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Afghan Airspace: Why Is It Used?  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3585 posts, RR: 29
Posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7193 times:

Yesterday I flew from BKK to Germany on Thai Airways. The pilot said we would fly over Afghanistan. I was a bit surprised given the fact that there are still ongoing military actions.

Is the whole Afghan Airspace open? Has ist been open all the time? Are there no alternatives to fly around it?

Which countries in the world are actually not used for civilian flights (Lybia right now, North Korea come to my mind)?

Are all airlines flying from BKK to Europe overflying Afghanistan?

Michael

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 932 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7178 times:

The altitude airliners fly at is well above anything the troops on the ground are capable of hitting, and if a diversion is required there are still neighboring countries well within reasonable range.

Also, North Korea is overflown by commercial airliners nowadays, even South Korean planes do.


User currently offlinezkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4829 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 7172 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Yesterday I flew from BKK to Germany on Thai Airways. The pilot said we would fly over Afghanistan. I was a bit surprised given the fact that there are still ongoing military actions.

Pretty standard, most airlines do it on that or similar routes. The US and allies control the airspace and the taleban etc doesn't have SAMs capable of hitting anything much higher than a few thousand feet...most civil aircraft are 34,000ft +



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25330 posts, RR: 49
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7165 times:

Flying over Afghanistan is rather routine.

The FIR was closed on briefly during the initial bombing campaign in 2001, but reopened in 2002 - according to my notes Feb 19, 2002 to be exact for traffic above FL280.

Also around 2005 Afghanistan opened a countrywide area control center ACC replacing its patch work of 1960 and 1970 facilities.

Really the adage of “if you build it, they will come,” was certainly applicable to Afghanistan’s reopened airway system. The country sits at a rather opportune location for overflights.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25330 posts, RR: 49
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7159 times:

p.s. - you mention North Korea - it also is very much used by airlines, even ones from the US.


From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 7158 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 1):
Also, North Korea is overflown by commercial airliners nowadays, even South Korean planes do.

Yes, but if I remember right, the DPRK only allows KE overflight of it's sea territory not over land or the sea area close to land.

I also think LY has a number of restrictions on overflying Arab states.

[Edited 2011-06-20 14:19:58]


The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineryu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 7120 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 5):
the DPRK only allows KE overflight of it's sea territory not over land or the sea area close to land.

Correct; the FAA allows transit through the Pyongyang FIR for US carriers, but only east of 132 E longitude, which is well short of the North Korean landmass.

http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...es/2011-05-05/Part3,%20Sec%201.cfm


User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7071 times:

Quoting ryu2 (Reply 6):
Correct; the FAA allows transit through the Pyongyang FIR for US carriers, but only east of 132 E longitude, which is well short of the North Korean landmass.

Here's the exclusion zone:



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlinegemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5651 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6997 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 5):
Yes, but if I remember right, the DPRK only allows KE overflight of it's sea territory not over land or the sea area close to land.

Don't know all the details, but KE was flying over China between VVO & ICN and nowhere near North Korea in August 2010. Following is a description of the route flown on KE 986 on 20 Aug 2010, from the IFE route map:

Quote:

Instead of turning south east or even east to give North Korea a big miss, we turned due west and crossed into China within minutes. We flew west until we were south of Jilin, then turned south west and flew over Shenyang, Dalian, Yantai and almost to Qingdao before turning due east to reach Seoul. As far as I can see we were ALWAYS in Russian, Chinese or South Korean airspace and never in international airspace and presumably under the relevant Air Defense Command surveillance the whole way. This was obviously the usual route as we landed only 7 minutes late at 1537(-2 hour time difference).
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 7):
Here's the exclusion zone:

Thanks for that, most interesting. I think it helps explain the route KE 986 took, via China is probably shorter.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3585 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6887 times:

Thank you very much for your insightful comments.

User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6556 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

That is no problem anymore. Even the airspace of Iraq is open and can be overflown.

It was funny when I first approached the Afganistan airspace and called in and then I heard a very strong American accent. I didn't expect that 

Sometimes when over Afghanistan you hear them saying: "There will be some military traffic close to your airplane, you won't see them on TCAS, don't worry, they are not getting too close." 

