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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

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Saturday, 14 November 2015

WILL YOUR NEXT FLIGHT BE OVER A DANGER ZONE ?



Following the news that Russian A321 may have been brought down by a bomb, many carriers now are avoiding Sinai Peninsula. Some time ago, AeroTime has also discussed EASA’s recommendations regarding the potential risk for carriers flying over the Caspian Sea . It seems that the list of no-go and no-fly zones for airlines is rapidly expanding. So will your next journey cross one of these dangerous zones?

High risk area - Sinai
Many international airlines have stopped flying over Sinai after the mysterious crash of a Russian commercial jet with more than 200 people on board. It’s still not clear what might have caused the crash, though the FAA confirmed that the plane was flying over a danger zone. “The area where the aircraft was flying was a dangerous zone, it was stated by the FAA and other authorities that you should not fly in that area below 26,000 feet” - said FAA spokesman Ian Gregor. However, in some cases, altitude is not enough and we have to deal with tragic aftermaths.
 
High risk area – Iran
Some airlines have stopped flying over the region amid concerns over Russian airstrikes in Syria. In an interview to AeroTime, some airlines told they had received safety advisories from both the EASA and the United Nations' International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and decided to change their routes. Nevertheless, airlines like Austrian Airlines, Norwegian, Qantas and more, stated that stated the airspace above the Caspian Sea is ‘safe for now’.
 
Prohibited area – Iraq
The Iraqi no-fly zones were a set of two separate no-fly zones (NFZs), and were proclaimed by the United States, United Kingdom, and France after the Gulf War of 1991 to protect the Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south. Aircraft were forbidden from flying inside the zones. The policy was enforced by U.S., British, and French aircraft patrols until France withdrew in 1998. While the enforcing powers had cited United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 as authorizing the operations, the resolution contains no explicit authorization.
 
High risk area – Syria
The debates about making Syria a no-fly zone appears to be driven by a combination of factors, including the tragedy of refugee flows to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Syrian gambit, and the efforts the US administration, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, to do something in President Barack Obama’s final year. John Kerry reportedly instructed his staff to revisit plans for the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syria. Influential figures such as former US Secretary of State Clinton and Turkish President Erdogan have long supported the establishment of a no-fly zone. The introduction of Russian forces into Syria has further complicated the establishment of any form of no-fly zone. In addition to engaging in air strikes against ISIS, Russia is also reportedly set to supply an advanced anti-aircraft missile system to Syria.
 
High risk area – Afghanistan
The war-torn nation is attempting to rebuild its aviation infrastructure and has benefitted from an infusion of US$33 million annually generated by fly-over fees, according to the Afghan Civil Aviation Authority. Nevertheless, Afghanistan, which lies in the path of many flights between Asia and Europe, is described as a highly dangerous flight zone. According to the FAA “due to ongoing military operations and insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, the FAA warns that civil aircraft could be damaged by small-arms fire, rocket fire or attacks using man-portable air defense systems.” The requirements are to stay above 26 000 feet.
 
Prohibited area – Eastern Ukraine
Read more in AeroTime’s article about how Ukrainian airspace have turned into an unexpected $200 million worth of fortune for neighboring countries, including Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Iran and Russia. Although direct flights to capital Kiev still operate, international aviation authorities promptly reviewed their safety recommendations and closed the airspace over Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk FIRs after a Malaysia Airlines plane MH17 was shot down there last year with 298 passengers and crew on board. Since these tragic events, carriers have redirected their aircraft to alternative routes bypassing the country.
 
Prohibited area – Libya
Due to the serious human rights violations perpetrated in Libya, EU decided to adopt a number of measures aimed at prohibiting certain types of exchange with Libya - in particular, a weapons embargo, a no-fly zone over Libyan airspace and spare parts restriction. Airlines are recommended to take all necessary measures to enforce the no-fly zone over Libyan airspace, prohibiting the take-off, overflight and landing in their territory. US authorities have also warned about Libya and say that it prohibits flight operations within the Tripoli Flight Information Region.
 
Prohibited area – Somalia
The US State Department says war-torn Somalia remains unstable and dangerous. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned all US airlines from flying over Somalia deeming it too dangerous. Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also listed Somalia as country to avoid. It says Aussies should not travel to the area because of the armed conflict and a high threat of kidnapping attacks in Mogadishu are frequent, and can target foreigners.
 
Prohibited area – North Korea
FAA prohibits U.S. flights from entering airspace over Pyongyang west of 132 degrees east longitude. An advisory warns that North Korea is known for testing ballistic missiles without any warning. As recently as March 2015, North Korea test-fired two missiles into the Sea of Japan. The country has launched a total of 90 rockets or missiles so far this year, according to the New York Times.
 
High risk area – Kenya
There are also parts Kenya that airlines are not advised to fly over. US commercial flights aren’t allowed to fly north of 12 degrees latitude in Ethiopia’s airspace. The U.S. also warns against using the Mandera Airstrip in Kenya, which is adjacent to Ethiopia and Somalia and may be fired upon by Ethiopian forces.
 
High risk area – Congo
The country has faced a tragic, tumultuous history since colonization. Currently, airlines are advised to stay above 15 000 feet when flying over Democratic Republic of Congo. Congolese planes crash with depressing regularity, with eight recorded crashes in 2007 alone. In 2008, 40 people died in crash in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of several African nations with serious air safety issues. All air carriers certified in the DRC are banned from operating within the EU due to safety concerns.
 
High risk area - Mali
In Mali, planes have to stay above 15,000 feet. Mali raised some concerns in international media about air safety after Air Algérie AH5017 aircraft headed from Burkina Faso to Algeria crashed in the Mali desert, killing all 118 onboard. Air-traffic- control recordings show the pilots had reported heavy storms and had asked to turn back.


Source: http://www.aerotime.aero/en/people/people-news/editorial/20232-deadly-routes-will-your-next-flight-be-over-a-danger-zone

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