The Federal Aviation Administration is concerned that a civilian aircraft may be misidentified and shot down.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urged airlines to exercise “extreme caution” when flying near the Ukrainian-Russian border, citing potential safety risks.
In a notice to US air carriers on Saturday, the US agency noted “an escalation of regional tensions between Russia and Ukraine that could potentially lead to unnoticed cross-border clashes, increased military activity, and/or conflict.”
Since 2014, the FAA has banned US civil aviation flights in the regions adjacent to the Ukrainian-Russian border. The notice also said airlines must notify the FAA at least 72 hours in advance of planned flights in the region.
The FAA and other regulators are concerned about the possibility that a civilian aircraft could be shot down during a conflict due to misidentification.
In 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over eastern Ukraine by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian forces. All 298 people on board were killed, two-thirds of them Dutch citizens.