Following Friday’s attempted coup in Turkey the US Government has implemented a NOTAM altering a number of flight authorities. From the statement from the US Embassy in Ankara:
Per the Federal Aviation Administration’s notice to airmen (NOTAM) dated July 15, 2016, U.S. airline carriers are prohibited from flying to or from Istanbul and Ankara airports. All airline carriers, regardless of country of registry, are prohibited from flying into the United States from Turkey either directly or via third country.
The prohibition on US carriers flying into Turkey is of no major consequence today. There is not commercial service from any US airline, though cargo operations could be affected. The second half of the statement, however, will be significant for Turkish Airlines. The carrier operates to nine US cities including 3x daily to New York’s JFK plus IAD, MIA, SFO, LAX, IAH, BOS, ATL and ORD. That’s a bunch of flights that will not be permitted to operate for the time being.
The report specifically cites a reduced and unknown security situation at Istanbul’s main Ataturk airport with a prohibition on employees traveling through the facility.
Security at Ataturk airport is significantly diminished and U.S. government employees have been instructed not to attempt to travel to and from Ataturk airport.
Given that people were walking on the apron yesterday during the height of the uprising it is not all that surprising that it will take some time to get things back to a reasonable state. That said, some flights are operating on Saturday. Only eight departures between 11am and 2:30pm compared to nearly 100 in the same timeframe on Friday, but aircraft are moving again.
The FAA says that it will reconsider the block no later than 15 August 2016; hopefully it does not take a full month to be resolved.
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