28 Nov 2021 World Airspace Risk Summary Print

Risk Summary
28 Nov 2021

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

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.

The US, Canada, the UK and France have all 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. There is a clear risk to civil aircraft operating throughout the FIR at all levels however the eastern airways UL602 (between TAMSI and ALPET), UM860 and UM688 are considered acceptable by France and the UK above FL320.
 
Major events:
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.
Jan 2020: US drone strike near ORBI/Baghdad killed a high ranking Iranian general. Considered a serious escalation. Anything that looks like a US asset or ally is now considered a target.
Jan 2020: Ukrainian Airlines 737 misidentified and shot down by Iranian armed forced in Tehran hours after retaliatory missile attacks against US bases in Iraq.
June 2020 onwards: Multiple rocket attacks on ORBI and the US embassy.

Read: Iraq Airspace Update, March 2020 (OPSGROUP article)
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.
20May21 France AIC 18/21 Overflights should only be on airways UM860 northbound or UM688 southbound, at or above FL320.
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.
26Feb21 Germany AIC 14/21 Do not overfly Iraq below FL260 or operate to any airports in the country due to the risk posed by military operations, anti-aviation weaponry, and possible terrorist attacks.
16Oct20 USA SFAR 77 US operators are prohibited from overflying the Baghdad FIR below FL320.
17Jun20 Ukraine Notam A1970/20 Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iraq
10Jan20 Canada AIC 26/21 Operators should not enter the airspace of Iraq.
08Jan20 Iraq Notam A0018/20 Iraq issues warning to operators that Iran fired missiles into the ORBB/Baghdad FIR, altitude and trajectory unknown.
29Jul18 South Africa Notam A2919/18 Overflights should be above FL300
05Dec17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators should not overfly the Baghdad FIR, except on airways UL602 to ALPET, UM860 and UM688, when operating above 25,000ft AGL. (The previous Notam issued by the UK on 9th Jan 2020, advising UK operators that they must not enter the Baghdad FIR, is now cancelled).
Afghanistan
US and allied forces have pulled out of Afghanistan, and the Taliban have taken control of the country. Afghanistan’s airspace is now effectively closed to overflights - the OAKX/Kabul FIR is uncontrolled, and overflying traffic should route around the country.

The FAA bans US operators from Afghanistan’s airspace, only permitting overflights on airways P500 and G500 in the far east of the OAKX/Kabul FIR. EASA, along with authorities in several western countries, have issued similar warnings.

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 limited ATC control across the 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.
Nov 2020: Major rocket attack in Kabul. Nearly two dozen rockets were fired from vehicles in several neighborhoods around the city causing multiple casualties. The road between OAKB/Kabul Airport and the Intercontinental Hotel was also targeted with an explosive device.

