The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) restricting U.S. operators from flying in the airspace of Somalia.
The FAA has determined that international civil air routes that transit Somali airspace and aircraft operating to and from Somali airports are at risk from terrorist and militant groups potentially employing anti-aircraft weapons, including Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), small-arms fire, and indirect fire from mortars and rockets targeting airports. Some of these weapons have the capability to target aircraft at higher altitudes and/or upon approach and departure. The terrorist group al-Shabaab is active in Somalia and has demonstrated the capability and intent to target U.S. and Western interests. Al-Shabaab has conducted multiple attacks against civil
aviation, having shot down an IL-76 aircraft using MANPADS in March 2007 and conducted ground assaults against Mogadishu International Airport, the most recent of which occurred in December 2014. Attacks against aircraft in-flight or Somali airports can occur with little or no warning.
As a result, on 12 May 2015, the FAA published Notice to Airmen FDC 5/0120, which prohibited U.S. civil flight operations in the territory and airspace of Somalia at altitudes below FL260.
The new NOTAM supersedes previous FAA guidance for this airspace.
The text of the NOTAM reads:
FDC 5/0120 (A0018/15) – ZZZ – SECURITY – UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PROHIBITION AGAINST CERTAIN FLIGHTS IN THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF SOMALIA
ALL FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF SOMALIA AT ALTITUDES BELOW FLIGHT LEVEL (FL) 260 BY THE PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A BELOW ARE PROHIBITED UNTIL FURTHER ADVISED, INCLUDING ALL OPERATIONS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY PERMITTED UNDER SPECIAL FEDERAL AVIATION REGULATION (SFAR) 107, DUE TO THE POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS SITUATION CREATED BY TERRORIST AND MILITANT ACTIVITY.
A. APPLICABILITY. THIS NOTAM APPLIES TO ALL U.S. AIR CARRIERS AND COMMERCIAL OPERATORS; ALL PERSONS EXERCISING THE PRIVILEGES OF AN AIRMAN CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY THE FAA, EXCEPT SUCH PERSONS OPERATING U.S.-REGISTERED AIRCRAFT FOR A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER; AND ALL OPERATORS OF AIRCRAFT REGISTERED IN THE UNITED STATES, EXCEPT WHERE THE OPERATOR OF SUCH AIRCRAFT IS A FOREIGN AIR CARRIER.
B. PERMITTED OPERATIONS. THIS NOTAM DOES NOT PROHIBIT PERSONS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH A FROM CONDUCTING FLIGHT OPERATIONS IN THE TERRITORY AND AIRSPACE OF SOMALIA AT ALTITUDES BELOW FL 260 WHEN SUCH OPERATIONS ARE AUTHORIZED EITHER BY ANOTHER AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE FAA OR BY A DEVIATION, EXEMPTION, OR OTHER AUTHORIZATION ISSUED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR. OPERATORS MUST CALL THE FAA WASHINGTON OPERATIONS CENTER AT 202-267-3333 TO INITIATE COORDINATION FOR FAA AUTHORIZATION OF OPERATIONS.
C. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS. IN AN EMERGENCY THAT REQUIRES IMMEDIATE DECISION AND ACTION FOR THE SAFETY OF THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT IN COMMAND OF AN AIRCRAFT MAY DEVIATE FROM THIS NOTAM TO THE EXTENT REQUIRED BY THAT EMERGENCY. THIS NOTAM IS AN EMERGENCY ORDER OF THE ADMINISTRATOR UNDER 49 USC 40113(A) AND 46105(C). 1505121335-PERM