pakistan closed its airspace to overflights, following escalating clashes with India in the disputed Kashmir region, with numerous airstrikes on both sides.

More info: The India-Pakistan Conflict: Impact on Flight Operations, Aug 2021 (OPSGROUP article)
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the airspace of Pakistan below FL320.
01Jan21 USA US FAA Background Notice (This Notice has been withdrawn but we're keeping it listed here for reference). Exercise caution flying into or over Pakistan, particularly at low altitudes, due to the risk posed by small-arms fire, attacks against airports, indirect weapons fire and anti-aircraft fire by extremist/militant elements operating in the country.
29Oct20 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators below FL260 in the airspace of Pakistan due to potential risks from anti-aviation weaponry.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French operators overflying Pakistan airspace should be at FL260 or above.
Mali
The northern Mali War has been ongoing since 2012, and there have been no improvements in stability. Several countries have airspace warnings in place, advising to operate FL250/260 or higher, and avoiding GATB, GAGO, and GAKL airports. The US advise caution in Mali's airspace at all levels due to ongoing fighting, militant activity, and foreign private military presence with advanced air defense systems.

The primary risk is from indirect mortar and rocket fire, including MANPADS, which could target aircraft at low altitudes and at airports.

Major events:
Dec 2023: German operators are now prohibited from the northern part of Mali below FL260. Fighting by militants is escalating here. Commercial flights to GATB/Tombouctou were cancelled after shelling near the airport in Sep 2023. A military jet also crashed near GAGO/Gao on the same day - there were unconfirmed reports it was shot down.
Aug 2020: All airports across the country were closed from Aug 19-20 following a military coup which overthrew the government. Bamako ACC remained operational throughout, with overflights unaffected.
April 2018: Militants attacked UN peacekeepers at two bases near GATB/Timbuktu Airport using both indirect fire weapons and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices.
Jan 2017 and Nov 2016: Militants conducted vehicle-borne improvised explosive attacks against GAGO/Gao Airport, and rocket attacks against GATB/Timbuktu Airport.

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 due to military ops across the region.

20Mar24 Germany Notam EDWW B0176/24 German operators are prohibited from the northern part of Mali below FL260, and should not enter the southern part of the country below FL260.
21Feb24 USA Notam KICZ A0001/24 Caution for US operators in Mali's airspace at all levels due to ongoing fighting, militant activity, and foreign private military presence with advanced air defense systems.
21Feb24 USA US FAA Background Notice Caution for US operators in Mali's airspace at all levels due to ongoing fighting, militant activity, and foreign private military presence with advanced air defense systems.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the airspace of Mali.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French operators overflying the part of the DRRR/Niamey FIR located above the Malian territory should be at or above FL320.
16Aug17 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not overfly the airspace of Mali below FL260.
09Jun17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators advised of potential risk in the airspace of Mali (within the DRRR/Niamey and GOOO/Dakar FIRs) due to anti-aviation weaponry.
Lebanon
The primary risk in Lebanon’s airspace (the OLBB/Beirut FIR) is along the border with Israel, where the Lebanese militia Hezbollah has been fighting with the Israeli army. Violence has increased here following the Israel-Gaza conflict in Oct 2023 - drone activity, sporadic rocket fire and the use of artillery have all been reported. Air defence activity on either side of the border may increase the risk to civil aircraft. Only the UK and Canada have issued airspace warnings for the OLBB/Beirut FIR so far. Read: Opsgroup article - Israel: Tel Aviv Airport and FIR Risk, Oct 2023

There is also risk in relation to Lebanon’s proximity to Syria: civil aircraft may be targeted in error, or caught in crossfire during ongoing air attacks involving Israel, Russia, Iran. Missiles may erroneously lock on to civil aircraft. There is a risk to civil aircraft operating on overwater airways east of Cyprus. Several countries have issued airspace warnings for Syria, banning operators from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR. Many of these warnings include include the note that there is a potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the Damascus FIR (i.e. the LLLL/Tel Aviv, OJAC/Amman, OLBB/Beirut and LCCC/Nicosia FIRs) due to military activity - possibility of GPS interference, communication jamming, and long-range surface to air missiles in the area.

The secondary risk is from GPS spoofing. In Nov 2023, OPSGROUP received several reports of enroute aircraft being targeted with fake GPS signals, leading to complete nav failures. This type of GPS spoofing has not been seen before – IRS is quickly “infected” by false position. Suggested Guidance and Procedures, and original crew reports, in Briefing PDF here: GPS Spoofing, Nov 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

