Somalia OVF RISK ASSESSMENT – Assess it before you attempt it!

Somalia continues to be at high risk due to widespread terrorist and criminal activity.

Militants associated with both the al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group, Al-Shabaab, and the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS) operate with relative impunity throughout large parts of the country. Al-Shabaab continues to control large zones in the south and center of the country and attacks from the group are frequent across Somalia, including in Mogadishu. The group often targets government officials and military infrastructure in a bid to topple the Western- and UN-backed government.

The most recent attack was on the 1st of January when several mortars exploded near the Aden Adde International Airport (IATA: MGQ, ICAO: HCMM), with Al-Shabaab group taking responsibility for the attack.

There were similar attacks throughout the year. The situation on the ground is highly unstable and there is an inherent risk to civilians and aircrafts with frequent car bombings.

Most western countries (UK, Germany, France) warn against overflying the country at the lower flight levels.

The FAA extended the expiration date for the Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) that prohibits certain flights in the territory and airspace of Somalia at altitudes below flight level (FL) 260 by all:

United States air carriers; U.S. commercial operators; persons exercising the privileges of an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such persons are operating U.S.- registered aircraft for a foreign air carrier; and operators of U.S. -registered civil aircraft, except where the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.

The FAA is taking this action because it has determined that there continues to be an unacceptable risk to U.S. civil aviation operating in the territory and airspace of Somalia at altitudes below FL260 resulting from terrorist and militant activity. The FAA also republishes, with minor revisions, the approval process and exemption information for this SFAR.

Operators should take this information and any other relevant information into account in their own risk assessments, alongside any available guidance or directions from their national authority as appropriate. Latest operational information on ‘Closures and warnings’ issued by means of ICAO State Letters, NOTAMs, AICs/AIPs, EASA CZIB.

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Written by: Kevin Singh

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