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Europe aviation agency urges caution in Israel, Iran airspace

April 15, 2024 at 1:31 pm

Explosions are seen in the skies of Jerusalem, following the attack from Iran on April 14, 2024. [Mohammad Hamad – Anadolu Agency]

Europe’s aviation regulator reaffirmed advice to airlines to use caution in Israeli and Iranian airspace though it said no civil overflights had been placed at risk during weekend tensions surrounding Iranian drone and missile strikes on Israel, Reuters reported.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) said it and the European Commission would “continue to closely monitor the situation to assess any potential safety risks for EU aircraft operators and be ready to act as appropriate.”

EASA guidance that is already in place for airlines on Israel and Iran continues to apply, it said in an emailed note.

That included exercising caution and following all available aeronautical publications for Israel and neighbouring airspace up to 100 nautical miles surrounding the country.

For Iran, it recommended caution and said “there continues to be an increased potential for miscalculation and/or misidentification” in airspace over the Iranian capital Tehran.

Global airlines face some disruption after Iran’s retaliatory attack on Israel late on Saturday night with more than 300 missiles and drones, which were mostly shot down by Israel’s US-backed missile defence system or its allies before they reached Israeli airspace.

The attack was in response to a suspected Israeli air strike on Iran’s Syria consulate on 1 April in which seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards commanders and officers were killed.

EASA said all affected airspaces – Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Iran – were closed by the relevant authorities during the relevant period.

“There was no overflight risk for civil aviation at any time,” it said. An overflight involves an aircraft transiting through airspace, typically at high cruising altitude.

All the temporary airspace closures imposed at the weekend expired on Sunday, EASA said.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways announced today that it has resumed its scheduled services to Iran.

In a post on social media platform X the airline said 20 weekly flights to four gateways – Tehran, Mashhad, Shiraz and Isfahan – had been reinstated.

Read: Russian foreign minister calls Israeli strike on Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus ‘political killing’