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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

Several Countries Close Airspace Following Iranian Drone Attack On Israel

In a tense and rapidly evolving situation, several Middle Eastern countries have taken decisive action by suspending flight operations in their airspaces.

Jordan was among the first to react. On April 13, 2024, at 2300 local time (2000Z), Jordan closed its airspace for three hours. The official Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) cited “operational reasons,” but the Jordanian Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission revealed that rising geopolitical tensions in the region were the true cause. Approximately 40 flights were affected by this closure, either canceled, diverted, or delayed.

On April 14, 2024, at 0030 local time (2130Z), Israel announced the closure of its airspace. The shutdown would last until 0700 local time (0400Z) on April 15. The reason given was “military activity.”

Airlines operating in and out of Israel, including El Al, Pegasus Airlines, and Blue Bird Airways, were impacted. Additionally, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines suspended service, heeding U.S. State Department travel advisories that highlighted the potential for terrorism and civil unrest.

Iraq followed suit, closing its airspace from 2345 local time (2045Z) on April 14 until 0530 local time (0230Z) on April 15. The stated reason was “operational.” Meanwhile, Lebanon announced that its airspace would be temporarily closed from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. local time as a precautionary measure.

Iran, banned all visual flight rules (VFR) operations in its airspace starting on April 13, 2024, at 1901 local time (1531Z). This ban will remain in effect until April 24, 2024. However, it does not apply to military, emergency, or other pre-approved flights. Despite Iran’s airspace remaining technically open, most airlines are avoiding overflying the country.



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