Syria

Risk Level: One - Do Not Fly

[ about risk levels ]
Summary: There are multiple risks to aviation here, including the very real threat of coming under fire from Syrian air defences. Several airspace warnings remain in place, including a total flight ban by the US FAA. Almost no traffic overflies Syria, and it should be avoided.

Since March 2011: Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war.

September 2018: Russian military aircraft shot down on the border between Damascus and Nicosia FIR.

Feb 2020: Israel continues to carry out occasional airstrikes on Syrian territory. Russia accused the Israeli military of putting commercial flights at risk, by timing their airstrikes on Syria too close to flights arriving at Beirut and Damascus airports. On Feb 6, a commercial A320 flight en-route to Damascus was forced to divert to Russia-controlled Khmeimim air base to avoid anti-aircraft fire from Syrian air defences. Damascus ATC instructed the plane to divert, as the Syrian air defence systems engaged four Israeli F-16s, and the civilian aircraft found itself in the crossfire.

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
USA Notam KICZ A0053/20 27 Nov 2020 30 Dec 2023
USA SFAR 114 27 Nov 2020 23 Dec 2020
Germany Notam B1239/20 29 Jun 2020 28 Sep 2020
France AIC 23/20 09 Apr 2020 Ongoing
Canada Notam H0330/20 09 Feb 2020 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 22 Oct 2018 Ongoing
USA Notam KICZ A0009/18 14 Apr 2018 Ongoing
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 12 Jun 2015 Ongoing
Source: USA
Issued: 27-Nov-20, valid until: 30 Dec 2023
Plain English: As per SFAR 114, US operators are prohibited from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
A0053/20 - SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLTS IN THE DAMASCUS FLT INFO REGION (FIR)(OSTT). 14 CFR 91.1609 SPECIAL FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION (SFAR) NO. 114 PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLTS IN THE DAMASCUS FLT INFO REGION (FIR)(OSTT) WAS PUBLISHED IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER ON 27 NOV 2020 AND WAS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. ADDITIONAL INFO IS PROVIDED AT: HTTPS://WWW.FAA.GOV/AIR_TRAFFIC/PUBLICATIONS/US_RESTRICTIONS/. SFC - UNL, 27 NOV 11:18 2020 UNTIL 30 DEC 23:59 2023. CREATED: 27 NOV 11:23 2020
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR 114
Issued: 27-Nov-20, valid until: 23 Dec 2020
Plain English: US operators are prohibited from entering the OSTT/Damascus FIR.
The situation in the Damascus FIR (OSTT) continues to present an unacceptable level of risk for U.S. civil aviation safety. The conflict in Syria between pro-Assad regime forces, third country military forces, as well as opposition groups, and extremist elements, is extremely complex.

The presence of third parties conducting independent military operations in Syria against pro-Assad regime forces, opposition groups, and extremist elements, exacerbates the situation. Third-party airstrikes in Syria often result in Syrian military air defense responses. Syrian authorities do not adequately de-conflict these air defense activities, which include indiscriminate surface-to-air missile (SAM) fire, with civil aviation operations in the Damascus FIR (OSTT), including, but not limited to, civil flight operations in close proximity to international airports in Syria. For example, in late February 2020, Syrian air defense activities forced a commercial Cham Wings Airbus 320 passenger flight on final approach to Damascus International Airport to divert to an alternate airfield in Syria.

The lack of de-confliction of Syrian air defense activity with civil air traffic is just one of the risks to U.S. civil aviation operations in the Damascus FIR (OSTT) emanating from third-party involvement in Syria. Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese terrorist organization, Hizballah, all of which are Syrian regime allies, continue to conduct military operations in Syria and have deployed significant air defense and electronic warfare capabilities, including Global Positioning System Start Printed Page 75842(GPS) jammers, which present a risk to U.S. civil aviation operations in the Damascus FIR (OSTT). In March 2020, Russian, Turkish and Syrian forces clashed in Idlib Province. During these clashes, fighter aircraft and possible SAMs shot down several manned and unmanned aircraft.

In addition to the hazards associated with third-party involvement in the Syrian conflict, extremist threats to civil aviation safety continue to exist in Syria. Terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) and al Qaida-aligned entities possess, or have access to, a wide array of anti-aircraft weapons that pose a risk to civil aviation operations in the Damascus FIR (OSTT). Anti-regime forces, extremists, and militants have successfully shot down multiple military aircraft using man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) during the Syrian conflict. Additionally, various elements have successfully targeted military aircraft using advanced anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs). ATGMs primarily pose a risk to civil aircraft operating near, or parked at, an airport. Finally, various groups employ unmanned aircraft systems to surveil and attack Syrian and Syrian-allied fielded forces and airfields.

As a result of the ongoing military activities by multiple actors and the lack of progress towards ending the conflict, the FAA expects significant hazards to the safety of U.S. civil aviation in the Damascus FIR (OSTT) will endure. Therefore, as a result of the significant, continuing risk to the safety of U.S. civil aviation in the Damascus FIR (OSTT), the FAA extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 114, § 91.1609, from December 30, 2020, to December 30, 2023.
Source: Germany
Reference: Notam B1239/20
Issued: 29-Jun-20, valid until: 28 Sep 2020
Plain English: Flights are prohibited in Syrian airspace
B1239/20 (Issued for EDWW EDGG EDMM)
SECURITY SYRIA POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION - FIR DAMASCUS (OSTT)

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY PROHIBITS CIVIL GERMAN AIR OPERATORS TO PLAN AND CONDUCT FLIGHTS WITHIN FIR DAMASCUS (OSTT). POTENTIAL RISK TO AVIATION DUE TO A STATE OF WAR INCLUDING MILITARY OPERATIONS.

