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FAA bans U.S. flights over Iraq

The ban pertains to overflights of all of Iraq by all U.S. carriers, although few regularly fly through Iraqi airspace.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   Aug. 8, 2014 at 4:16 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. airlines are currently not permitted to fly over Iraqi territory, according to a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration notice issued Friday.

The prohibition, called a "Notam," or "notice to airmen," was released at roughly the same moment U.S. military aircraft began bombing Islamic State militants in northern Iraq.

The ban pertains to overflights of all of Iraq by all U.S. carriers, although few regularly fly through Iraqi airspace. A daily flight of Delta Air Lines passes over northern Iraq as it travels from Atlanta to Dubai, and a Delta flight from Mumbai to Amsterdam, and United Airlines flights from Newark to Mumbai and Delhi, generally avoid Iraqi airspace.

The FAA said the notice is "due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict between militants associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and Iraqi security forces and their allies," it said.

The ban comes after a surface-to-air missile shot down a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine on July 17. The current bombing of targets in Iraq by the United States adds to the perception that commercial aircraft flying over Iraq could be at risk.

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