Read: OpsGroup Note - Afghanistan Ops Update & Situation Overview 13SEP2021

25Nov21 France AIC 18/21 Operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR, except on airways P500/G500 at or above FL320.
24Nov21 United Kingdom Notam EGTT V0033/21 Operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR, except on airways P500/G500 at or above 25,000ft AGL.
04Nov21 Spain Notam LECM B8293/21 Operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR, except on airways P500/G500 at or above FL260.
30Sep21 Italy Notam LIRR A6981/21 Operators should not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR except on airways P500/G500.
27Sep21 EASA Note There remains an enduring threat to aviation facilities via indirect fire or via suicide bombers, and to overflying traffic due to the lack of ATC.
16Sep21 Germany Notam EDWW B1287/21 German operators are prohibited from entering the OAKX/Kabul FIR, except for overflights above FL330 on airways P500-G500.
16Sep21 Canada Notam CZQX H3064/21 Canadian operators should not enter the airspace of Afghanistan except for overflights at or above FL320 on airways P500 and G500.
14Sep21 USA US FAA Background Notice The primary risk on the ground and at lower altitudes relates to the ongoing threat of weapons activity and terrorist attacks - and following the withdrawal of US and coalition forces there are no longer any risk mitigation capabilities available at OAKB/Kabul airport. Although it is unlikely that Taliban would target civil aviation now that they have assumed control of the country, ISIS and other militant groups are still operating in Afghanistan outside of Taliban control. The primary risk for overflights relates to the lack of ATC service, functioning CAA and air navigation service provider. Bottom line, US operators are banned from the OAKX/Kabul FIR except for airway P500/G500.
30Aug21 USA Notam KICZ A0029/21 US operators are banned from the OAKX/Kabul FIR except for airway P500/G500. Flights to and from OAKB/Kabul airport are no longer exempt.
17Aug21 Europe EASA Information Note Due to recent events, civil aircraft operating in the OAKX/Kabul FIR are exposed to a number of risks. There is currently no ATS available, while Taliban forces may have access to aircraft and weapons left behind by retreating forces. Security infrastructure at airports is very poor, if non-existent. EASA recommends commercial operators do not enter the OAKX/Kabul FIR until further notice.
Yemen
Yemen is an active conflict zone. A civil war which began in 2014 has developed into an international conflict. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. 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 N315, UL425 and R401 with limits as published by Notam (all well off the coast). Saudi Arabian 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: 2017: OYSN/Sanaa badly damaged by coalition airstrikes. April 2018: Saudi airstrikes on Sana’a in retaliation for Houthi drone attacks across the border. July 2018: Houthi target Abu Dhabi Airport with explosive drones. Throughout 2020: Ongoing Houthi drone and rocket attacks targeting OEAH/Abha and OEGN/Jizan airports along the Yemeni-Saudi Border. September 2020: Multiple Saudi airstrikes on rebels in Sana’a, several near the airport. October 2020: Riyadh briefly on high alert for Houthi cruise missile and drone attack. 

Read: Saudi-Yemen Airspace Update, Oct 2020 (OPSGROUP article)
04Nov21 France AIC 18/21 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 26/21 Operators should not enter the airspace of Somalia, including the oceanic part up to and including airway UT702.
11Dec19 USA SFAR 115 US operators are prohibited from overflying the OYSC/Sanaa FIR north of a line KAPET-NODMA-ORBAT-PAKER-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) Operators should avoid Yemen airspace, except airways N315, UL425 and R401.
20Jun15 Germany AIC 14/21 German operators are prohibited from operating on airways over the Yemen landmass within the OYSC/Sanaa FIR.
Iran
Following the shoot-down of Ukraine Int Airlines flight 752 over Tehran in Jan 2020, several countries issued airspace warnings for Iran, including: the UK, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, and France. The US and Ukraine are the only countries to have issued outright flight bans, but all the others advise against landing or overflying the country at the lower flight levels. The airspace adjoining the Tehran FIR is also at risk: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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

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

Read: Iran Airspace Update, March 2020 (OPSGROUP article)
29Oct20 USA SFAR 117 This gives a lot of background info and in-depth detail of the airspace risk in Iran, but it’s basically just a longer version of their old KICZ Notam A0002/20, and the rules haven’t changed - US operators are prohibited from overflying the OIIX/Tehran FIR.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 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.
18Mar20 Ukraine Notam A3270/20 Ukranian operators are prohibited from overflying Iran
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 14/21 Exercise caution in the 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 Tehran FIR below 25,000ft AGL
10Jan20 Canada AIC 26/21 Operators should not enter the airspace of Iran.
22Jun19 Italy Notam LIXX A4578/2019 Unsafe situation in Persian Gulf
22Jun19 India DGCA Notice 22JUN19 Indian aircraft operators required to avoid 'affected' part of Iranian airspace.
21Jun19 UAE Safety Decision 2019-04 Risk to UAE Operators over Gulf, required to conduct risk assessment for overwater area of Tehran FIR.
Libya
Libya is an active Conflict Zone. A civil war is ongoing since 2014. There is a high risk to civil aircraft. Libyan airspace (HLLL/Tripoli FIR) should be avoided entirely. Total flight ban for US, UK, Canadian and French operators.

