Ben Gurion Airport Isn't The Only Place American Planes Can't Fly

Ben gurion israelREUTERS/Nir EliasEl Al planes are seen parked at Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, during a strike by airline workers, April 21, 2013.

The Federal Aviation Administration put a 24-hour ban on American flights to and from Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday, after a rocket landed a mile away from the airport, and extended the ban an additional 24-hours through Thursday earlier today.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry stated on Tuesday that Ben Gurion, the main international airport in the country located a few miles outside Tel Aviv, “is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize,” according to Roll Call.

Tuesday night, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he would fly to Ben Gurion to demonstrate how safe the trip is, and argued the ban was “a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately.”

But since the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, the airline industry and the world’s governments are averse to taking chances with passenger safety.

It’s easy to understand how Israel feels dismayed, since with the FAA ban the country joined a list that includes some of the world’s most severe war zones and oppressive, unpredictable states.

Here are six air spaces that currently have FAA prohibitions attached to them:


American flights are not permitted to travel in Ethiopian airspace north of the 12 degree latitude line. The rest of Ethiopia and neighbouring Kenya are under a strong advisory warning from the FAA.


The FAA has banned all American flights from travelling over Iraqi airspace. Nearby Afghanistan and Iran are on advisory warnings similar to Kenya and Ethiopia below the 12 degree latitude line.

North Korea:

No American flight can pass through Pyongyang west of the 132 degree east longitude line. The document warns that North Korea will test missiles without giving any prior warning.


U.S. commercial aircraft are not permitted to fly at or below 20,000 feet within Somalia.


Restrictions started out with an FAA ban of American flights over Crimea earlier this year, but after MH17 was shot down the ban was expanded to cover the region of eastern Ukraine controlled by the pro-Russian separatists.


All American flights over Libya are prohibited. In light of the recent destruction at Tripoli’s airport, it’s easy to understand why.

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