Major events:
Nov 2023 - ongoing: GPS spoofing reported in the OLBB/Beirut FIR.
Oct 2023: Clashes reported along the border with Israel, including drone activity, sporadic rocket fire and the use of artillery.
Feb 2020: An A320 enroute OSDI/Damascus caught in crossfire during attack by 4 Israeli F-16’s, forced to divert to Russian controlled air base.
Sep 2018: Russian IL-20 shot down in error on FIR boundary with Cyprus (Nicosia FIR) - airline flights on UL620 within 50nm of this position.
03Apr24 UK Notam EGTT V0015/24 Caution to UK operators in the OLBB/Beirut FIR due to potential risk from military activity.
08Jan24 Canada Notam CZQX H0064/24 Caution to Canadian operators in the OLBB/Beirut FIR due to potential risk from military activity.
10Nov23 Lebanon Notam OLBB A0179/23 Warning of GPS jamming and spoofing in the OLBB/Beirut FIR, pilots should stick to conventional ATS routes.
23Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Syria/Israel An errant surface-to-air missile fired by Syrian air defences missed its target and landed in Israel on 22 Apr 2021. Syria is actively using long range anti-aircraft weaponry which poses a risk to civil aircraft in the region. While US operators are banned from the OSTT/Damascus FIR, the FAA warns the threat is extended to adjacent FIRs in the Eastern Mediterranean region including the LLLL/Tel Aviv, OJAC/Amman, OLBB/Beirut and LCCC/Nicosia FIRs. Use caution if operating in the area. 
14Apr18 USA Notam KICZ A0009/18 Exercise caution within 200nm of the Damascus FIR due to military activity. Possibility of GPS interference, communication jamming, and long-range surface to air missiles in the area.
Saudi Arabia
As of Sep 2023, there are concerns that the Saudi-Yemen conflict may start up again soon, following renewed Houthi drone attacks near the border. If the conflict resumes, Houthi drone and missile attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia pose a potential threat to ops at Saudi airports, and for overflights of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR. Be aware of ESCAT procedures if entering the OEJD/Jeddah FIR – you can find those here.

In addition, as of Oct 2023, risks to aircraft operating over the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea may also be increasing due to the conflict in Israel/Gaza. There have been several incidents of missiles and drones launched from Yemen targeting Israel. Some have been shot down over the Red Sea, others have landed on the Egypt/Israel border.

Airspace Warnings: Several countries have airspace warnings in place for Saudi Arabia. The most significant risk is in the south of the country along the border with Yemen, but OERK/Riyadh and OEJN/Jeddah airports have also been targeted in the past.

The primary risk is from Houthi drone and missile attacks on airports across the country, but particularly in the south.
 
Major events:
Oct 2023: Cruise missiles and drones launched from Yemen targeting Israel. Some shot down over the Red Sea, others landing on Egypt/Israel border.
Sep 2023: Houthi drone attacks near the Yemen-Saudi border.
Apr-Oct 2022: All parties in the Yemeni conflict agree a ceasefire.
2020-2022: Frequent Houthi drone and rocket attacks targeting OEAH/Abha and OEGN/Jizan airports along the Yemeni-Saudi Border.
Sep 2020: Multiple Saudi airstrikes on rebels in Sanaa, several near the airport.
Oct 2020: Riyadh briefly on high alert for Houthi cruise missile and drone attack. 

Read: Saudi-Yemen Airspace Update, June 2022 (OPSGROUP article)

29Sep23 France AIC 17/23 French operators should exercise caution in the southwest of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR where ATC could apply ESCAT procedures.
10Aug23 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators advised caution in the OEJD/Jeddah FIR due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military operations; also due to short notice ESCAT rules in airspace next to Yemen.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Caution to Italian operators in the OEJD/Jeddah FIR where ATC could apply ESCAT procedures with short notice.
20Apr23 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should exercise caution in the southwest of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR where ATC could apply ESCAT procedures due to the risk of drone and missile attacks from Yemen.
17Mar22 USA FAA Information Note Saudi Arabia/Yemen There is a potential risk to ops at Saudi airports and for overflights of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR due to Houthi drone and missile attacks from Yemen and the associated defensive operations.
28Jan21 Saudi Arabia Notam OEJD W0120/21 ESCAT rules may be activated at any time in the south part of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR, when Saudi air defenses are repelling drone and missile attacks from Yemen. Operators will likely be given a change of route directly out of the airspace, or will be directed to land at the nearest airport.
Egypt
There remains a threat from terrorism in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsular. As of Oct 2023, risks to aircraft operating over the Sinai Peninsula and the Red Sea may also be increasing due to the conflict in Israel/Gaza. There have been several incidents of missiles and drones launched from Yemen targeting Israel. Some have been shot down over the Red Sea, others have landed on the Egypt/Israel border. Militant groups in the Sinai region may also be motivated by recent events. HEAR/El Arish airport near the Egypt/Gaza border has been mentioned as a potential target as it is being used in humanitarian efforts.

Airspace Warnings: Only the UK and Germany still have active airspace warnings for Egypt - both countries advise against overflights below FL260 in the northern part of the Sinai region. The US had a similar warning in place until it was rescinded in March 2022.

The primary risk is over the Sinai Peninsula below FL260 due to anti-aviation and ground weaponry.

Major events:
Oct 2023: Cruise missiles and drones launched from Yemen targeting Israel. Some shot down over the Red Sea, others landing on Egypt/Israel border.
July 2019: British Airways suspends Cairo operations for one week due to security concerns.
Feb 2017: An SA-7 anti-aircraft missile tube was found less than a mile from HECA/Cairo airport.
Oct 2015: A Russian A321 was brought down over the Sinai peninsula by a bomb loaded at HESH/Sharm El Sheikh. The group claimed the IED was placed aboard the aircraft prior to departing HESH, raising concerns of potential insider threats at the airport.

