BRUSSELS. Officials at Eurocontrol, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, in Brussels, Belgium, issued a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) “Rapid Alert Notification for Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area” warning airlines to avoid flying routes near Syria that could potentially put commercial aircraft in the path of missiles in the event of air strikes.
“Due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria with air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles within the next 72 hours, and the possibility of intermittent disruption of radio navigation equipment, due consideration needs to be taken when planning flight operations in the Eastern Mediterranean/Nicosia FIR area,” Eurocontrol’s warning reads.
Image courtesy: Flightradar24
Major airlines, including Air France and easyJet, re-routed flights following Eurocontrol’s recommendation to exercise caution. Others, including Syrian Air, Middle East Airlines, and Iraqi Airways, are reportedly still flying normal routes.
Eurocontrol’s warning comes in the wake of rising political tensions related to recent reports of chemical attacks on civilians in Syria. In fact, U.S. President Trump took to Twitter to indicate that a missile strike is imminent.