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

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

Read: Libya Airspace Update, Oct 2019 (OPSGROUP article)
19Apr21 Germany AIC 14/21 Operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
27Jul20 USA SFAR 112 US operators are prohibited from overflying the HLLL/Tripoli FIR except for altitudes at or above FL300 “outside of Libyan territorial airspace” - which is basically the international airspace over the southern Mediterranean Sea that is managed by Libya.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Operators should avoid Libyan airspace.
18Feb20 Canada AIC 26/21 Operators should not enter the airspace of Libya.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators must avoid Libyan airspace.
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 aircraft, and several other countries advise operators 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 clear risk to civil aircraft operating on airways UL620, UW74, UR18, and UP62. In simple terms, if you find yourself planned overwater east of Cyprus, reconsider your route.

Major events:
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)

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. 
27Nov20 USA SFAR 114 US operators are prohibited from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Operators should avoid Syrian airspace.
09Feb20 Canada AIC 26/21 Operators should not enter the airspace of Syria, and there is a potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the Damascus FIR.
22Oct18 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the Damascus FIR.
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 14/21 Do not enter Syrian airspace.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) UK operators must avoid the airspace of Syria.

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

Ethiopia
The conflict in the Northern Ethiopian region of Tigray continues. The country is on the verge of civil war. The Government military are engaged in active fighting with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) who are seeking independence. Several countries have issued airspace warnings cautioning against overflights of the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR.

The primary risk to aviation is from misidentification/miscalculation by TPLF or government forces with the use of anti-aircraft weaponry. In other words - civil aircraft being mistaken for something of military interest, or simply caught in the crossfire.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Ethiopia: Increased risk for overflights, Nov 2021

Major Events:
Nov 2021: Six-month nationwide state of emergency declared, following increased fighting between the military and TPLF rebel forces in the north of the country. Several western countries have issued security warnings. The US is now saying “do not travel” to Ethiopia due to armed conflict and civil unrest, and is encouraging those who are in the country to leave. The conflict will likely intensify in the coming weeks - the government has urged people in the capital Addis Ababa to arm themselves, as the northern rebel forces advance to the south.

July 2021: HAAA/Addis FIR published a Notam closing a section of airspace below FL290 over the Tigray region along the Ethiopia/Eritrea border. This follows reports that militia shot down a military transport plane in the region the previous week, near the capital Mekele. Caution if overflying the area, particularly on airways UM656/UT124 between the HSSS/Khartoum and HAAA/Addis FIRs which have previously been closed due to the conflict.



Nov 2020: Major escalation of the conflict in the Tigray region, along the Ethiopia/Eritrea border. 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 September 7th. Many were not qualified to operate in Ethiopian airspace, due to inexperience.
23Nov21 Canada Notam CZQX H3734/21 Caution for overflights of the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR at or below FL290 due to ongoing ground conflict.
18Nov21 USA Notam KICZ A0035/21 Overflights of the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR should be at FL290 or above. Ongoing conflict on the ground poses a potential inadvertent risk to aviation from weapons fire due to misidentification/miscalculation.
18Nov21 USA US FAA Background Notice Aircraft below FL290 in the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR are at increased risk from anti-aircraft fire which may soon include flights operating in and out of HAAB/Addis Ababa airport if the conflict continues to escalate. 
16Nov21 United Kingdom Notam EGTT V0031/21 Potential risk to overflights of the HAAA/Addis Ababa FIR at all altitudes from anti-aviation weaponry.
15Oct21 Germany Notam EDGG B1393/21 Caution for overflights in the northern portion of the HAAA/Addis FIR (above 10 degrees north, east of the UN301 airway), due to the risk of anti-aircraft weaponry and other military activity.
27Jul21 Ethiopia Notam HAAA A0222/21 Airspace closed below FL290 in the north of the country due to ongoing conflict. (This Notam expired on Oct 27, but we are keeping it listed here for reference).
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.
Ukraine
There is an active conflict zone in eastern Ukraine along the border with Russia. The main hotspot is the Line of Contact which runs through the UKDV/Dnipro FIR. While tensions have lowered from their peak in April 2021, the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in this region continues.

The FAA bans US operators from overflying the eastern part of the UKDV FIR, and warns operators to exercise extreme caution within 100nm of the entire Russia-Ukraine border. Several other states have also issued airspace warnings for eastern Ukraine.

The primary risk is for operations near the Russia-Ukraine border in the UKDV/Dnipro FIR. Should hostilities escalate here, the airspace on both sides could be exposed to potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or miscalculation.