Read: New Airspace Warning: The Red Sea, Nov 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

29Jan24 UK Notam EGTT V0004/24 & V0005/24 Caution to UK operators over the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba due to risk from heightened military activity.
21Aug23 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators over the Northern Sinai Peninsula below FL260 due to anti-aviation and ground weaponry.
30Mar21 USA US FAA Background Notice In March 2022 the US FAA cancelled its airspace warning for the Sinai Peninsula below FL260. We continue to list the Background Notice here for reference.
18Nov15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not enter Egypt's northern Sinai region at less than 25,000ft AGL, due to the potential risk from anti-aircraft weaponry.
North Korea
The primary risk is from debris from missile re-entries striking aircraft overflying the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan. North Korea regularly conducts unannounced missile tests in this area. Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it.

There is also a risk of mistaken identity in or near the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR boundary, as North Korea are threatening to actively shoot down reconnaissance aircraft in their airspace.

The US prohibits flights across all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan. Several other countries have airspace warnings in place which advise caution due to the risk posed by unannounced rocket launches.

Major events:
July 2023: North Korea is threatening to actively shoot down reconnaissance aircraft in their airspace. This may put civil aviation at higher risk of mistaken identity in or near the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR boundary.
Feb 2023: Ballistic missile fired over the UHHH/Khabarovsk FIR and then landed inside the RJJJ/Fukuoka FIR near several international airways.
Oct 2022: Ballistic missile fired directly over Japan - the first to incur on Japanese airspace since 2017.
2017: North Korea launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles. Both of these landed in the Sea of Japan, well inside the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (Japanese airspace), and significantly, at least one did not re-enter the atmosphere intact – meaning that a debris field of missile fragments passed through the airspace, not just one complete missile.
2015: North Korea gradually stopped notifying ICAO of missile launches, so that aircraft could avoid the launch and splashdown areas.

Read: North Korea Missile Threat, Oct 2022 (OPSGROUP article)

10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Caution to Italian operators in the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR due to risks from missile launches without prior notice.
27Feb23 USA Information Note North Korea Sheds some light on the risks posed from several recent missile launches, including one that transited the UHHH/Khabarovsk FIR and then landed inside the RJJJ/Fukuoka FIR near several international airways. The major risk to aircraft is from falling debris, especially if a launch fails.
19Oct22 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators should not enter the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR due to risk posed by unannounced rocket launches.
07Sep20 USA SFAR 79 Flights are prohibited in all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan, due to the threat posed by unannounced North Korean missile launches and air defense weapons systems.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 Caution advised to French operators for all North Korea overflights, especially in the maritime part over the Sea of Japan (due to unannounced rocket launches).
19Dec19 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators in North Korean airspace (ZKKP FIR) due to launching of test missiles without prior notice.
23Aug17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should avoid the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR and should exercise caution over the Sea of Japan due potential risk from unannounced rocket launches.
09Aug17 OPSGROUP Note To Members: Japan Missile Risk Since 2015, North Korea has been test-launching missiles with increasing regularity. The absolute lack of warning, coupled with an emerging picture of a focus area for re-entry, creates a risk to flight operations in the western portion of Japan’s Fukuoka FIR over the Sea of Japan. Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it. Check routings carefully for arrivals/departures to Europe from Japan, especially if planning airways which connect with the UHHH/Khabarovsk FIR at waypoints IGROD and AVGOK.
South Sudan
Following a military coup in neighbouring Sudan in April 2023, Sudan remains closed to all civilian flights, and in South Sudan, air navigation services remain suspended above FL245.

In South Sudan itself, following five years of civil war, a ceasefire has largely held since Sept 2018. Significant reduction in violence, but the political and security situation remains volatile. In the event of a serious deterioration, similar to those of July 2016 and Dec 2013, HJJJ/Juba airport may be closed at short notice. The UK, France and Germany still advise against overflying South Sudan below FL250/260 due to the risk posed by anti-aircraft weaponry. The US published a similar warning but rescinded it in Aug 2019.

The primary risk now comes from no ATC above FL245 due to the military coup in Sudan, and poor levels of ATC provision for overflights below FL245 or for aircraft operating to HSSJ/Juba airport. In Jan 2021, ICAO published a letter warning of service disruptions and lack of qualified ATC personnel, the lack of contingencies in place, communication issues, the number of withdrawn navigation aids and above all, the lack of information being supplied to operators regarding these issues.

Major events:
April 2023: Military coup in Sudan on Apr 15. Sudan’s airspace closed, South Sudan’s airspace closed above FL245.
April 2019: Military coup in Sudan led to the temporary closure of South Sudan’s airspace.
June 2016: The South Sudanese army declared intention to shoot down aircraft without permits and/or not following proper procedures.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Sudan Airspace Update, Apr 2023
01Nov22 South Africa Notam FACA A3715/22 Risk for overflights of South Sudan below FL245 or for aircraft operating to HSSJ/Juba airport due to poor levels of ATC provision.
02Feb21 South Sudan Notam HSSJ A0021/21 ATC radio is not good enough to cover all airspace in the country. All aircraft must use TCAS.
20Jan21 ICAO Letter AN 13/35-21/5 ICAO letter raising concerns about the risk to civil aircraft in the South Sudan region, below FL245, and into and out of HSSJ/Juba international airport. The letter raises concerns about ATC service disruptions and lack of qualified ATC personnel, the lack of contingencies in place, communication issues, the number of withdrawn navigation aids and above all, the lack of information being supplied to operators regarding these issues. They raise ‘grave concerns’ for the safety of international flights.
09Apr20 France AIC 17/23 French operators overflying the part of the HSSS/Sudan FIR above South Sudan should be at FL260 or above.
16Jun16 OSPGROUP Research Article Army of South Sudan will shoot down aircraft.
26Aug15 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators below FL260 in South Sudan due to the potential risk from anti-aviation and ground-to-ground weaponry.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators advised of potential risk below 25,000ft AGL in the airspace over South Sudan due to anti-aviation weaponry.
Moldova
There is an ongoing active conflict in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Ukraine closed its entire airspace to all civil traffic on Feb 24. Russia and Belarus have closed large sections of their own airspace near to their FIR boundaries with Ukraine. Moldova initially closed all their airspace too, but have since opened a section on their western border with the LRBB/Bucharesti FIR for flights to LUKK/Chisinau airport.

