International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Category: Permit News

This map shows the world of Overflight and Landing Permits – and the requirements

This map shows every country in the world and their requirements for Overflight Permits and Landing Permits. For overflying aircraft, the yellow countries will want  you to have a permit, and the black ones don’t. That’s for routine flights at least, if you’re on a Special Airworthiness or missing an engine, then pretty much everyone will want one.

Click on a region and you’ll get that …

And then click on the individual country to figure out what kind of overfly clearance you need.


Countries with bans on flights to Israel

Which countries have banned both direct flights and overflying traffic to/from Israel?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. Here’s the answer:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.

These countries do not officially recognise Israel, and prohibit flights going to/from Israel from using their airspace.

The one exception we’ve spotted is Sudan, who do allow Ethiopian Airlines to use their airspace for their Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv flights:

But for everyone else wanting to do private or non-scheduled flights to/from Israel, Sudan airspace is off-limits.

For anyone wanting to get from Israel to Asia, there is a narrow corridor available down the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and across the Indian Ocean. This takes advantage of the fact that most countries operate with a 12NM rule – that is, if you’re in their FIR, and you’re 12NM away from the landmass, you don’t need a permit.

Israel’s national carrier El Al operates a couple of scheduled flights on this basis – one to Mumbai, and another to Bangkok:

There is no airway down the Red Sea between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, so you have to fly a direct route between the FIRs. As reported by an Opsgroup member, here’s how it works:

FL290 for southbound traffic, and FL300 for northbound. ATC at both Cairo and Saudi FIRs are used to that. When departing from Israel and going southbound, after losing radar contact with Cairo, you are on your own. Report on Africa VHF freq that you are "over International waters southbound / northbound etc." Listen to Saudi control and try to call them - but do not expect an answer. You will need to maintain your own separation visually, although the Saudis will see you on their radar and they are used to jets flying there. Keep your landing lights on 'pulse' for any opposite traffic. Contact Asmara (Eritrea) control 10NM before entering their FIR. Use SAT phone if no one answers on VHF.

On the reverse side, Israel only allow overflights of their airspace to Royal Jordanian Airlines, and only when departing from or flying to the following airports: CYUL/Montreal, EHBK/Maastricht, KDTW/Detroit, KORD/Chicago, LTAC/Ankara.

Although it’s technically possible for other operators to apply for an overflight permit, it can take up to 30 days, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get approved unless you’re operating some kind of diplomatic or state flight.

More information:

  • For direct flights to Israel, you can only operate from certain authorised airports. See the list of airports here.

  • If you want to know exactly how to get your landing or overflight permits, check out our Permit Book – this tells you how to get a permit for each and every country in the world!

  • Does anything in this article look wrong to you? Let us know, so we can fix it!

Afghan/Pakistan border waypoint name changes

Afghanistan has changed a bunch of waypoint names on its border with Pakistan today. If you’re flying that way, you’ll need to know these for when you submit your Pakistan permit – they only approve permits for specific entry/exit points.

For more details, check out the full AIP AIRAC AMDT here.

Overflight advice for Afghanistan averages out at a minimum FL250, though as with other mountainous countries we think FL320 is a better starting point. For Pakistan, the consensus among foreign authorities is to cross the OPLR/Lahore and OPKR/Karachi FIR’s at higher flight levels. For full details check out

If you want to know exactly how to get your landing or overflight permits, check out our Permit Book, which tells you how to get a permit for each and every country in the world!

Ops to Taiwan? You’ll have to avoid China

We’ve had lots of questions on this subject lately. So here’s what you need to know:

  • Foreign-registered aircraft are prohibited from operating direct between China and Taiwan.
  • You’ve got to make a tech stop somewhere between the two countries – most choose to do so in either VHHH/Hong Kong or VMMC/Macau.
  • Importantly, the same rules apply for China overflights – if you’re flying to Taiwan from any third country, you can’t overfly China. 
  • Only Chinese and Taiwanese registered aircraft are able to operate direct between China and Taiwan.

The Chinese authorities are reluctant to provide any kind of official document stating any of this – we haven’t been able to find any precise wording anywhere in their AIP which states these restrictions.

To test the theory, we applied to the Chinese authorities for a landing permit for a direct flight from Taiwan to China. After we applied, we received an immediate call from CAAC emphasising that they will not deal with such applications for foreign registered aircraft. They advised they will not process this application and verbally rejected it.

The Chinese authorities circulate an official document to Chinese handling agents about this issue, which sets out the rules quite clearly. For some reason, they don’t like these to be distributed outside of China… so naturally, we got our hands on a translated copy!

So here’s a handy chart showing exactly what you can / can’t do:

There’s one more scenario that is apparently also not allowed:

You can’t overfly both China and Taiwan and then land in a third country. For example, you’re departing from RPLL/Manilla in the Philippines, then overflying Taiwan (RCAA FIR), then overflying China (ZSHA FIR), and then landing in a third country like RKSI/Seoul in South Korea – according to the Chinese authorities, this is not allowed, and they won’t issue an overflight permit!

More information:

  • If you are planning any flights to China anytime soon, make sure you know about the hidden costs of operating there here.
  • If you want to know exactly how to get your landing or overflight permits, check out our Permit Book – this tells you how to get a permit for each and every country in the world!

Bermuda PPR requirements for the Americas Cup

Bermuda will host the Americas Cup from May 29 – Jun 27.

As a result, the airport will be busier than usual, so plan ops and parking well in advance.

There are now a number of requirements for private/non-scheduled flights, applied between May 23 until June 30:

  • PPR is mandatory. You must have permission from the Airport Company before operating
  • The Americas Cup dates are May 29-Jun 27, but PPR is required from May23-Jun 30.
  • The request must be made at least 24 hours in advance, unless you are operating a Medevac flight
  • PPR Number will be issued and must be shown in Field 18 of the FPL
  • Request the permission from, or phone them on +1 441 299-2470

PPR is not required to carry TXKF as an enroute alternate (it’s a popular ETOPS airport), but bear in mind that if you do choose to divert here, recovery may take longer.


Country Lowdown: Turkey

The latest in our series of Country Lowdowns is: Turkey. There have been some changes of late, including an exclusion for aircraft registered in countries without a bilateral agreement with Turkey, from the new overflight permit exemption. Hmmm. That’s a mouthful.

In easier language – if you’re flying an M-reg or a VP-reg aircraft, you’ll probably need an overflight permit.

We publish these Country Lowdowns on a regular basis, and they are sent directly (free) to members of OPSGROUP.

If you’d really like the one for Turkey, just email Or – join the group at and you’ll get them all as they are published.



Overflight Permit News: Bolivia

Bolivia The permitting process for Bolivia is becoming stricter, with delays in issuing permits more common than before. Both landing and overflight permits are required for operations to or overflying Bolivia for private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations. Permits are processed by Bolivia’s Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) during normal operating hours: Monday-Friday, 0830-1630 local. Documentation requirements are the same for private non-revenue and charter flights.

Overflight permits for Bolivia can now be obtained online.

Permit News: Cuba Permit requirements

– Minimum 3 working days advance notice of flight intending to cross Cuba

Data needed:

– Operator name and address
– Departure and Destination airports, and times
– Aircraft type, and registration
– Please note no requirement for airspace entry points/times, pilots licenses/medicals, C of A/R, or other documentation.

Your permit number will be sent to you by via email by return and should be inserted in Field 18 (RMK/) of your ATC flight plan, for example:


The permit can be ordered online here.

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