The secondary risk affects the UKFV/Simferopol FIR which is disputed airspace. (Ukraine:UKFV, Russia:URFV). The risk here stems from aircraft potentially receiving confusing and conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian ATC when operating over the region.

Major events:
Oct 2021: US FAA updates SFAR extending flight ban on eastern part of the UKDV FIR to Oct 2023, but reports easing of tensions in the border region due to large withdrawal of Russian forces.
Apr 2021: US FAA warns of escalating tensions along the Ukraine/Russia border.
Oct 2020: US operators now allowed to overfly Crimea again (UKFV/Simeropol FIR). Ops in the eastern half of the UKDV/Dnipro FIR remain prohibited.
July 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flying over Ukraine at FL330 just west of the Russian border was mistakenly shot down after being misidentified as a hostile target by Russian-backed troops on the ground.

06Oct21 USA SFAR 113 This SFAR bans US operators overflying the eastern part of the UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIR due to a continued threat of arms fire in the region.
29Apr21 Canada Notam CZQX H1069/21 Avoid the UKFV/Simferopol and UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIRs in the east of the country due to risk from heightened military activity and anti-aviation weaponry.
17Apr21 USA Notam KICZ A0012/21 Operators should exercise extreme caution within 100nm of the entire Russia-Ukraine border due to the risk of misidentification or miscalculation from potential weapons activity.
13Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Russia/Ukraine Escalating tensions in the east of Ukraine along the border with Russia. Large military buildup and recent increase in ceasefire violations. Several new reports of GPS jamming in the area, along with known surveillance of civil flights by military systems. Similar conditions to those prior to the shoot-down of MH17 in 2014. Should hostilities escalate, the airspace on both sides of the border could be exposed to potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or misperception.
22Oct20 France AIC 18/21 Overflights of the UKFV and UKDV FIRs in the east of the country should only be planned over six Black Sea airways: M854, M856, M860, L851, M435, and M861.
25Apr19 Ukraine Notam A0920/19 Ukraine asks aircraft within Dnipro, Odesa, and Simferopol FIRs to only speak to Ukrainian ATC - callsigns Dnipro Radar and Odesa Radar. (Comment: for Simferopol, Russia says only talk to Russian ATC - hence the problem)
26Feb19 Russia Notam A0937/19 Russia declares iteself as the valid source of information for Simferopol FIR.
13Oct17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Operators should not enter UKDV/Dnipro or UKFV/Simferopol FIRs with the exception of airways L851, M856, M860, and M854.
20Feb15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Possible conflicting ATC instructions due to disputed airspace in the Simferopol FIR.
North Korea
Following talks with the US in early 2018, North Korea agreed with ICAO that it would provide adequate warning of all “activity hazardous to aviation" within its airspace. However, in May 2019 North Korea resumed launching missiles into the Sea of Japan, without providing any warning by Notam.

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.

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. Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it.

Major events:
2021: North Korea tested some short-range ballistic missiles, and a new long-range cruise missile with a range capable of hitting Japan.
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.

09Feb21 Canada AIC 26/21 Exercise caution in the airspace of North Korea 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 18/21 Caution advised for all North Korea overflights, especially in the maritime part over the Sea of Japan (due to unannounced rocket launches).
19Dec19 Germany AIC 14/21 There is a potential risk to overflights of North Korean airspace (ZKKP FIR) due to launching of test missiles without prior notice.
23Aug17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) There is a risk to aircraft overflying ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR, and the Sea of Japan (due to 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.
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.
26Feb21 USA Notam KICZ A0005/21 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.
26Feb21 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) Risk to aircraft overflying Kenya at less than 25,000ft AGL.
Mali
The northern Mali War has been ongoing since 2012, and there have been no improvements in stability. The US, Germany, France and the UK all have warnings in place, advising to operate FL250/260 or higher, and avoiding GATB, GAGO, and GAKL airports, due to ongoing fighting and militant activity. We would suggest, as usual, that a higher level closer to FL300 is more sensible.

The primary risk is from indirect mortar and rocket fire, including MANPADS, which could target aircraft at low altitudes and at airports. The FAA say that militants in Mali primarily target UN and Malian forces which are often based near to Malian airports, and these attacks present an indirect threat to civil aviation.

