The US advises all its airlines to be cautious in Pakistan airspace due to extremist or militant forces
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US warned all the airlines in America together with their pilots that there are risks involved in flying in Pakistan airspace. This is due to the so-called on-going extremist or militant activity. Anyone who is scheduled to operate flights in Pakistan should be cautious. There was a notice to airmen (NOTAM) dated December 30, 2019, that there’s a risk to US civil aviation who are operating on the said airspace and that notice applies to all US-based airlines and US-based pilots as well.
It is inclusive in the NOTAM that there’s a continuous risk to the US civil aviation sector from attacks against various airports and aircraft in Pakistan especially to those aircraft on the ground as well as aircraft operating at low altitudes. This includes both the arrival and departure phases of one’s flight. The said statements came from the US regulator.
The on-going presence of extremists or militants in Pakistan poses a continued risk to US civil aviation as a whole. It can be from small-arms fire, indirect weapons fire, complex attacks against airports, and even anti-aircraft fire that can occur with little or no warning at all.
Although until now, there have been no reports of man-portable air defense systems nor Manpads being used against civil aviation in Pakistan. However, several extremists or militants operating are suspected of having direct access to these Manpads. Having said so, the result of such access can cause a potential risk of extremists and militants to target civil aviation in Pakistan with the use of Manpads.
Besides, the regulator informed its direct audience that pilots even airlines need to report safety or security incidents that are expected to happen in Pakistan. It should be directed to the FAA.
Pakistan was able to open its airspace again for India last July 16 after approximately five months of restrictions executed in the wake of a standoff with New Delhi. There were Balakot airstrikes by the Indian Air Force that forced Pakistan to closed its airspace on February 26, last year. Besides, in October last year, wherein the Kashmir issue is still hot, Pakistan had denied India’s request to allow its Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s VVIP flight to make use of Pakistan’s airspace as he is scheduled to visit Saudi Arabia.