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FAA NOTAM restricts US flights over eastern Ukraine

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) restricting US flights over the eastern Ukraine in the wake of the loss of MH17.

“The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions (FIRs),” says the FAA in a brief statement.

“This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. No scheduled U.S. airlines are currently flying routes through this airspace.”

The statement notes the are has “the potential for continued hazardous activities.”

The NOTAM follows the crash of a Malaysian Airlines 777-200ER in the area under mysterious circumstances, apparently killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew.

Although the cause of the crash has yet to be confirmed, Ukrainian authorities have been quick to point a finger at pro-Russian separatists in the area.

In addition, social media has been abuzz with theories that the aircraft was brought down by a surface to air missile. Several Ukrainian military aircraft have been lost to ground launch missiles in the eastern Ukraine in recent months.

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