Iraqi airports closed over cruise missile warning

Carriers operating over northern Iraq are being warned about the possibility of cruise missiles being used in the region.

 

The advisory, contained in a NOTAM for the Baghdad flight information, warns of cruise missile activity, crossing the Kurdistan region from the Caspian Sea to Syria.

It says the affected area is north of the waypoint OTALO, which lies just to the south of Erbil, the main city in Kurdistan.

Iraq's civil aviation authority states that it is suspending all flights departing, and arriving to, Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports for a 48h period beginning 23 November.

It adds that it is taking this action "for passenger protection".

Operations in the rest of the flight information region – including flights operating at 31,000ft or above, or using Baghdad, Basra or Najaf airports – are unaffected, the NOTAM says.

Iraqi airspace is already considered a potentially-hazardous region for air traffic and is the subject of several warnings from various governments within ICAO's conflict-zone repository.