International Crisis Management and Response
The FAA is a global leader in assessing and mitigating aviation threats, such as from risks posed by conflict zones, through the Agency's Chapter 31 Crisis Response Working Group (CRWG) to safeguard civil aviation. Employing a variety of tools and methodologies, FAA collaborates with U.S. interagency, foreign counterparts, and industry partners to mitigate risk and raise the international baseline or aviation safety and security, particularly for operations in/near conflict zones.
The FAA has the primary U.S. government authority to protect U.S. civil aviation from potentially hazardous situations in domestic and international airspace. The FAA has broad oversight responsibilities for U.S. operators regardless of where they operate around the world and has developed procedures for identifying and responding to an international situation resulting from a conflict situation, heightened tensions, military or paramilitary action, and/or a weapons-related hazard in foreign or international airspace that may pose risk(s) to the safety of U.S. civil aviation operating therein. The above types or circumstances are referred to as "potentially hazardous situations" and "U.S. civil aviation" refers to U.S. air carriers, U.S. commercial operators, persons exercising the privileges or an airman certificate issued by the FAA, except when such person is operating a U.S.-registered aircraft for a foreign air carriers, and operators of aircraft registered in the U.S., except when the operator of such aircraft is a foreign air carrier.
Despite States’ obligations under the Chicago Convention and related Annexes established by ICAO, not all States experiencing conflict provide adequate information about the safety and security of their airspace, nor do they take precautionary measures to restrict or close their airspace when necessary. As a result, other States regularly issue warnings, recommendations and/or operational directives to their respective national air operators flying near global areas of conflict.
FAA has four main tools to address concerns about potentially hazardous airspace outside the U.S.:
- Engagement across the aviation community
- Information Sharing on aviation risk
- Notice-to-Air Missions (NOTAM)
- Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR)
While, the primary responsibility for issuing advisories and prohibitions for potentially hostile situations threatening civil aviation rests with the air navigation service provider (ANSP) for the affected airspace, the FAA may issue an Advisory or Prohibitory NOTAM for U.S. operators, U.S.-registered civil aircraft, and FAA-certificated airmen, if the FAA Administrator deems action necessary for safety or national security.
The FAA has a dedicated team of experts referred to as the Chapter 31 CRWG for Potentially Hazardous Situations Outside the United States. The FAA's CRWG is the agency's cross-functional team of technical experts that is chaired by the Office of International Affairs (API). The success of the CRWG lies in the extensive involvement from FAA's National Security Programs and Incident Response Division (AXE), Flight Standards (AFS), Air Traffic Organization (ATO), Office of Rulemaking (ARM), and Office of the Chief Counsel (AGC). The CRWG assess risks to U.S. civil aviation operating in and around conflict zones and coordinates FAA and appropriate U.S. Government approvals for any actions.
A copy of FAA's current NOTAMs and links to the SFARs can be found at prohibitions, restrictions and notices. Instructions for operators seeking more information about the nature of the FAA's concern or seeking relief from a flight prohibition can be found in the specific NOTAM or SFAR.
For additional information or questions about our Conflict Zone Program Office, please contact us via: 9-FAA-Conflict-Zone-PMO@faa.gov.