Mideast Conflict Affects Civil Aviation
The FAA issued a Notam on Monday restricting U.S. flight operators from flying in the airspace above Syria. Previously, operators had been warned to contact the FAA before flying there. "The ongoing armed conflict and volatile security environment in Syria poses a serious potential threat to civil aviation," the FAA said. "Armed extremist groups in Syria are known to be equipped with a variety of anti-aircraft weapons which have the capability to threaten civilian aircraft." Meanwhile, charter operators have been contracted to help airlift affected civilians out of conflict regions in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.
Air Charter Service, based in London, said this week it has provided aircraft to transport more than 500 foreign nationals out of Iraq in recent weeks. Aerovista, a charter and leasing firm based in Dubai, also said this week it has worked with several other charter operators in a series of emergency evacuation flights from Libya and Iraq. "Emergency evacuation of personnel from hostile areas is always a challenge as human lives are at stake," said Razvan Dobre, from Air Charter International, one of the operators. All passengers were evacuated safely, he said.