Some pilots undertake missions for border control in areas where thereis turmoil or wars, and these missions may last six hours or more, divided into two sessions. Sometimes the pilot may be on standby for a longer period, which requires a great deal of effort from the pilots in order to undertake this mission to protect the security of the country and to protect people's lives and property. Is it permissible for them not to fast and is this is an excuse for them?.
Praise be to Allaah.
If he is one of the pilots who are required to do border patrols and the distance from his place of residence is the distance that makes it permissible to shorten one's prayers -- which is approximately 80 km -- then it is permissible for him not to fast once he leaves the built-up area of his city and if necessity calls for him to break his fast before takeoff, there is nothing wrong with that.
If it is less than this distance and he has no choice but to undertake this mission so as to protect the interests of the nation, and he cannot undertake this mission unless he is not fasting, then it is permissible for him not to fast so as to achieve that interest and ward off harm.
Those who go back to their place of residence during the day and are no longer expected to come back on duty for the rest of the day have to do refrain from eating and drinking.
In all cases, they have to make up the fasts later on.
And Allah is the source of strength. May Allah send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad and his family and Companions. End quote.
Standing Committee for Academic Research and Issuing Fatwas
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz,
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd