WASHINGTON: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has reissued its advisory on Pakistan’s territory and airspace for aircraft on the ground and operating at low altitudes, including during the flight arrival and departure phases, anticipating attacks by militant or extremist groups.
The notice to Airmen, otherwise named NOTAM, states there were ongoing threats in Pakistan’s territories and airspace to U.S. civil aviation operations.
Without modifying much of the terminology from previous reports, the FAA instructed U.S. civil aviation to exercise caution while working within, outside, or across Pakistan’s territories and airspace.
“With the ongoing presence of extremist/militant elements operating in Pakistan, there is continued risk to US civil aviation from small-arms fire, complex attacks against airports, indirect weapons fire, and anti-aircraft fire, any of which could occur with little or no warning.”
In previous notifications that the FAA maintained that cross-border tensions in the Kashmir area could intensify with little or no warning and that the air navigation service providers responsible for managing the space could impose temporary airspace restrictions.
“While, to date, there have been no reports of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) being used against civil aviation in the territory and airspace of Pakistan, some extremist/militant groups operating in Pakistan are suspected of having access to MANPADS. As a result, there is a potential risk for extremists/militants to target civil aviation with MANPADS. Some MANPADS are capable of reaching a maximum altitude of 25,000 feet above ground level,” the notices from the previous year and the year before said.
The new notification made no changes from its previous language to warn NOTAM during flight operations to exercise caution.