BEIRUT

Middle East

FAA places new restrictions on flights over Iraq

A Ukrainian APC crosses a damaged bridge on August 1, 2014 near the village of Debaltseve, in the Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine. AFP PHOTO/ GENYA SAVILOV

WASHINGTON: The Federal Aviation Administration is restricting U.S. airlines from flying at or below 30,000 feet over Iraq because of what it calls “the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict” there.

The agency already had restricted flights in Iraqi air space to a 20,000-foot minimum.

The order issued Thursday night follows the downing two weeks ago of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 by a missile as it flew over rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine.

Amid fears that Iraqi militants had weapons capable of shooting down planes, several European carriers already have developed alternate flights plans for Iraq.

The FAA also is prohibiting U.S. carriers from flying in and out of two Iraqi airports, Irbil International and Sulaymaniyah International.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 02, 2014, on page 12.

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