Washington, May 16 : The US transportation department has ordered the suspension of all flights between the United States and Venezuela due to security concerns, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in notice on Thursday.
"I agree that the public interest requires an immediate suspension of foreign air transportation between the United States and Venezuelan airports," Chao said in the notice.
"Therefore, pursuant to section 44907(e), I am suspending the authority of all US air carriers and foreign air carriers to provide foreign air transportation to or from Venezuelan airports." he added.
Federal law authorizes the Secretary of Transportation, with the approval of the Secretary of State, to take immediate action to suspend the rights of foreign and U.S. air carriers to provide service between the U.S. and foreign airports when conditions exist at those airports that threaten the safety or security of passengers, aircraft, or crew.
The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has requested this action based on his assessment of current security conditions in Venezuela, and the Secretary of State has given his approval. Secretary Chao has agreed to the request and is exercising her statutory authority to suspend air service to Venezuela.
The Secretary’s suspension order is in addition to the FAA’s Notice to Airmen issued on May 1, which prohibits most US-certified aircraft operators and pilots from flying below 26,000 feet over the territory of Venezuela, also for reasons of safety and security.