04:44 GMT +318 October 2019
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    In this May 4, 2014 file photo, an Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates

    Airlines Say No Changes as US Warn of Risk Being Misidentified over Persian Gulf

    © AP Photo / Kamran Jebreili, File
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    US diplomats warned that airliners flying over the Persian Gulf risk being "misidentified" amid the growing tensions between the US and Iran.

    US diplomats in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates communicated the order from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Saturday, The Associated Press reported. The original FAA Notice to Airmen, published on Thursday in the US, notified the commercial planes flying over the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman that they must be aware of “heightened military activities and increased political tensions.”

    Emirates, the Middle East's largest airline, said it had been staying in contact with authorities worldwide but that "there are no changes to our flight operations" at this time, according to the AP. Qatar Airways and Etihad, who also operate in the region, said their flights were unaffected.

    These activities present "an increasing inadvertent risk to US civil aviation operations due to the potential for miscalculation or mis-identification," the notice notice stated. It added that aircraft could experience GPS interference and other communications jamming "with little to no warning."

    READ MORE: US Okayed to Deploy Its Military in Gulf States Amid Iran Row — Reports

    Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been simmering since last May when Trump announced the withdrawal of the US from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), while also reinstating harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The situation escalated earlier this month when the US imposed more anti-Iranian sanctions and sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a squadron of B-52 bombers and a battery of patriot missiles to the Middle East.


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