Major events:
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.


26Feb21 USA Notam KICZ A0003/21 Avoid operating below FL260 in Mali's airspace due to ongoing fighting and militant activity.
26Feb21 USA US FAA Background Notice Avoid operating below FL260 in Mali's airspace due to ongoing fighting and militant activity.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Overflights should be at FL320 or above.
16Aug17 Germany AIC 14/21 Avoid GATB, GAGO, GAMB and GAKL airports. Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
09Jun17 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Risk to aircraft overflying Mali airspace below 25,000ft AGL.
South Sudan
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, HSSJ/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 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 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.
07May21 South Africa Notam FACA FAJO FAJA A1153/21 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 18/21 Overflights should be at FL260 or above, in the part of the HSSS/Sudan FIR above South Sudan.
16Jun16 OSPGROUP Research Article Army of South Sudan will shoot down aircraft.
26Aug15 Germany AIC 14/21 Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
12Jun15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Risk to aircraft overflying South Sudan airspace below 25,000ft AGL.
Saudi Arabia
Houthi drone and missile attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia are increasing. These continue to be a persistent threat to ops to Saudi airports, and for overflights of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR. 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.

The are several long-standing airspace warnings in place: Canada, France and Germany warn of a risk to landing anywhere in the country, but particularly along the border with Yemen in the southwest part of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR. There is definitely a risk to operations in Saudi airspace, even outside the ESCAT area.

The primary risk is from Houthi drone and missile attacks on airports across the country, but particularly in the south.
 
Major events:
Throughout 2021: Ongoing 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, Oct 2020 (OPSGROUP article)
11Mar21 Canada AIC 26/21 Due to military activity, operators should not enter the southwest part of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR, and exercise caution across the rest of Saudi airspace.
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.
20May20 France AIC 18/21 Exercise caution in Saudi airspace, particularly in the southwest of the FIR; and do no operate to OEAB, OEGN, OENG, OESH, OEWD, OEBA and OEBH airports.
07Oct19 Germany AIC 14/21 Potential risk to landing anywhere in Saudi Arabia, but particularly along the border with Yemen in the southwest part of the OEJD/Jeddah FIR.
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
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 below FL260. Several other countries have issued airspace warnings advising against operating below FL260 (Note UR401 SIHIL-AXINA is excluded from this by one authority).

Major events:
2020-2021: Multiple instances of Al-Shabaab attacks on HCMM/Mogadishu and nearby 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.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Al-Shabab: A Threat Beyond Somalia, Jul 2021
09Feb21 Canada AIC 26/21 Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
11Dec19 USA SFAR 107 US operators are prohibited operating below FL260 in the airspace of Somalia.
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 14/21 Do not operate to airports in Somalia, and do not overfly the airspace below FL260 except for UR401.
15Jan16 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Operators should avoid overflying Somalia airspace below 25,000ft AGL.
Egypt
Since the Arab Spring, Egypt’s stability and security situation as a state has declined.

-July 2019: British Airways suspends Cairo operations for one week due to security concerns
-In February 2017 an an SA-7 anti-aircraft missile tube was found less than a mile from HECA/Cairo airport.
-In October 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.

There remains a threat from terrorism in Egypt, particularly in the Sinai Peninsular - most countries advise against operating to airports in this region, as well as overflights below FL260.
30Mar21 USA Notam KICZ A0010/21 Avoid overflying the Sinai Peninsula below FL260.
30Mar21 USA US FAA Background Notice Avoid overflying the Sinai Peninsula below FL260.
20May20 Germany AIC 14/21 Entire Sinai Peninsula presents a risk below FL260 for overflights and landings, with a particular focus on the northern part.
04Mar20 Ireland Notam B0152/20 Avoid overflying the Sinai Peninsula below FL260
25Mar19 Egypt Notam A0266/18 Do not plan RNAV approaches at Cairo.
18Nov15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Risk to aircraft overflying Egypt's Northern Sinai region at less than 25,000ft AGL.
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. Military activity by Pakistan and India in the disputed Kashmir region poses a potential inadvertent risk to aviation at all altitudes, particularly in the OPLR/Lahore FIR. The consensus among foreign authorities is to cross the OPLR/Lahore and OPKR/Karachi FIRs at higher flight 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.
01Jan21 USA Notam KICZ A0001/21 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.
01Jan21 USA US FAA Background Notice 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 14/21 Overflights should be at FL260 and above; potential risk of attacks at all airports in Pakistan.
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Overflights should be at FL260 or above.
08Oct15 UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) Risk to aircraft overflying OPKC/Karachi and OPLR/Lahore FIRs below 25,000ft AGL.

