Transportation: FAA restricts US air carriers from operating in airspace over Iraq, Iran, Persian Gulf, and Gulf of Oman as of Jan. 8. Delays possible.

Severity: Informational Alert

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Bahrain
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Saudi Arabia

This alert began 08 Jan 2020 11:37 GMT and is scheduled to expire 14 Feb 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Airspace advisory
  • Location: Iraq, Iran, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite as of Jan. 8
  • Impact: Possible flight disruptions

Summary
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has published a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) prohibiting US civil aviation airlines from operating in the airspace over Iraq, Iran, and the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, as of early Jan. 8. The move is a precautionary measure due to the risk of commercial air carriers being misidentified as a military aircraft by Iranian forces amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

The NOTAM will likely have little practical effect on US airline carriers, as they already avoid Iranian and Iraqi airspace as a precaution. Longer flight times, cancellations, and other related travel and business disruptions may occur in the coming days; numerous international airlines, including Singapore Airlines (SQ), have already announced plans to reroute flights away from Iranian airspace as a result of the escalating conflict between the US and Iran. Disruptions could intensify if additional other countries and major non-US airline carriers implement similar restrictions.

Advice
Monitor flight schedules for the airports in the affected region and confirm the status of flight operations due to potential itinerary changes.

Resource
Federal Aviation Administration: www.faa.gov