WASHINGTON — Concerned about the potential for a downing of civilian aircraft, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday issued an order banning U.S. airlines for flying over Iraqi airspace.
The action, known as a Notice to Airmen, restricts U.S. airline operators from flying over Iraq. It blames the fighting in the north between the Kurdish defense forces and militants belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.
The notice stresses the “potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict” and says U.S. registered or owned aircraft are banned from flying over the country until further advised.
Friday’s notice is similar to a ban imposed late last month on US flights going into Tel Aviv, Israel, after a rocket fired from Gaza landed near Ben Gurion International Airport.
Global aviation authorities have been on edge since the mid-July downing by missle of a Malaysian Air jetliner over disputed Ukrainian territory, killing nearly 300 passengers and crew aboard.