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

FURTHER INFORMATION: WEBSITE OF THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT AND DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE OF GERMANY (WWW.BMVI.DE HTTP://WWW.BMVI.DE, THEMEN, MOBILITAET, LUFT, KRISENMANAGEMENT).

29 JUN 10:06 2020 UNTIL 27 SEP 23:59 2020. CREATED: 29 JUN 10:09 2020
Source: France
Reference: AIC 23/20
Issued: 09-Apr-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Operators should avoid Syrian airspace.
From 09/04/2020 and until further notice, French air carriers and aircraft owners registered in France are requested not to authorize their aircraft to penetrate into the airspace of Syria (OSTT FIR (DAMASCUS)).
Source: Canada
Reference: Notam H0330/20
Issued: 09-Feb-20, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Canadian operators advised not to enter the airspace of Syria, and there is a potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the Damascus FIR.
H0330/20 (Issued for CZUL CZQM CZQX)
AIRSPACE SECURITY WARNING ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT IN RESPONSE TO THE POTENTIAL RISK FM HEIGHTENED MIL ACT AND DEDICATED ANTI-AVIATION WEAPONRY IN OR AROUND SYRIA.

THIS MIL ACT MIGHT INCLUDE GPS INTERFERENCE, COM JAMMING, AND POSSIBLE ERRANT LONG-RANGE SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES ORIGINATING FM SYRIAN TERRITORY, WITHIN THE DAMASCUS FIR (OSTT), AND STRAYING INTO ADJ AIRSPACE.

AIR OPR ARE ADVISED NOT TO ENTER THE AIRSPACE OF SYRIA, INCLUDING THE DAMASCUS FIR (OSTT), AND TO EXER CAUTION WHEN OPR IN THE AIRSPACE WITHIN 200NM OF THE DAMASCUS FIR (OSTT).

09 FEB 18:13 2020 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 09 FEB 18:13 2020
Source: UK
Issued: 22-Oct-18, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Potential risk to aircraft within 200nm of the Damascus FIR.
Hazardous Situation in the Vicinity of Damascus FIR

Potential risk to aviation operating up to 200 NM outside the Damascus FIR from anti-aircraft weaponry.

Operators are advised to exercise caution and conduct their own risk assessments.

Contact UK Department for Transport +44 (0)207-944 4426 or +44
(0)207-944 5999 out of hours.
Source: USA
Issued: 14-Apr-18, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: 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.
KICZ A0009/18
SECURITY..UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ADVISORY FOR AIRSPACE IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO DAMASCUS FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (OSTT FIR).

THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A BELOW ARE ADVISED TO EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN OPERATING IN THE AIRSPACE WITHIN 200 NAUTICAL MILES OFTHE DAMASCUS FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION (OSTT FIR) DUE TO HEIGHTENED MILITARY ACTIVITY IN OR AROUND SYRIA. THIS MILITARY ACTIVITY MIGHT INCLUDE GPS INTERFERENCE, COMMUNICATIONS JAMMING, AND POSSIBLE ERRANT LONG-RANGE SURFACE-TO-AIR MISSILES ORIGINATING FROM SYRIAN TERRITORY, WITHIN THE OSTT FIR, AND STRAYING INTO ADJACENT AIRSPACE,THAT COULD POSE AN INADVERTENT RISK TO U.S. CIVIL AVIATION OPERATING IN THIS REGION. TITLE 14, CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, SECTION 91.1609, SPECIAL FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION NO. 114 PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE DAMASCUS FIR REMAINS IN EFFECT.

A. APPLICABILITY. THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO: ALL U.S. AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS; ALL PERSONS EXERCISING THE PRIVILEGES OF AN AIRMAN CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE FAA, EXCEPT SUCH PERSONS OPERATING U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT FOR A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER; AND ALL OPERATORS OF AIRCRAFT REGISTERED IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT WHERE THE OPERATOR OF SUCH AIRCRAFT IS A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER.

B. PLANNING. THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A PLANNING TO OPERATE WITHIN 200 NAUTICAL MILES OF THE OSTT FIR SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION AND MUST REVIEW CURRENT SECURITY/THREAT INFORMATION AND NOTAMS AND COMPLY WITH ALL APPLICABLE FAA REGULATIONS, OPERATIONS SPECIFICATIONS, MANAGEMENT SPECIFICATIONS, AND LETTERS OF AUTHORIZATION, INCLUDING UPDATING B450.

C. OPERATIONS. EXERCISE CAUTION DURING FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE ABOVE NAMED AREA DUE TO HEIGHTENED MILITARY ACTIVITY IN OR AROUND SYRIA AND THE POTENTIAL RISK TO U.S. CIVIL AVIATION IN THE REGION.THOSE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A MUST REPORT ANY SAFETY/SECURITY INCIDENTS TO THE FAA AT ASH-AXE-CITE-WATCH@FAA.GOVOR +1 202-267-3333 OR 1-844-412-1794.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS PROVIDED AT: https://www.faa.gov/AIR_TRAFFIC/PUBLICATIONS/US_RESTRICTIONS/

SFC - UNL, 14 APR 00:16 2018 UNTIL PERM.
Source: UK
Issued: 12-Jun-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: Potential risk to aircraft over Syria airspace at all flight levels.
Hazardous Situation in Syria

Potential risk to aviation overflying from dedicated anti-aircraft weaponry.

In accordance with direction under the Aviation Security Act 1982, UK registered operators so served shall not enter the territory and airspace (including Damascus FIR) of the Syrian Arab Republic.

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

Contact UK Department for Transport +44 (0)207-944 4426 or +44 (0)207-944 5999 out of hours.