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Qatar Airways fined $185,000 by US for airspace violations

Qatar Airways fined $185,000 by US for airspace violations

The airline was penalised for operating flights while carrying the American Airlines (AA) code

Qatar Airways has been fined $185,000 by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) for airspace violations.

The airline was penalised for operating flights in regions in which a Federal Aviation Administration flight prohibition was in effect while carrying the American Airlines (AA) code, the DOT said in a statement.

Under a statement of authorisation permitting Qatar Airways to carry the American Airlines’ designator code (AA), the Gulf carrier is obliged to comply with all FAA flight prohibitions.

It is a violation of the statement of authorisation for a foreign carrier carrying a US carrier code to operate any flight that enters, departs, or transits the airspace of an area for which the FAA has issued a flight prohibition.

However, an investigation by the department’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings revealed that in late 2014 and early 2015, certain Qatar Airways flights carrying the AA code operated in foreign airspace while an FAA flight prohibition was in effect, the statement said.

Hence Qatar Airways operated in violation of the conditions of its statement of authorisation and in violation of federal law, the DOT said.

It did not specify which restricted territories the airline flew over, but a report by Travel Weekly said the fine was levied because flights operated by Qatar Airways flew over Yemen, Iraq and Ukrainian airspace.

The airline has been ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations, the statement added.

“Airlines have a responsibility to ensure that they do not fly their planes through prohibited airspace,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“The FAA forbids US flight operations over certain regional conflict zones around the world.

“The Department takes aviation safety and security matters very seriously, and will continue to take enforcement action when these important safety and security restrictions are not followed.”

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