The Federal Aviation Administration issued an advisory caution to US commercial airliners saying that flying over the wider Arabian Gulf faced a risk of being “misidentified” amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran, AP reported.
The FAA notice was widely posted by US diplomats in Kuwait and the UAE, as the statement underlined the risks the current tensions pose to a region crucial to global air travel, as all commercial aircraft flying over the waters of Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman needed to be aware of “heightened military activities and increased political tension.”
The caution also came as Lloyd’s of London warned of increasing risks to maritime shipping in the region.
Worries about a potential conflict have flared since the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged, unexplained threat from Iran that has seen America order nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq. President Donald Trump since has sought to soften his tone.
Meanwhile, authorities announced that a sabotage operation targeted four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone attack on a crucial Saudi oil pipeline.
This presents “an increasing inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or misidentification,” the warning said. It also said aircraft could experience interference with its navigation instruments and communications jamming “with little to no warning.”
The USS Abraham Lincoln and its carrier strike group have yet to reach the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Arabian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes. A Revolutionary Guard deputy has warned that any armed conflict would affect the global energy market. Iran long has threatened to be able to shut off the strait.