The primary risk is an unintended targeting of civil aircraft by military near the Moldova-Ukraine border, including misidentification (as with MAS17, UIA752), or confusion. The secondary risk is from spillover from the conflict such as Russian drones and missiles.

Major events:
Feb 2023: The LUUU/Chisinau FIR closed temporarily following reports of Russian drones infringing its airspace. Earlier in the month, at least two missiles also transited Moldova during a major military operation in Ukraine. Spill over risks from the conflict are being frequently reported.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Ukraine and Russia Update March 2022

03Aug23 Moldova AIP SUP 10/23 Moldovan airspace (the LUUU/Chisinau FIR) was closed on Feb 24 due to the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Ukraine. But there is a section of airspace along the western border with the LRBB/Bucharesti FIR that is open for flights to LUKK/Chisinau airport.
17Nov22 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not enter the airspace of Moldova due to the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
14Nov22 USA FAA Information Note Russia/Ukraine The Russia/Ukraine conflict spillover risk is increasing. Russia periodically launches missiles targeting Ukraine which transit Moldovan airspace. Reports of comms and GPS jamming outside the conflict zone, particularly over the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Expanded drone activity, especially around Crimea and eastern Ukraine.
24Feb22 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators are prohibited from the LUUU/Chisinau FIR.
Belarus
There is an ongoing active conflict in Ukraine between Russian and Ukrainian forces. Ukraine closed its entire airspace to all civil traffic in Feb 2022. Russia and Belarus have closed large sections of their own airspace near to their FIR boundaries with Ukraine.

The US and Canada have issued an outright ban barring their operators from the entire airspace of Belarus, and several other countries have issued warnings.

The primary risk is an unintended targeting of civil aircraft by military near the Belarus-Ukraine border, including misidentification (as with MAS17, UIA752), or confusion.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Ukraine and Russia Update March 2022



Prior to Feb 2022, several countries and aviation organisations had urged airlines and operators to avoid the airspace of Belarus, following the country’s interception of an international flight bound for Lithuania and forced to land in Minsk on May 23, 2021. The forced landing of this flight was politically motivated, and the crew were misled into believing that there was a credible security threat against the aircraft.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Italian operators should avoid the UMMV/Minsk FIR.
17Nov22 France AIC 17/23 French operators should not enter the airspace of Belarus due to the conflict in neighbouring Ukraine.
25Feb22 Germany AIC 15/23 German operators should not enter the airspace of Belarus within 200nm of the FIR boundaries with Ukraine.
24Feb22 USA Notam KICZ A0003/22 US operators are prohibited from the airspace of Belarus (the UMMV/Minsk FIR) due to to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
24Feb22 Canada AIC 23/23 Canadian operators are prohibited from the UMMV/Minsk FIR.
24Jan22 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not enter the UMMV/Minsk FIR due to potential safety and security risks.
02Jun21 EASA Safety Directive 2021-02 EASA is requesting member states to tell their operators to “not conduct operations” in the UMMV/Minsk FIR, unless it is to ensure safe operation in case of unforeseen circumstances.
25May21 EASA Safety Information Bullet 2021-10 EU and Third Country Operators should avoid the UMMV/Minsk FIR.
Kenya
Kenya is affected by the ongoing Somali Civil War - the main threat comes from militants in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. The US has a warning in place to exercise caution below FL260 in Kenya’s airspace east of 40 degrees East longitude (the border region with Somalia).

The primary risk is from indirect mortar and rocket fire, including MANPADS, which could target aircraft at low altitudes and at airports.

Major events:
Jan 2020: Two US military/govt aircraft (C-146A, DHC-8), and two helicopters, were destroyed in a militant attack on HKLU/Manda Airport, a US/Kenya joint military base in Lamu county, east coast. Security concerns in this part of Kenya have been ongoing for several years.

Jan 2019: Al-Shabaab militants launched an attack on a hotel complex in central Nairobi on 15 Jan 2019, killing at least 14 people. There were a number of attacks by Al-Shabab in Kenya in preceding years, but none in Nairobi since the attack on the Westgate shopping mall in 2013.
26Feb22 USA Notam KICZ A0008/22 Avoid operating below FL260 in Kenya's airspace east of 40 degrees East longitude (the border region with Somalia) due to extremist and militant activity.
26Feb22 USA US FAA Background Notice Avoid operating below FL260 in Kenya's airspace east of 40 degrees East longitude (the border region with Somalia) due to extremist and militant activity.
12Aug16 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not overfly the HKNA/Nairobi FIR below 25,000ft AGL, due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry.
Eritrea
HHAS/Asmara airport was targeted on 14 Nov 2020 by missiles from the Tigray TPLF, bringing Eritrea into the conflict and meaning that operations here should be avoided. See Ethiopia summary for more detail.
17Nov20 OPSGROUP Airspace Risk Warning ARW11-2020 Airspace Risk Warning for Eritrea

LEVEL 3 : Caution

Caution applies to countries that do not have multiple current airspace warnings, but we consider worthy of a security review before operating into or over

Haiti
June 2024: Haiti’s main airport, MTPP/Port-au-Prince, was closed from March-May 2024 due to sustained gang violence across Haiti. Aviation came under direct threat during the worst of the violence, with several reports of several armed attacks at MTPP. A new government has since been formed, but gangs still control much of the capital, and the US still advises against all travel to the country.

