Ukraine and Neighboring Areas Closed to Commercial Air Traffic
Ukraine has closed its airspace to civilian flights after Russia began a full scale military attack in the country. Ukraine cited a high risk to flight safety due to the use of weapons and military equipment.
Moldova also said it was closing its airspace and Belarus shut part of its airspace. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) also warned about hazards to flying in bordering regions.
“There is a risk of both intentional targeting and misidentification of civil aircraft,” the regulator said.
“The presence and possible use of a wide range of ground and airborne warfare systems poses a high risk for civil flights operating at all altitudes and flight levels.”
Images from ADS-B Exchange show no aircraft over Ukraine and Moldova, as of Thursday afternoon. Turkmenistan and Afghanistan airspace has also been declared closed to commercial traffic by the respective countries.
The situation brings memories from almost eight years ago when a missile brought down passenger plane MH17 in Ukraine airspace. All 298 people on board were killed as they were en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. That incident came during heavy fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region.