Aviation News

March 18, 2011

Libya Closes All Airports After UN Authorizes No-Fly Zone

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By: BNO News
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Moammar Qadaffi personal Afriqiyah Airbus A330 taxis to take off from New York's JFK Airport following an appearance at the UN General Assembly in 2009
Moammar Qadaffi's personal Afriqiyah Airbus A330 taxis to take off from New York's JFK Airport following an appearance at the UN General Assembly in 2009. (Photo by Eric Dunetz)
Libyan authorities have reportedly closed civilian airports, including Tripoli International Airport, after the United Nations Security Council approved a resolution to impose a no-fly zone on Libya, according to Eurocontrol.

Moammar Qadaffi personal Afriqiyah Airbus A330 taxis to take off from New York's JFK Airport following an appearance at the UN General Assembly in 2009

Moammar Qadaffi's personal Afriqiyah Airbus A340 taxis to take off from New York's JFK Airport following an appearance at the UN General Assembly in 2009. (Photo by Eric Dunetz)

The approved United Nations Security Council Resolution calls for the establishment of a no-fly zone, which bans all flights in the airspace of the Northern African nation. It also allows military intervention to enforce the ban, and calls to take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of Libyan government attack.

“The latest information from Malta indicates that [the] Tripoli Area Control Center (ACC) does not accept traffic until further notice,” Europol, the agency charged with coordinating air traffic management across Europe, said in a brief notice to aviation experts.

Earlier this month, Eurocontrol said only three civilian airports were still operating while massive anti-government protests plunged the nation into chaos. These airports were Tripoli International Airport, Gardabya Airport in the country’s southwest and Sabha Airport in the north.

Libya has more than 20 notable civilian airports and some such as Benina International Airport have been heavily damaged by the ongoing conflict, which has left thousands of people killed.