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Press Release: EC, EASA closely monitoring developments in Middle East


Press Release hub banner blue with title in red white and blueThe European Commission and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) are closely monitoring the situation in the Middle East and its impact on civil aviation following the spike in military exchanges between Iran and Israel on April 13-14, 2024.

All affected airspaces (Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Iran) were closed by the relevant airspace owners through NOTAMs (advisories) during the relevant time period. There was no overflight risk for civil aviation at any time.  All of these NOTAMs have expired in the course of today, April 14).

The European Commission and EASA will continue to closely monitor the situation to assess any potential safety risks for EU aircraft operators and be ready to act as appropriate.

EASA is in close contact with all relevant Civil Aviation Authorities, in particular CAA Israel, to have first-hand intelligence which can be factored into its assessments and into the EU Conflict Zone Alerting mechanism, which supports EU Member States and air operators in their safety risk assessments. Currently, there are a number of risk mitigation instruments in place for the airspaces concerned, including publicly available Conflict Zone Information Bulletins (CZIBs) and Information Notes which have been distributed to relevant parties on a need-to-know basis.

The following EASA advisories are in place in the region:

a) Information Notes on:

  • Israel and neighbouring airspace, applicable for a distance of 100 NM surrounding the country, recommending to exercise caution and follow all available aeronautical publications in place, including updates from the European Information Sharing and Cooperation Platform. This Information Note replaces an earlier CZIB, following a decision of the Integrated EU Aviation Security Risk Assessment Group, from end March 2024,taking into consideration the reassessed situation. The purpose of the information note is to provide information to air operators on the remaining risks, including additional airspaces affected.
  • Iran, also recommending to exercise caution and follow all available aeronautical publications in place, including updates from the European Information Sharing and Cooperation Platform, as well as noting that “there continues to be an increased potential for miscalculation and/or misidentification at present over FIR Tehran”.

b) Conflict Zone Information Bulletins (CZIBs) on:

  • Iraq, recommending not to conduct flights below FL 320 within FIR Baghdad;
  • Syria, recommending avoiding overflights at all altitudes of FIR Damascus.


Background information on EU Conflict Zone Alerting mechanism

The EU Conflict Zone Alerting mechanism is based on common risk assessments which take place at EU level on a regular basis, or exceptionally in case of urgent circumstances, under the lead of the Integrated EU Aviation Security Risk Assessment Group (the Group). The Group is chaired by the European Commission and allows for the exchange of relevant information between EU Member States, the European External Action Service (EEAS) and EASA.

Risk mitigation measures at the EU level are implemented by the following actions:

a) The publication of Conflict Zone Information Bulletins (CZIBs) on the EASA website, which may contain operational recommendations, for countries that were deemed to have a “high” risk level as a result of the EU risk assessment, or in other cases where there is a need to make other information public;

b) The publication of Information Notes with more detailed operational information and recommendations addressed to Member States and their air carriers on a need-to-know basis; and

c) The circulation of conflict zone alerts through the European Information Sharing and Cooperation Platform, including information and data on specific risk areas, conflict zones developments and incidents, which are distributed regularly to the members of the Platform.

In the current situation, all instruments are being used with the objective of supporting States and air operators with their risk assessments on a continuous and timely basis.

Featured image credited to istock.com/JakeOlimb