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

Sudan
Ops resumed at HSSK/Khartoum Airport on Oct 27 following a military coup in Sudan on Oct 25. The main risk to aviation is the security situation on the ground. Civil unrest is widespread and there have been fatal clashes with police. There's no increased risk for overflights in the HSSS/Khartoum FIR, but keep in mind the lack of security if you need to divert - things are volatile.

Only one international airspace warning exists, that of France, recommending overflight above FL260 in the far southern and western edges of the country (west of the 27°E and south of 13°N) near to the borders with South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Chad.

The primary risk here now relates to its proximity to South Sudan - which has poor levels of ATC provision for overflights below FL245.

Major events:
Oct 2021: Military coup on Oct 25. HSSK/Khartoum closed for two days, with all flights suspended.
Jan 2020: HSSK/Khartoum airport was closed for five hours late on 14 Jan following gunfire on the streets of the capital, including in areas close to the airport. The clashes were between the army and former security agents who revolted over severance pay. The airport reopened the next day, with the government saying the violence was over and the situation was under control.
Apr 2019: Sudan temporarily closed its airspace all day on 11 April following a military coup which ousted the country’s longtime President Omar al-Bashir from power. This came after months of on-and-off protests against his rule.

Read: OPSGROUP article: Sudan Airspace Update, Jan 2021
09Apr20 France AIC 18/21 Maintain FL260 or higher in the HSSS/Sudan FIR along its southern edge (where Sudan borders with South Sudan) and western edge (where Sudan borders with Central African Republic and Chad).
Belarus
Several countries and aviation organisations have 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.

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. Several member states have since issued Notams (which we have not listed here), but the language in these is a bit different - most say that EU operators are “requested” and foreign operators are “recommended” to not overfly Belarus.

The US has urged operators to “exercise extreme caution” until the FAA can better assess Belarus’ actions.

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. Understandably, this is of major concern to civil aviation.

However, we view this as a one-off incident, that is not likely to recur. We do not consider there to be additional risk to aircraft flying through the Minsk FIR. The warnings and advisories listed here are for reference only.
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.
28May21 USA Notam KICZ A0017/21 Operators should “exercise extreme caution” in the UMMV/Minsk FIR until the FAA can better assess Belarus’ actions surrounding the May 23 interception and diversion of a passenger jet and the potential for Belarus to repeat similar actions in the future.
25May21 EASA Safety Information Bullet 2021-10 EU and Third Country Operators should avoid the UMMV/Minsk FIR.
25May21 Canada AIC 26/21 Operators advised not to enter the airspace of Belarus.
Israel
Rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on targets in Gaza and Syria could present a risk to civil aircraft operating in the region.

The primary risks are: misidentification or miscalculation by air defence systems, falling debris from air defence activities, ballistic impact while on the ground, and short notice airspace closures.

Major Events:
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: Rocket attacks on Israel and Israeli air strikes on Gaza. 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. Ceasefire agreed on May 21.
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.

Read: Opsgroup article - Israel: Assessing the Airspace Risk, May 2021
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.
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. 
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.
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.

The secondary risk is from GPS jamming. 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.

Major events:
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.
19May21 USA FAA Information Note Turkey Drone attack this week 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.
06Jan21 Turkey Notam LTAA A3618/20 Expect GPS interference in Turkish Airspace.
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 has issued a Notam warning operators to avoid using the airways over Western Sahara below FL200.

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.

03Sep21 Spain Notam GCCC B6602/21 Operators should avoid the airspace over Western Sahara below FL200.
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.

