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PUSL.- The webpage Safe Airspace which is a conflict Zone & Risk Database updated the information on Western Sahara Airspace according to the Spanish (Notam GCCC B0090/21)  and United States (FAA Information Note Western Sahara Conflict – 19 NOV 2020) warning list. The risk level 3 was issued by Spain on the 7th January and is valid until 21st of January 2021. The USA issued the warning on November 19th 2020 and it is valid until 19th November 2021. Level 3 is issued when caution applies to countries that do not have multiple current airspace warnings, but are considered worthy of a security review before operating into or over.

Also at level three besides Western Sahara are currently Azerbaijan, Armenia and United Arab Emirates.

According to Safe Airspace description issued last November

“a new conflict zone is emerging in Western Sahara. The country is split down the middle – Morocco controls the west, and the region’s independence movement, the Polisario, controls the east. The Polisario declared war on Morocco this week. The FAA Threat Analysis Division has since published a note warning that the Polisario likely have access to anti-aircraft weaponry which may pose an inadvertent risk to civil aircraft up to FL120. Western Sahara does not control its own airspace – it falls within both the GCCC/Canarias and the GOOO/Dakar FIRs, which may complicate airspace management should the conflict escalate. GCCC/Canarias FIR has issued a warning for all aircraft to stay above FL200, and the FAA advise aircraft operating in the region is to stay in touch with ATC and be prepared for possible airspace restrictions and reroutes.”

 

There are three risk levels:

– Level 1 – Do Not Fly

Criteria – any of these will trigger Level 1:

A prohibition warning is issued by another state, with either a total ban for their carriers, or a ban that excludes only a small portion of airspace.

OPSGROUP quick assessment of risk shows a clear threat to operators, and that risk is at least moderate.

– Level 2 – Danger exists

Criteria – any of these will trigger Level 2:

A prohibition warning is issued by another state, for specific altitudes or areas (usually with a “Do not operate below FLxxx”), but not for the entire airspace

More than one caution warning from other states.

OPSGROUP quick assessment of risk shows a clear threat to operators, and that risk is at least low.

– Level 3 – Caution – Info Only

Criteria:

A single caution warning from another state.

Current political, public order, or traveler safety situation may present risk

Airspace is adjacent to a risk zone