FAA Imposes Flight Restrictions Over Venezuela

May 1, 2019

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The US FAA has issued an emergency order prohibiting US airlines from flying below 26,000 feet over Venezuela.

An emergency NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) was issued on May 1 banning all US air carriers and commercial operators from lower airspace until further notice. The ban is due to “increasing political instability and tensions,” the FAA notice said.

The only exemptions are for pilots operating US‐registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier, or where the operator of the aircraft is a foreign air carrier.

Pilots already in Venezuela have been given 48 hours to depart the country, provided it is safe to do so.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro narrowly won a general election last year, but opposition leader Juan Guaidó declared himself interim president in January in a move that has led to increasing tensions and civil unrest in the country.

Guaidó has called for country-wide strikes to force Maduro to give up power.

American Airlines was the only commercial US carrier to fly to Venezuela, but suspended flights at the end of March.