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9097 posts, RR: 75
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6555 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 1):
The altitude airliners fly at is well above anything the troops on the ground are capable of hitting, and if a diversion is required there are still neighboring countries well within reasonable range

Incorrect, terrain goes up to around 25,000 ft, shoulder launched weapons are in range of commercial traffic.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6529 times:

Most of the airspace restrictions of overflight in the world today are political and religious based.

Most involve airlines of certain countries not allowed to over fly certain other countries with conflicting political beliefs, or more commonly - different religious beliefs.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3585 posts, RR: 29
Reply 13, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 6500 times:

Are other countries also imposing rules on which airspace their planes have to avoid like the US does? Is fx. germany also prohibiting the overflight of certain areas for German registered civil aircraft?

User currently offlinecanoecarrier From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2839 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6443 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 12):
Most involve airlines of certain countries not allowed to over fly certain other countries with conflicting political beliefs, or more commonly - different religious beliefs.

Outside of El Al what other airlines are unable to fly of countries with different religious beliefs? Presumably, the airspace restriction is reciprocal to the arab states LY is unable to fly over. Although Royal Jordanian overflies and flies into Israel several times everyday.



The beatings will continue until morale improves
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25291 posts, RR: 22
Reply 15, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 6366 times:

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 14):
Although Royal Jordanian overflies and flies into Israel several times everyday.

Israel has had diplomatic relations with Jordan since 1994 (and with Egypt since 1979).


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2127 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6316 times:

As for overflights, do airline have to pay overflight fees to the respective countries?

If yes, then Afghanistan can use the cash.

bikerthai



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineGunsontheroof From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3505 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6181 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 11):
Incorrect, terrain goes up to around 25,000 ft, shoulder launched weapons are in range of commercial traffic.

You ever tried to lug an already busted-up stinger up a mountain to 25,000 feet on the off-chance a passing airliner MIGHT cross over your position? Me neither, but I bet it's tough. Furthermore, anything over Afghanistan is roughly halfway to wherever it's going so you're probably talking about airplanes that are closer to 40,000 feet than 34,000, particularly if there are 25,000 foot peaks anywhere nearby.



Next Flight: 9/17 BFI-BFI
User currently offlineBAW217 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2007, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6161 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 16):
As for overflights, do airline have to pay overflight fees to the respective countries?

If yes, then Afghanistan can use the cash.

Most counties outside the US and Canada charge Navigational fees additionally. MOTCA have set the current overflight charge at USD 400.

This fee is collected by IATA on behalf of MOTCA.


User currently offlineB747FE From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2004, 230 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (3 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6152 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Afghan Airspace: Why Is It Used? 

Why not?

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Is the whole Afghan Airspace open?

Pretty much.

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
Has ist been open all the time?

At least from 2004 when I first went there yes.

Quoting GST (Reply 1):
The altitude airliners fly at is well above anything the troops on the ground are capable of hitting, and if a diversion is required there are still neighboring countries well within reasonable range.

Is not really that bad a people thinks.
Flying there since 2004 and while is far to be my favourite place, whatever is on the ground is the least of my worries.
As Wilco said, flying things that you won't see in the TCAS or high terrain around you makes us more nervous than the guys below.


Regards,
B747FE.



"Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime"
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3585 posts, RR: 29
Reply 20, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5784 times:

Thanks for your replies. So have you seen military planes flying in Afghanistan?

User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 21, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 5780 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 20):
So have you seen military planes flying in Afghanistan?

I did. It was once an AWACS and the other time I couldn't identify it. Some smaller airplane, but too far away to figure out.

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2085 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5773 times:

The gf and I are flying MUC-DEL on LH soon, is that flight likely to be routed over Afghanistan?


Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
User currently offlinewilco737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 23, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5770 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Quoting Rara (Reply 22):
The gf and I are flying MUC-DEL on LH soon, is that flight likely to be routed over Afghanistan?

Yes, I guess so. Great Circle brings you over Afghanistan so most likely you will fly over it.

wilco737
  



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineRara From Germany, joined Jan 2007, 2085 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (3 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

Quoting wilco737 (Reply 23):

Yes, I guess so. Great Circle brings you over Afghanistan so most likely you will fly over it.

Interesting, thanks... I'll keep an eye out (even though it should be very early morning).



Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
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