Only the US have issued an airspace warning for Haiti - cautioning about unpublished airport and airspace restrictions. For flights, crew security cannot be guaranteed.

Read: Haiti Crisis: Airport Attacked, Aircraft Shot, March 2024 (OPSGROUP article)

12Jun24 USA Notam KICZ Caution due to unpublished airport and airspace restrictions. Operators should talk to ATC directly for the current status of airports, given ongoing civil unrest and security risks.
South Korea
In 2024, South Korea started warning of GPS interference in the north of the country, likely originating from North Korea, advising pilots to watch out for ops to the Seoul airports of RKSS and RKSI. It’s especially important to watch out for GPS spoofing here - it’s right next to the border with North Korea and a bunch of prohibited areas which carry chart warnings that say in very clear language that you might get shot at if you inadvertently enter.

South Korea previously had warnings in place due to the risk posed by unannounced North Korea missile launches and regional volatility. A US Notam on GPS interference expired on May 27, 2019.

Major events:
May 2024: Member report of GPS spoofing into RKSS/Seoul on approach to RWY 32R. They disabled hybrid and deselected GPS after seeing the risk reported on ATIS.
10Jun24 South Korea Notam RKRR Z0558/24 Watch out for GPS interference in the RKRR/Incheon FIR. It has been reported in the vicinity of Seoul, including RSKI/Incheon. The interference likely originates from North Korea in response to ongoing military drills in the area.
27May18 USA Notam KICZ A0011/18 Exercise caution in the Incheon FIR due to interference with or disruption of GPS signals.
Congo DRC
There is ongoing fighting between a rebel group and the Rwandan military in the North Kivu province - along the border between Congo DRC and Rwanda. Only the UK has issued an airspace warning here so far. The area should be considered an active conflict zone, with risk to civilian aircraft at low level or on the ground.

Major events:
Feb 2024: A parked civilian aircraft at FZNA/Goma was damaged by at least one bomb dropped from a drone. Looks like military aircraft were being targeted.
Jan 2023: The Rwandan military shot at a fighter jet from the Congo DRC which they claimed had busted Rwandan airspace near FZNA/Goma. Reports suggest the aircraft was hit by a man portable air defence system (MANPAD) at low level - the jet landed safely but sustained heavy damage.



Read: Africa Airspace Risk, Jet Shot in Rwanda, Jan 2023 (OPSGROUP article)
24May24 UK Notam EGTT V0019/24 UK operators should not enter the airspace along the border between Congo DRC and Rwanda near FZNA/Goma airport below 25,000ft AGL, due to the potential risk from anti-aircraft weaponry.
Rwanda
There is ongoing fighting between a rebel group and the Rwandan military in the North Kivu province - along the border between Congo DRC and Rwanda. While there are no active airspace warnings here (the FZZA/Kinshasa and HYRY/Kigali FIRs), the area should be considered an active conflict zone, with risk to civilian aircraft at low level or on the ground.

Major events:
Feb 2024: A parked civilian aircraft at FZNA/Goma was damaged by at least one bomb dropped from a drone. Looks like military aircraft were being targeted.
Jan 2023: The Rwandan military shot at a fighter jet from the Congo DRC which they claimed had busted Rwandan airspace near FZNA/Goma. Reports suggest the aircraft was hit by a man portable air defence system (MANPAD) at low level - the jet landed safely but sustained heavy damage.



Read: Africa Airspace Risk, Jet Shot in Rwanda, Jan 2023 (OPSGROUP article)
Myanmar
Only one international airspace warning exists, that of Germany, cautioning against flights below FL160 due to a potential risk from military ops, surface-to-air fire and anti-aviation weaponry.

The security situation in Myanmar has deteriorated since the military coup in Feb 2021. There is conflict and violence across many parts of the country, involving air strikes and armed clashes. In urban areas, there have been shootings and targeted explosions, although normal city life has resumed in large parts of Yangon.

Major events:
Jan 2024 ongoing: Reports of GPS jamming (and maybe spoofing) in the north of the FIR for overflights between China and Bangladesh airspace.
Jan 2024: Armed group shot down a military helicopter in the northern state of Kachin, which borders China. They likely used a man portable air defence system (MANPAD).
Sep 2023: Several attacks by rebel groups against military targets across the country, including a makeshift drone which dropped bombs on aircraft hangars at an airbase next to VYNT/Naypyitaw airport.
Sep 2023: Reports of intermittent GPS jamming on airway N895 over the mainland in the VYYF/Yangon FIR.
Apr 2023: Myanmar’s main airport VYYY/Yangon temporarily closed following attack by resistance groups with improvised artillery rounds.
Sep 2022: A Myanmar National Airlines passenger was reportedly shot as bullets passed through the fuselage of the ATR 72 aircraft on approach to VYLK/Loikaw.
Feb 2021: Military coup ousted the government. ATC strike at the end of Feb resulted in no ATC service provided to overflights (read more on that here). Since then, there have been increasing strikes and mass protests by opposition activists, as well as clashes with militia and airstrikes on areas where militia are known to be active.

