May 16, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently issued an order to immediately suspend all foreign air transportation between the U.S. and Venezuela on all U.S. and foreign air carriers, including charter flights.

All U.S. air carrier certifications and exemptions, as well as all foreign air carrier permits and exemptions, will be amended to preclude these carriers from operating to or from Venezuelan airports.

The prohibition comes after a request from the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan to suspend such operations. McAleenan based his request on a number of factors including civil unrest and violence on and near airports; inability for TSA to gain access to airports to ensure security; political and economic instability in the country and suspension of U.S. embassy operations in Venezuela.

A related NOTAM issued on May 1 prohibits flight operations by U.S. air carriers and commercial operators; all persons exercising privileges of an airmen certificate issued by the FAA, except such persons operating U.S.-registered aircraft for foreign air carriers; and all operators of U.S-registered aircraft U.S. in Venezuelan airspace below FL260.

“This order is a rare move by the DOT and highlights the significant risks of travel to and within Venezuela at this time,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s senior manager of flight operations and regulations.”Business aircraft operators, if not subject to the DOT order or related NOTAM, are still encouraged to exercise extreme caution in flight operations to, from or over Venezuela.”

Review the order, which is effective immediately.