US relaxes restrictions on civilian flights over Gulf

The US Federal Aviation Administration is allowing its airlines to resume operations over large areas of the Gulf, saying that a lower military posture by Iran has reduced the threat of miscalculation or misidentification of civilian flights.

A notice issued on Friday by the FAA rescinded restrictions imposed on US air carriers in early January that prohibited flights over large swaths of the Gulf and the Sea of Oman as tensions rose between Iran and the United States.

“Iran has de-escalated its military posture in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman as of early February 2020,” said the notice. “Given the de-escalation, the FAA assesses there is sufficient reduced risk of Iranian military miscalculation or misidentification that could affect U.S. civil aviation operations.”

The notice applied to the airspaces of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

The FAA, however, advised US carriers to “exercise caution and avoid operating” near the boundaries of the Tehran flight information region “whenever possible.” REUTERS


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