The United States has issued a new flight advisory suggesting that airlines and civilian operators avoid using Iranian airspace for transit. According to the US, increased military activity in the region, owing to possibly corresponding activity in neighbouring Syria puts aviation over its airspace at risk from attack or interception.
The statement released by the Federal Aviation Authority comes after the expiry of the previous advisory on flying over Iranian airspace that was issued last year. This development comes just under a year after an aircraft operated by a civilian US contractor was intercepted by Iranian fighter jets while flying over its airspace. This follows the travel advisory issued by the US Department of State on travelling to the Persian country, citing the risk of being arbitrarily arrested or detained.
Similarly, Flight Service Bureau, which gives passengers safety information on airlines and air routes has warned travelers about considering the relationship between the United States and Iran, before any such travel arrangement is made. Tensions between the United States and the Persian country are at a fever pitch now after the US withdrew from the Iranian Nuclear deal. US has also consistently spoken out against Iranian activities in Syria and Yemen.
Instead, the United States has recommended that airlines and civilian contractors use Iraqi airspace instead at an altitude of no less than 26,000 feet. However, this suggestion hasn’t been met with a lot of confidence considering Iraq remains a country with a lot of terrorist activity.
The latest advisory is another episode in deteriorating US-Iran relations. Previously, the US has had to request Iran to return a Lockheed drone that had crashed in Northern Iran in 2011. Ironically, the United States was guilty of shooting down a civilian Iranian airlines in 1988, in Iranian waters, killing all 280 on board.