Why Planes Don’t Fly Over Kaaba

Ever wondered why airplanes would not always
fly in a straight line from one point to another? After all, they’re in the air, what could
possibly stop them? Well, there are plenty of reasons for that,
and while some are common, others might be harder to explain. Let’s start with… 1. Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
There are two explanations as to why commercial airplanes never fly over Kaaba in Mecca. The first one is said to be because of the
magnetic anomaly over this place that makes navigation equipment go nuts. Another claim is that the pull of Earth’s
gravity is stronger there, which means airplanes would have a hard time keeping their altitude. Some even say that birds can’t fly over
there either.

This has never been proved, though, and there
are security helicopters flying over the area just fine, so many people doubt this theory. The second explanation sounds a lot more plausible,
if a bit down-to-earth. First, there’s no airport in Mecca, which
makes it illogical for airplanes to fly over the city. This may sound strange, given that Mecca is
visited by dozens of millions of people every year, but the Saudi Arabia government is strict
in this regard. Secondly, Mecca has a designated prohibited
airspace, so no civil aircraft is, in fact, allowed by law to fly over the city, and that’s
why you’ll never see a plane above the Kaaba.

2. Machu Picchu, Peru. Ooh. The ban to fly over Machu Picchu has been
in place since 2006. The government of Peru doesn’t allow any
aircraft to approach the important historical site exactly because of its historical importance,
as well as the unique wildlife in the area. I’ll explain: if an aircraft fell in the
vicinity of Machu Picchu, it might crash right into the ancient building, dealing irreparable
damage. But even if it crashed in the surrounding
forest, the fire it would cause in case of explosion would destroy the fragile local
ecosystem. No one would risk the invaluable heritage,
so flights were simply banned over there. 3. Paris, France
It seems surprising that the capital of France, despite having four airports within its city
limits, has prohibited airspace. No airplanes or helicopters are allowed to
fly over the city, but if you’ve ever been to Paris, you’ve probably smirked now because
you’ve seen commercial planes there.

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There’s an exception, you see: airplanes
can only fly no lower than 6,500 ft high. As for helicopters, these are only allowed
if they’re on a special mission, such as police surveillance or air rescue. 4. Cuba
The whole country is under lock and key when it comes to foreign aircraft. There are, of course, domestic flights there,
but any airplane that wants to cross the border of Cuba needs an express permission from the
government to do so. That’s why only specially authorized airplanes
can land on Cuban ground, while all the rest will be considered violators. 5. Parthenon in Athens, Greece
The Parthenon is an ancient Greek monument and a place that thousands of tourists come
to see every month. It was seriously damaged in the 17th century,
and it’s currently being restored to its former glory. That’s the main reason why no aircraft is
allowed to fly over the Parthenon or in the area surrounding it at an altitude lower than
5,000 ft. And even airplanes flying from the nearby
Athens airport are prohibited to do so.

6. Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland
Phoenix Park isn’t a place of great strategic interest, but it’s being actively promoted
to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s one of the largest parks in Europe
and is home to the famous Dublin Zoo. The Irish are proud of their park, and they’ve
naturally done everything possible to protect it from harm, so flights have been prohibited
over it for years now. 7. Constitution Avenue in Islamabad, Pakistan
This stretch of land in the capital city of Pakistan houses lots of government buildings,
which is why no airplanes and only special helicopters are allowed to fly along the avenue. Any aircraft, even a commercial one, will
be first politely asked to leave and escorted away, but then, if it ignores the request,
the consequences might be not so peaceful.

8. Moscow, Russia
All flights were prohibited over Moscow from 1960s and up to 2013. That year, a new law was issued that finally
allowed commercial airplanes to cross the sky over the Russian capital. But there’s still one rather big catch:
they shouldn’t get lower than 26,500 ft. Experts say that’s of little help to pilots,
especially those departing from and arriving to the three major Moscow airports. But hey, every little thing counts, right? Official explanation of this restriction is
security of the citizens, but there are many who disagree with this version. What do you think? Share with me down in the comment section! 9. Sri Lanka
In fact, not all of the country is a zone of no flights, but it is mostly divided into
prohibited and restricted areas. That’s why, often, airplanes have to receive
permission to fly over Sri Lanka’s territory.

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pexels photo 4445480

By the way, there’s indeed a difference
between a prohibited and a restricted area. Planes aren’t allowed to fly over prohibited
areas at all, which can’t be said about restricted ones. These are only closed for air travel when
there’s a special order for that. Anyway, in Sri Lanka, pilots must make sure
they can traverse the air space over the country at all times, just to be on the safe side.

10. The Himalayas
This mountain chain is known as the Roof of the World, and rightfully so: they’re the
tallest mountain peaks in the world, and most famous, of course, is Mt. Everest. Interestingly, there is no prohibition to
fly over the Himalayas whatsoever, and airplanes can easily climb higher than most of the mountains
there. But still, pilots prefer to avoid tracing
their route over them. So what’s the big deal? Well, in case of emergency, the plane will
have to reduce its altitude, and that has to do with the oxygen masks on board. You see, they only have about 15-20 minutes’
worth of oxygen in them, and during that time, the airplane must descend to at least 10,000
ft. That’s the altitude at which a person can
breathe normally.

But at the same time, it’s lower than the
height of the Himalayan peaks! So basically, if a plane has an emergency
in that region, it will have to thread between the mountains while seeking some place to
land — and that’s another problem with the Himalayas because, well, it’s not exactly
a flat area. Finding a long enough stretch of ground for
an airplane to land is no easy task. So flying over these mountains is not worth
the risk, and pilots would rather give them a wide berth. 11. Taiwan Strait, China
Not all of it is closed for airplanes, but some parts of this great body of water can’t
be flown over at any time. The Taiwan Strait separates China from the
island of Taiwan, and the reason why flights are partially prohibited over it is that the
two have a rather strained relationship.

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There are no open conflicts, but both China
and Taiwan take steps to protect themselves from each other. 12. Downing Street in London, UK
There are few places more important for the United Kingdom than Downing Street. It’s home to some of the most prominent
British government officials, including the Prime Minister. No wonder airplanes aren’t allowed to fly
over this area, and neither are helicopters, drones, and any other flying vehicles.

In fact, because of the street’s extreme
importance, even simple people are restricted from walking there. Only scheduled visitors can pass through the
gates and see the famous residences with their own eyes. 13. Prairie Chapel Ranch near Crawford, Texas
A simple ranch looks weird next to all the rest of the places on my list, I know. I’ll give you a hint: during the period
from 2001 to 2009, it was called the Western White House. If you thought about George W. Bush, you’re
right: Prairie Chapel Ranch was a Bush residence while he was the President of the US. A no-fly zone was established there right
after Bush became the country’s leader, although he’d bought the ranch more than
a year before that. After his term ended, the restricted zone
became smaller, but it’s still in place, covering the area of 4 nautical miles in diameter. Finally, I myself, keep a no-fly zone in my
kitchen. If a fly does violate the restricted airspace,
then I am forced to bring down the intruder with my fly swatter.

Seems cruel I know, but rules are rules. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
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enjoy. Just click to the left or right, and stay
on the Bright Side of life!.

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