FAA officially bans U.S. flights over eastern Ukraine
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a notice on Thursday night prohibiting any U.S. flight operations in the airspace over eastern Ukraine until further notice. The press release reads:
“The FAA was in contact with US carriers following the crash of Malaysian Air Flight 17. The agency confirms that carriers have voluntarily agreed not to operate in the airspace near the Russian-Ukraine border. The FAA is monitoring the situation to determine whether further guidance is necessary.
On April 3, the FAA issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM)
U.S. flight operations until further notice in the airspace over the Crimean region of Ukraine, and portions adjacent to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.
This action was taken due to the unilateral and illegal action by Russia to assert control over Crimean airspace, including international airspace administered by Ukraine without agreement by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
This creates the potential for conflicting air traffic control instructions from Ukrainian and Russian authorities and for the related potential misidentification of civil aircraft in this airspace. This prompted the FAA NOTAM for U.S. flights.“
This restriction, which was issued in response to the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet, expands an earlier FAA order prohibiting U.S. flights from operating over certain areas in Ukraine. That prohibition was issued in April and said U.S. flights could not operate in the airspace over the Crimean region and near the Black Sea “due to the continuing potential for instability.”
Unlike what was originally reported, the April notice did not cover the airspace where MH17 was shot down.