Risk Level: One - Do Not Fly

[ about risk levels ]
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.

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 N315, UL425 and R401 with limits as published by Notam (all well off the coast). 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:
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)

Current warnings list :

Source Reference Issued Valid to
Italy AIC 33/23 10 Jul 2023 05 Oct 2024
USA FAA Information Note Saudi Arabia/Yemen 17 Mar 2022 Ongoing
France AIC 13/23 04 Nov 2021 Ongoing
Canada AIC 23/23 09 Feb 2021 Ongoing
USA SFAR 115 11 Dec 2019 07 Jan 2025
UK UK AIP ENR 1.1 (1.4.5) 08 Sep 2015 Ongoing
Germany AIC 15/23 19 Jun 2015 Ongoing
Source: Italy
Reference: AIC 33/23
Issued: 10-Jul-23, valid until: 05 Oct 2024
Plain English: Italian operators should avoid the OYSC/Sanaa FIR below FL320.
Italian air carriers and captains of aircraft in charge of air services operated by carriers holding an operating license issued by Italy, whether they are contractual carriers and/or operating carriers, or performing air services through a wet lease or a codeshare agreement as well as for any flight made with an aircraft registered in Italy, are recommended to avoid FIR OYSC Sanaa below FL 320.
Source: USA
Issued: 17-Mar-22, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: 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.
Title: FAA Information Note - Saudi Arabia/Yemen: Houthi UAS Attack in Riyadh.

Click the link for full text.
Source: France
Reference: AIC 13/23
Issued: 04-Nov-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: 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).
From 04/11/2021 and until further notice, pilots in command of aircraft performing air services mentioned in paragraph 1.1 are requested not to penetrate into the airspace of Yemen (OYSC FIR (SANAA), except for routes located in the maritime part of FIR OYSC (SANAA), east of route B400 included, on which a flight level above or equal to FL320 is requested to be maintained at all times.
Source: Canada
Reference: AIC 23/23
Issued: 09-Feb-21, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: 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
Level 2 (Recommendation)
SECURITY – HAZARDOUS SITUATION IN YEMEN. Canadian Air Operators and owners of aircraft registered in Canada are recommended not to enter FIR Sana’a (OYSC), northwest of the line created by the waypoints PAKER-ORBAT-NORMA on jet route UT702. Potential risks from anti-aviation weaponry and military operations.
Source: USA
Reference: SFAR 115
Issued: 11-Dec-19, valid until: 07 Jan 2025
Plain English: 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.
The FAA continues to assess that opposition elements in Yemen do not possess functional medium-/long-range strategic SAM capabilities or control territory from which surface-to-air weapons possessed by those opposition forces are capable of reaching air routes off the southern and western coasts of Yemen. Therefore, the FAA maintains without change the boundaries of its prohibition on U.S. civil aviation operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC). Operations on jet routes UT702 and M999 continue to be permitted.

Therefore, as a result of the significant continuing risks to the safety of U.S. civil aviation in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC), the FAA extends the expiration date of SFAR No. 115, § 91.1611, from January 7, 2020 until January 7, 2022. By this action, the FAA prohibits flight operations in the specified areas of the Sanaa FIR (OYSC) at all altitudes by all: U.S. air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S.-registered civil aircraft, except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.
Source: UK
Issued: 08-Sep-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: UK operators should avoid the OYSC/Sanaa FIR except airways N315, UL425 and R401, due to potential risk from anti-aviation weaponry.
Hazardous Situation in Yemen

Potential risk from dedicated anti-aviation weaponry.

Operators are strongly advised not to enter the territory and airspace of Yemen (Sana’a FIR).

This advice does not apply to those aircraft operating on Airways N315, UL425 and R401.
Source: Germany
Reference: AIC 15/23
Issued: 19-Jun-15, valid until: Ongoing
Plain English: German operators are prohibited from operating on airways over the Yemen landmass within the OYSC/Sanaa FIR.
Level 3 (Highest Risk - Do Not Enter). Civil German air operators are prohibited to enter FIR SANAA (OYSC). Potential risk from state of war.

Excluded from this prohibition are airway N315 between KUTVI and ASPUX, airway UL425 between BOVOS and ASPUX, airway UM551 between KIVEL and ANGAL and airway R401 between KIVEL and SUHIL.

Further information: Website of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport of Germany (www.BMVI.DE/KRISENMANAGEMENT).