The FAA this month issued updated guidance advising US aircraft operators to exercise caution when flying within or adjacent to the Tehran Flight Information Region (FIR) because of military activities in the Middle East region.

The FAA published Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) KICZ A0016/18 on Sept. 9; it will reevaluate the notice in one year.

Background information accompanying the notice reports “concerns” over keeping civilian traffic safely separated from military activities. A fighter intercepted a US civil operator in Iranian airspace in December, the FAA noted.

“There are a wide array of military activities occurring within, emanating from, or transiting the Tehran FIR that present potential deconfliction concerns for US civil aviation,” the FAA stated. “Additionally, there is concern for heightened Iranian air defense sensitivity and exercises as a result of regional instability and/or political tensions. Heightened Iranian air defense sensitivity may create an inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operating in the Tehran FIR.”

Among threats to civil aviation, the FAA lists Russian air-launched cruise missile attacks overflying Iran toward targets in Syria and naval missile launches from the Caspian Sea—four of which inadvertently landed in Iran while en route to Syria in October 2015. The agency also warned of the potential of Iranian surface-to-surface missile launches from western Iran, targeting Islamic State positions in the region “such as occurred in June 2017.”

There also is an inadvertent risk to civil aviation from Iranian GPS jammers, background information stated.

The NOTAM advises operators flying adjacent to the Tehran FIR review current notices and other sources of aeronautical information “and be familiar with current conditions in the Middle East.”

Bill Carey,