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FAA temporarily suspends flights to Ben Gurion International

FAA temporarily suspends flights to Ben Gurion International

The United States Federal Aviation Authority has prohibited American airlines from flying to or from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport until 12:15 today.

The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning of July 22nd, 2014. 

The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) applies only to US operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport.

The FAA immediately notified US carriers when the agency learned of the rocket strike and informed them that the agency was finalising a NOTAM.

A statement explained the FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, with further restrictions possible.

Europe’s aviation regulator is also urging airlines not to fly to Tel Aviv.

Lufthansa - which includes Swiss, Germanwings and Austrian Airlines - confirmed it had decided to suspend flights to Israel for two days, while KLM, Air France, easyJet, Air Canada and Alitalia are among other carriers to have cancelled departures.

The halt in service comes less than a week after Israel began a ground operation in Gaza.

Airlines around the world are also revaluating flight paths over conflict areas following the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.