By Patrick M Schmidt.
Following the Malaysian Airlines MH17 incident in Ukraine, the United States has taken a closer look at events in Iraq in relation to commercial airline safety and security.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that American commercial aircraft with flight plans over Iraqi airspace must maintain an altitude above 30,000 feet. American airlines are also not allowed to fly into Erbil and Sulaymaniyah airports.
This concern stems from the fear of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS) militants having possession of surface-to-air missile systems. A previous announcement had mandated flights remain above 20,000 feet.
This announcement follows individual airlines’ plans to modify their own flight plans if their aircraft crossed through Iraqi airspace.