Read: OPSGROUP Article - Myanmar, Nov 2022
23Nov22 Germany AIC 15/23 Caution to German operators for flights below FL160 due to a potential risk from military ops, surface-to-air fire and anti-aviation weaponry.
Niger
Risk elevated for Niger, due to risk of target misidentification for civil traffic. Security on the ground is still a problem. The US continues to advise against all travel there.

Niger’s airspace and airports were temporarily closed to all flights in Aug 2023, following a military coup. The coup leaders are now operating defensively, and actively looking for signs of military intervention from neighbouring states. If this were to happen, it would likely be from ECOWAS states led by Nigeria, and also potentially with troops from Benin, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. In this scenario, such regional escalation would highly likely trigger further airspace closures with increased shootdown risks in the wider area.

Read: OSGROUP article, Aug 2023

Major events:
Jan 2024: Report of intermittent GPS spoofing in Niger, which began during climb out of DRRN/Niamey and remained until descent to DXXX/Lome in Togo to the south.
Dec 2023: Several reports of overflights being denied entry into Niger airspace at short notice. In all cases, a valid permit was in hand but was not accepted by Niger ATC while the flight was airborne. Likely due to CAA computer system errors. Overflights should carry extra fuel for potential holding.
Sep 2023: Niger’s airspace reopened for the first time since a military coup in July. But it now excludes French-registered aircraft, or those chartered by French interests due to a political dispute.

Turkey
The primary risk is misidentification by local militia who infrequently target Turkish military aircraft with MANPADS and weaponsied drones. Operations to LTAJ/Gaziantep should be carefully reviewed given its proximity to the Syrian border. Along the border with Syria and Iraq in proximity to conflict zones, there is a higher level of airborne military traffic, UAS and the risk of proximity to airstrikes.

The secondary risk is from GPS jamming and spoofing. There are frequent reports from crews of GPS signal interference in Turkish airspace - with some as far away as abeam Baghdad. GPS jamming is common through the LTAA/Ankara FIR, and especially on the border between the ORBB/Baghdad and OIIX/Tehran FIRs. As of Nov 2023, GPS Spoofing is also being encountered over the Black Sea in Turkish airspace. All reports share very similar symptoms: uncommanded turns, position errors, and multiple GPWS warnings. The spoofed locations received all centre on Sevastopol, Crimean peninsula, a difference of between 120-250nm from the actual aircraft position. More info: Special Briefing, OPSGROUP Members Dashboard

Major events:
Nov 2023: GPS Spoofing being encountered over the Black Sea in Turkish airspace.
Nov 2022: Shelling and a rocket strike near a town in southern Turkey, near the border with Syria. Turkey has been carrying out airstrikes on Syria and Kurdish regions of Iraq.
May 2021: Attempted drone attack by local militia on LTCC/Diyabakir airport in South Eastern Turkey.
Jan 2019: Turkish security forces intercepted three weaponised drones during attempted attacks against sites in southern Turkey.
09Jan23 Turkey Notam LTAA A0180/23 Expect GPS interference in Turkish Airspace.
19May21 USA FAA Information Note Turkey Drone attack in May 2021 on LTCC/Diyabakir airport in South Eastern Turkey. Local militia targeting military interests are thought to be responsible. While no threats have been made against civil aviation, the militia are known to have access to portable anti-aircraft weaponry which may pose a low-level risk through misidentification.
Cyprus
Two issues the LCCC/Nicosia FIR over Cyprus: proximity to active conflict zone in Syria, and GPS Interference.

The primary risk is from the proximity to Syria: civil aircraft may be targeted in error, or caught in crossfire during ongoing air attacks involving Israel, Russia, Iran. Missiles may erroneously lock on to civil aircraft. There is a risk to civil aircraft operating on overwater airways east of Cyprus.

The secondary risk is from GPS Interference. This has been ongoing since 2018. In April 2018, the Nicosia FIR began being used as a military staging for possible strikes in Syria, prompting EASA to issue a warning, and lead to avoidance of the FIR by many airlines. In Nov 2023, OPSGROUP received several reports of enroute aircraft being targeted with fake GPS signals, leading to complete nav failures. This type of GPS spoofing has not been seen before – IRS is quickly “infected” by false position. Suggested Guidance and Procedures, and original crew reports, in Briefing PDF here: GPS Spoofing, Nov 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

Major events:
Nov 2023 - ongoing: GPS spoofing reported across the Mediterranean region.
Sep 2018: Russian IL-20 shot down in error on FIR boundary with Cyprus (Nicosia FIR) - airline flights on UL620 within 50nm of this position.
10Jul23 Italy AIC 33/23 Caution to Italian operators in the LCCC/Nicosia FIR due to firing exercises - follow ATC instructions closely.
03Jul23 Cyprus Notam LCCC A1014/23 Expect GPS interference in Cyprus airspace.
13Jun23 Cyprus Notam LCCC A0883/23 Cyprus Notam extended: Caution in Cyprus airspace due to military aircraft flying with no transponders.
14Apr18 USA Notam KICZ A0009/18 Exercise caution within 200nm of the Damascus FIR due to military activity. Possibility of GPS interference, communication jamming, and long-range surface to air missiles in the area.
22Mar18 Cyprus Notam LCEN N0068/18 GPS Outages have been reported in the LCEN/Ercan Advisory Airspace.
Armenia
20 Sep 2023: A ceasefire has been agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, following military conflict in the border zone. Cross-border waypoints have reopened, but most operators are still actively avoiding this region, and routing north via Georgian airspace (UGGG/Tbilisi FIR) instead.

