FAA orders BAN on Iranian airspace

After the events of last week and this week between Iran, the United States of America and the surrounding countries, the FAA is taking measures.

13 June 2019, two tankers were hit by an explosion. One tanker was filled with 75,000 tons of crude oil and was heading for Taiwan, the other went to Singapore and had tons of methanol on board. Several explosions were heard and a fire broke out on both ships. It seems that the ships were attacked.

This incident wasn’t the first one this month. A few weeks before, 4 ships in the Sea of Oman were hit by sea mines. Of course, the question arises as to who is responsible for this action. Which countries will benefit from these incidents?

The sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz are very busy shipping routes. The surrounding countries own hundreds of oil wells where the oil is pumped up and through the Strait of Hormuz distributed by shipping all over the world. When things go wrong, oil prices rise sharply. This affects many sectors, including aviation.

MW HI145 hormuz ZH 20190424084445 - Travel Radar - Aviation News

If we look back at the beginning of this month, we can see that the USA has imposed sanctions against Iran and the country’s largest petrochemical company. Petrochemistry is of course the highest income of the countries in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both allies of the USA and rivals of Iran, welcome the sanctions and promise to deliver more oil to the United States. However, Iran does not give in just like that. The country is powerful enough to close the Strait of Hormuz and thus raise prices. That is why the USA blamed Iran for the explosion on the two ships. It could be a warning from the country.

Tensions between the two countries are rising again, and something remarkable happened yesterday. An US Air Force drone, of the type RQ-4 Global Hawk, flew near the Iranian airspace. Iran claims that the drone flew in their airspace, but the United States deny this and claim that it just flew in the airspace of a neighbouring country. Consequently, the Iranian army shot the drone.

President Trump did not leave it at that and immediately prepared a retaliatory action to hit major targets in Iran. The ships were in the right place and the planes were flying in the air, ready for the attack. Just before that should happen, Trump announced not to strike back as the death toll was estimated at 150 people. Trump tweeted: ’10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not¬†proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.’

This is still not the end of the matter. The American aviation authority FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) announced on Thursday that aircraft from the United States will also be prohibited from flying through parts of the airspace controlled by Tehran due to the increased military activity. Not only the American airlines use Iranian airspace, but also many European and Asian airlines use it and of course the gulf carriers. Flights between Europa and South Asia such as London – Mumbai use this airspace. Various airlines are therefore also taking measures because they put safety first, which is self-evident. Lufthansa, KLM, Qantas, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and British Airways, for example, have already announced that they are adapting their flights to avoid the region. United Airlines has temporarily withdrawn its flight between Newark and Mumbai from the booking system.

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Robin Van Acker
Robin Van Acker
Photojournalist - An avid aviation photographer, Robin contributes to the Commercial Aviation section of the publication, with a focus on liveries, new aircraft deliveries and route development