Following the downing of a US military drone by Iran, the US Federal Aviation Authrity (FAA) has issued an Emergency Order to US Civil Aircraft, prohibiting all American aircraft operators from entering the Tehran Flight Information Region (OIIX) FIR in the area above the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman.
The Notam specifically prohibits any US airline or aircraft operator from flying within Iranian airspace in the region that the US drone was shot down in on 20 June.
United Airlines cancelled its Mumbai-Newark flight that passes over Iran, citing safety concerns, in what is believed to be the first such move by a carrier following the drone incident.
This Notam – A0019/19 issued at 0148 UTC, 21 June – while only officially applicable to US aircraft has wider impacts on the commercial aviation sector. Since the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17 by Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels in July 2014, virtually all countries rely on advice from the US, the UK, France and Germany to evaluate airspace risk.
The FAA cited “heightened military activity” and “increased political tensions in the region,” as the basis for the airspace closure. The FAA said the no-fly zone was being established to prevent an inadvertent shoot-down of a passenger aircraft.
Iran on Thursday said it shot down a US military drone, with the New York Times reporting Thursday night that US President Donald Trump had approved, then called off at the last minute, limited airstrikes against Iranian targets.
Oil prices edged up on Friday with Brent crude rising 0.3 per cent to USD 64.59, having jumped 4.5 per cent on Thursday after the drone was shot down.