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Qatar Airways Fined for Operating Flights in FAA-Prohibited Airspace

Thursday, November 10, 2016



WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today fined Qatar Airways $185,000 for operating flights in regions in which a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight prohibition was in effect while carrying the American Airlines code.  The airline was ordered to cease and desist from future similar violations.

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

The Department approved a blanket statement of authorization permitting Qatar Airways to carry the American Airlines’ designator code (AA) in conjunction with Qatar Airways’ foreign air transportation.  A condition of the statement of authorization is that Qatar Airways comply with all FAA flight prohibitions.  It is a violation of the statement of authorization for a foreign carrier carrying a U.S. 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. 

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.  By carrying the AA code on flights in airspace prohibited by the FAA, Qatar Airways operated in violation of the conditions of its statement of authorization and in violation of federal law.

This matter was investigated and negotiated by Attorney Ryan Patanaphan and Supervisory Attorney Lisa Swafford-Brooks of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings. 

The consent order is available at, docket number DOT-OST-2016-0002.