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After Sea denial, Russia closes the air space over the Black Sea and Crimea

Russia has issued NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) declaring a flight hazard zone for civilian flights over the Black Sea and Crimea. On April 14th, Russia had barred foreign ships from operating in certain areas of the Black Sea till October by citing military exercises.

The air space denial is to remain till April 24th states the three NOTAMs issued with minor variations. A number of air routes in the Simferopol flight information region (UKFV) over the Black Sea will be totally closed. The flight zone over the Crimean Peninsula remains open. Air routes in some areas are closed for flying at a height above 11,900 meters, which is above civilian flight ceiling. In some zones, restrictions have been placed for flights over 6,100 meters. In the rest of the notified areas, the restriction is from the sea level.

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On 17th April, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued NOTAMs warning operators to exercise extreme caution within 100nm of the entire Russia-Ukraine border citing hostilities between the two countries. The FAA warned that there might be a potential weapons activity posing a risk to civil aircraft from misidentification or miscalculation.

The eastern part of Ukraine along the border with Russia is still an active conflict zone. The main hotspot is the Line of Contact which runs north-south through the Dnipropetrovsk FIR ( UKDV). “Throughout April 2021 there has been a large military build-up and an increase in ceasefire violations in this area, plus reports of GPS jamming and surveillance of civil flights by military systems – similar conditions to those prior to the shoot-down of MH17 in 2014,” says a prior FAA NOTAM.

On July 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 flying over Ukraine at FL330 just west of the Russian border was mistakenly shot down after being misidentified as a hostile target by Russian-backed troops on the ground.

Written By

Frontier India News Network

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