No new foreign airspace warnings were issued for Armenia or Azerbaijan as a result of this recent flare-up in hostilities. Several foreign airspace warnings for Armenia or Azerbaijan were withdrawn at the end of the war in 2020. Following brief clashes in Sep 2022, only Canada issued a new airspace warning (for both countries) advising caution due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military ops.

The primary risk is from any further large-scale ceasefire violations involving missiles or anti-aircraft weaponry, which may present a risk to overflights in the border region.

Major events:
Sep 2022: Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia temporarily closed all border waypoints.
Sep/Oct 2020: Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan led to large sections of closed airspace along the northern border. Azerbaijan warned of threat posed by long-range missiles which they claimed Armenia had been using to target locations throughout Azerbaijan. Germany and France issued airspace warnings of a potential risk to aviation from military operations including anti aviation weaponry.

Read: Armenia and Azerbaijan Airspace Risk, September 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

15Sep22 Canada AIC 23/23 Caution advised to Canadian operators in the airspace of Armenia due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military ops.
Azerbaijan
20 Sep 2023: A ceasefire has been agreed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, following military conflict in the border zone. Cross-border waypoints have reopened, but most operators are still actively avoiding this region, and routing north via Georgian airspace (UGGG/Tbilisi FIR) instead.

No new foreign airspace warnings were issued for Armenia or Azerbaijan as a result of this recent flare-up in hostilities. Several foreign airspace warnings for Armenia or Azerbaijan were withdrawn at the end of the war in 2020. Following brief clashes in Sep 2022, only Canada issued a new airspace warning (for both countries) advising caution due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military ops.

The primary risk is from any further large-scale ceasefire violations involving missiles or anti-aircraft weaponry, which may present a risk to overflights in the border region.

Major events:
Sep 2022: Clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia temporarily closed all border waypoints.
Sep/Oct 2020: Conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan led to large sections of closed airspace along the northern border. Azerbaijan warned of threat posed by long-range missiles which they claimed Armenia had been using to target locations throughout Azerbaijan. Germany and France issued airspace warnings of a potential risk to aviation from military operations including anti aviation weaponry.

Read: Armenia and Azerbaijan Airspace Risk, September 2023 (OPSGROUP article)

15Sep22 Canada AIC 23/23 Caution advised to Canadian operators in the airspace of Azerbaijan due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry and military ops.
Venezuela
In June 2023, the US FAA cancelled a four-year long ban on overflights of Venezuela below FL260. The applicable KICZ Notam expired in June, and hasn't been renewed. This essentially ends all restrictions on the enroute use of Venezuelan airspace - no other states have active airspace warnings in place for the SVZM/Maiquetia FIR. Any aircraft planning on using it though still need to consider the possibility of diversions - crew and passenger safety would be a major issue on the ground. The US Department of State maintains its highest level of travel warning for Venezuela due to a risk of crime and kidnapping.
Indonesia
The security situation in Papua remains poor. While there are no active airspace warnings for Indonesian Papua or neighbouring Papua New Guinea, the region has a recent history of armed groups targeting either low flying aircraft or airports themselves. Operators should take extra security precautions, including limiting time spent on the ground.

Major events:
Mar 2023: An armed group opened fired at WAYB/Bilorai airport. One plane on the ground was hit and another diverted.
Feb 2023: An aircraft was set on fire and the pilot taken hostage at Paro airfield.
Jan 2023: An armed group fired at an aircraft landing at WAJO/Oksibil airport. It went around and diverted.
June 2022: An armed group fired at an aircraft landing at Kenyam airfield.
Apr 2021: An armed group attacked WABL/Ilaga airport and torched a private helicopter.
Central African Republic
The security situation on the ground in the Central African Republic is dire. There have been numerous attacks on civilians and peacekeeping troops in recent years. FEFF/Bangui airport is operating under UN control, and is subject to regular power outages. The US and UK advise against all travel to the entire country due to violent crime, civil unrest, and the presence of armed groups who control large areas of the country. There are no official airspace warnings in place for the CAR, but the general advice is to avoid landings here completely.

Major events:
Nov 2022: An unidentified aircraft dropped bombs targeting a militant group 150nm north of the capital Bangui. The group responded with small arms fire. Low flying aircraft in the area may be at increased risk.
Feb 2021: Deteriorating security situation. A state of emergency was declared due to post election violence. The government suspended use of all airspace by foreign governments and NGOs. For the second time, armed rebels attempted to enter the capital Bangui to overthrow the newly elected president. They got within six miles of the city before being pushed back by local and UN forces.
United Arab Emirates
Improving airspace risk picture in the UAE, where there were no reported drone or missile strikes from Yemen since a ceasefire was agreed in April 2022. However, the ceasefire was not extended as of Oct 2022, and there are now concerns that the conflict may start up again soon.

