Turkey blacklisted by FAA following coup attempt

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.

Text of the NOTAM regarding the coup attempt in Turkey

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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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


    1. The worst part is when we flew back home through IST a couple of weeks ago, there was still no military or much of a police force at the airport (note: I don’t know what, if any, security that had around the airport as I was transferring). This says so much…

  1. My parents are at the airport right now waiting to board a flight to Chicago. I’m wondering if they should come back to Mumbai or try to be put on a flight to another country from where they can catch a connection?

    1. Without knowing passport/visa info or other details I’d say go home. The flight to Chicago isn’t going to happen today and probably not tomorrow either. Going via a 3rd country will almost certainly be at their own expense and travel insurance often doesn’t cover civil unrest, though obviously check the fine print of the policy.

      1. Thank you for your quick response Seth. They’re Indian passport holders on a tourist visa. Fingers crossed they’re able to get a flight out to bring them back to Bombay. Any idea if EK, EY, 9W are still flying the route?

  2. Damn. My eldely aunt and uncle are stuck there
    Since morning. They were en route
    To ORD from BOM and landed into IST to this chaos
    And news. Theyve just been stranded at the airport.

    1. I think LH would be OK. It’s not an aircraft coming from Turkey to USA, it will be an FRA originating flight.

    2. It simply cannot mean “any airline that operates to Istanbul or Ankara”. Though I’m surprised it hasn’t been made clearer for the less precautious carriers around.

    3. I wasn’t thinking LH would be banned from flying to the US in my example, but that any ex-Turkey pax might be denied boarding to the US. I’d guess at the least there will be a lot more SSSS flying around these pax.

    4. The SSSS on pax ex-Turkey was already a thing in many cases.

      Hard to tell if the concern is people, the aircraft or both.

      But just as LH wouldn’t be banned I cannot imagine pax flying ex-Turkey are simply blocked from coming to the USA at all.

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