Why The U.S. Doesn’t Fly in Northern Ethiopia?

The Washington Post
By Katie Park, Kevin Schaul and Gene Thorp


After Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17, the Federal Aviation Administration expanded an existing regulation that prohibited certain flights from operating in the region. The FAA regularly issues airspace restrictions and prohibitions for U.S. aircraft traveling through potentially hostile airspace.

Here’s where the FAA has issued flight advisories and prohibitions for U.S. aircraft as of July 18.

Flight prohibitions


Flight operations are prohibited in Ethiopian airspace north of 12 degrees latitude. The FAA also warns that Ethiopian forces may fire upon aircraft crossing into Ethiopian airspace from northeastern Kenya.

From FAA

FDC 0/4999
KFDC A0012/00
Special Federal Aviation Regulation No. 87 – Prohibition against Certain Flights Within the
Territory and Airspace of Ethiopia.

a. Applicability. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) No. 87 applies to all U.S. air
carriers or commercial operators, all persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate
issued by the FAA unless that person is engaged in the operation of a U.S.-registered aircraft for
a foreign air carrier, and all operators using aircraft registered in the United States except where
the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.

b. Flight prohibition. Except as provided in paragraphs c and d of this SFAR, no person
described in paragraph a may conduct flight operations within the territory and airspace of
Ethiopia north of 12 degrees north latitude.

c. Permitted operations. This SFAR does not prohibit persons described in paragraph a from
conducting flight operations within the territory and airspace of Ethiopia where such operations
are authorized either by exemption issued by the Administrator or by an authorization issued by
another agency of the United States Government with the approval of the FAA.

d. Emergency situations. In an emergency that requires immediate decision and action for the
safety of the flight, the pilot in command of an aircraft may deviate from this SFAR to the extent
required by that emergency. Except for U.S. air carriers and commercial operators that are
subject to the requirements of 14 CFR 121.557, 121.559, or 135.19, each person who deviates
from this rule shall, within ten (10) days of the deviation, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and
Federal holidays, submit to the nearest FAA Flight Standards District Office a complete report of
the operations of the aircraft involved in the deviation, including a description of the deviation
and the reason therefor.

e. Expiration. This Special Federal Aviation Regulation shall remain in effect until further
notice. (FAA/AIA-1005/14/02)
KFDC A0012/97
Ethiopia/Kenya Advisory: Potentially Hostile Situation.

Attention U.S. Operators:

Aircraft that cross into Ethiopian airspace while taking off or landing at Mandera Airstrip in
Kenya may be fired upon by Ethiopian forces. Mandera is located in the extreme northeastern
corner of Kenya, adjacent Ethiopia and Somalia. Operators considering flights to northeastern
Kenya should familiarize themselves with the current situation. (FAA/AIA-100 5/14/02)