Moldova temporarily closed its airspace, citing security reasons. Several flights were rerouted to Iasi (IAS), a Romanian airport situated close to the Moldovan border.
“Based on the results of the meeting of the Interdepartmental Commission for Airspace Management, a NOTAM was issued on the temporary closure of the airspace of the Republic of Moldova at 11:24 in order to ensure the safety of civil aviation flights,” the Government of Republic of Moldova said in a statement. “According to the Civil Aviation Authority, at 14:47 the airspace was opened.”
The security concerns were confirmed by the Moldavian Air Traffic Services Authority (MoldATSA) to the local publication Ziarul de Gardă.
Consequently, the national carrier Air Moldova announced that there would be changes in the flight schedule.
“Dear passengers, those who are at the airport, onboard, or are going to fly today, please keep calm and follow the information panels in the airport,” the airline said on its Facebook page.
The exact reason for the airspace closure was not detailed. Unconfirmed reports cited the presence of Russian observation drones flying from Belarus through the Ukrainian oblast of Zhytomyr towards Moldova.
In the meantime, a US Air Force Boeing RC-135W Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft operating from RAF Station Mildenhall in the United Kingdom flew to Romania and entered an observation pattern.
Courtesy of Flightradar24.com
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the neighboring country of Moldova has been affected several times. In the aftermath of the first offensive on February 24, 2022, the Moldovan Civil Aviation Authority ordered the closure of the airspace to “avoid putting at risk civilian flights.”
Several cruise missiles fired by Russian armed forces at Ukrainian territory have also crossed Moldova’s airspace. Debris from a Russian missile intercepted by the Ukrainian air defense fell on the Moldovan village of Naslavcea on October 31, 2022.