On April 8, 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.
Russia
There is an active conflict zone in eastern Ukraine along the border with Russia. The main hotspot is the Line of Contact which runs through the UKDV/Dnipro FIR. While tensions have lowered from their peak in April 2021, the conflict between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in this region continues.

The FAA bans US operators from overflying the eastern part of the UKDV FIR, and warns operators to exercise extreme caution within 100nm of the entire Russia-Ukraine border. Several other states have also issued airspace warnings for eastern Ukraine.

The primary risk is for operations near the Russia-Ukraine border in the UKDV/Dnipro FIR. Should hostilities escalate here, the airspace on both sides could be exposed to potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or miscalculation.

Major events:
Oct 2021: US FAA updates SFAR extending flight ban on eastern part of the UKDV FIR to Oct 2023, but reports easing of tensions in the border region due to large withdrawal of Russian forces.
Apr 2021: US FAA warns of escalating tensions along the Ukraine/Russia border.
Oct 2020: US operators now allowed to overfly Crimea again (UKFV/Simeropol FIR). Ops in the eastern half of the UKDV/Dnipro FIR remain prohibited.
July 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flying over Ukraine at FL330 just west of the Russian border was mistakenly shot down after being misidentified as a hostile target by Russian-backed troops on the ground.

22Apr21 USA US FAA Background Notice Caution if operating in the UUWV or URRV FIRs on the border with Ukraine due to risks associated with escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Should hostilities escalate, the airspace on both sides of the border could be exposed to potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or misperception.
17Apr21 USA Notam KICZ A0012/21 Operators should exercise extreme caution within 100nm of the entire Russia-Ukraine border due to the risk of misidentification or miscalculation from potential weapons activity.
13Apr21 USA FAA Information Note Russia/Ukraine Escalating tensions in the east of Ukraine along the border with Russia. Large military buildup and recent increase in ceasefire violations. Several new reports of GPS jamming in the area, along with known surveillance of civil flights by military systems. Similar conditions to those prior to the shoot-down of MH17 in 2014. Should hostilities escalate, the airspace on both sides of the border could be exposed to potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or misperception.
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:
2021: North Korea tested some short-range ballistic missiles, and a new long-range cruise missile with a range capable of hitting Japan.
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.

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.
Venezuela
Ongoing political and social crisis in Venezuela. On 1 May 2019, the US FAA issued a new Do Not Fly instruction to US operators, barring all operations into or over Venezuela, unless operating at or above FL260, and giving a window of 48 hours to leave the country.
01May19 USA Notam KICZ A0013/19 Flights are prohibited below FL260
United Arab Emirates
Missiles fired by Yemeni rebels (Houthis) have reached Saudi Arabia multiple times, and they have threatened to fire at the UAE. In April 2019 a spokesman for the Houthis said - "Our missiles are capable of reaching Riyadh and beyond Riyadh, to Dubai and Abu Dhabi."
16Feb21 United Arab Emirates Notam OMAE A0404/21 Risk from Houthi weapons targeting UAE territory
Lebanon
The primary risk in Lebanon’s airspace (the OLBB/Beirut FIR) relates to its 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 airways UL620, UW74, UR18, and UP62. In simple terms, if you find yourself planned overwater east of Cyprus, reconsider your route.

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.

Major events:
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)

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.
Chad
N'Djamena in the past was a popular fuel stop in central Africa, but multiple travel warnings now advise against travel here. No official state Notams have been issued, but danger remains high.  A state of emergency remains in place for the Lake Chad region. High threat for terrorism. Avoid landings.
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 airways UL620, UW74, UR18, and UP62. In simple terms, if you find yourself planned overwater east of Cyprus, reconsider your route.

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.

Major events:
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.

11Feb20 Cyprus Notam LCCC A0211/20 Expect GPS interference in Cyprus Airspace.
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.
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 B1584/17 Reports of GPS interference affecting RPLL/Manila Airport.
Central African Republic
The situation on the ground in the Central African Republic is volatile and as of June 2017 has been deteriorating rapidly. There have been numerous attacks on Civilians and peacekeeping troops. Bangui FEFF is operating under UN control, it is subject to regular power outages and is also acting as a refugee camp. Avoid landings.