If the conflict resumes, Houthi drone and missile attacks on targets in the UAE pose a potential threat to ops at airports, and for overflights of the OMAE/Emirates FIR. OMAA/Abu Dhabi Airport has been targeted on several occasions in the past. There are not currently any official airspace warnings for the OMAE/Emirates FIR by any countries, but we are listing this info here for reference.

The primary risk is from incidental damage from Houthi drone and missile attacks on airports. Also note that short notice airspace disruptions are likely, along with air defence activity near major cities.

Major events:
Feb 2022: At least three drones were shot down by surface-to-air missiles in UAE airspace on Feb 2. This time militants in Iraq have claimed responsibility for the attack.
Jan 2022: Houthi ballistic missile targeting Abu Dhabi was destroyed on Jan 30 - the third attack in two weeks. Flights at OMAA/Abu Dhabi were briefly affected.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Has The Yemen Conflict Reached The UAE? Jan 2022

16Feb21 United Arab Emirates Notam OMAE A0404/21 Risk from Houthi weapons targeting UAE territory. (This Notam was cancelled in May 2021 and not re-issued, but we are keeping it listed here for reference).
Japan
The primary risk is from debris from missile re-entries striking aircraft overflying the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan. North Korea regularly conducts unannounced missile tests in this area. Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it.

The US prohibits flights across all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan. Several other countries have airspace warnings in place which advise caution due to the risk posed by unannounced rocket launches.

Major events:
Oct 2022: North Korea fired a ballistic missile directly over Japan - the first to incur on Japanese airspace since 2017.
2017: North Korea launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles. Both of these landed in the Sea of Japan, well inside the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (Japanese airspace), and significantly, at least one did not re-enter the atmosphere intact – meaning that a debris field of missile fragments passed through the airspace, not just one complete missile.
2015: North Korea gradually stopped notifying ICAO of missile launches, so that aircraft could avoid the launch and splashdown areas.

Read: North Korea Missile Threat, Oct 2022 (OPSGROUP article)

07Sep20 USA SFAR 79 Flights are prohibited in all North Korean airspace, including the oceanic part of the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR over the Sea of Japan, due to the threat posed by unannounced North Korean missile launches and air defense weapons systems.
09Aug17 OPSGROUP Note To Members: Japan Missile Risk Since 2015, North Korea has been test-launching missiles with increasing regularity. The absolute lack of warning, coupled with an emerging picture of a focus area for re-entry, creates a risk to flight operations in the western portion of Japan’s Fukuoka FIR over the Sea of Japan. Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it. Check routings carefully for arrivals/departures to Europe from Japan, especially if planning airways which connect with the UHHH/Khabarovsk FIR at waypoints IGROD and AVGOK.
Western Sahara
A new conflict zone is emerging in Western Sahara. The country is split down the middle - Morocco controls the west, and the region’s independence movement, the Polisario, controls the east. The Polisario have declared war on Morocco.

The primary risk is from anti-aircraft fire from the conflict. The FAA has published a note warning that the Polisario likely have access to anti-aircraft weaponry which may pose an inadvertent risk to civil aircraft up to FL120. The GCCC/Canarias FIR issued a Notam warning operators to avoid using the airways over Western Sahara below FL200 (this Notam was withdrawn in Nov 2021).

The secondary risk is from lack of continuous ATC coverage. Western Sahara does not control its own airspace - it falls within both the GCCC/Canarias and the GOOO/Dakar FIRs, which may complicate airspace management should the conflict escalate. The FAA advise aircraft operating in the region to stay in touch with ATC and be prepared for possible airspace restrictions and reroutes.

Read: Opsgroup article - Western Sahara Airspace Update, May 2021.

19Nov20 USA FAA Information Note Morocco/Western Sahara Potential new conflict zone in Western Sahara, including anti-aircraft weaponry which may pose an inadvertent risk to civil aircraft up to FL120.
Albania
Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.

In April 2021, Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) along with LATI/Tirana Airport was forced to close, after a number of local air traffic controllers declared themselves temporarily unfit to work.

Local air traffic controllers are working under significant duress and high stress, having been threatened with dismissal (or worse - being arrested and jailed) if they do not declare themselves fit for duty. A number of foreign controllers were temporarily brought in despite not being trained or rated on any of the local positions.

Several international associations have published warnings, including IFALPA and IFATCA.
13Apr21 IFALPA Safety Bulletin Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.
10Apr21 IFATCA Press Release Pilots should exercise extreme caution while operating in Albanian airspace (the LAAA/Tirana FIR) due to a heightened risk of degraded ATC services.
Chad
Chad in the past was a popular fuel stop in central Africa, but multiple travel warnings now advise against travel here (see the UK advice here, and the US advice here). No official airspace warnings have been issued for Chad, but danger remains high. FTTJ/Ndjamena airport was closed for 2 days in April 2021 due to security concerns following the death of Chad’s long term President - more info here. High threat for terrorism. Avoid landings.

Philippines
There has been a high volume of crew reports of GPS Interference in the Philippines, leading to GPS/ADS-B dropouts, especially in the vicinity of RPLL/Manila.
08May17 Philippines Notam RPLL B1584/17 Reports of GPS interference affecting RPLL/Manila Airport.