International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: March 2014

Special Report: Crimea and Simferopol FIR

Crimea & Simferopol FIR
Following the recent events in Ukraine and Crimea, we received a high volume of requests for information on the airspace and current situation. The information below is a majority extract from our International Ops Notice 03/14 published on 05APR.

SUMMARY

Effective April 2014 a significant number of changes will affect Airports and Airspace in the Crimean Peninsula.

BACKGROUND – What happened?

Following the removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on 21 February, Russia moved to take control of Crimea, an autonomous republic that until now has been part of Ukraine. While the referendum that ceded authority is disputed internationally, Crimea is now under de facto control of Russia, creating a political standoff with Europe and the US that has led to a complicated airspace situation.

AIRSPACE AND AIRPORTS INVOLVED

  • Simferopol FIR A large and significant FIR covering busy Black Sea routes, with a predominant east/west flow, with ATC service provided from Simferopol Airport.
  • Simferopol Airport A large airport in the centre of Crimea with International and Domestic Air Service, with TWR/APP
  • Sevastopol Airport A smaller civil, domestic airport beside the town of Sevastopol in the southwest of Crimea, with TWR.
  • Zavodskoe Airport Another smaller domestic airport beside Simferopol, with an AFIS Unit.
  • Kerch Airport Used only by general aviation, currently bankrupt.

Some History – MARCH DEVELOPMENTS

  • 13 March Russian troops took control of the Towers, Airports, and ATC Centre. Simferopol and Sevastopol closed to civil traffic. ATC Service from Simferopol was terminated.
  • 14 March ATC Service for the Simferopol FIR is now provided by other ATC Centres in Ukraine. Odesa took control of the western portion (Sectors 3,4,5) and Dnipropetrovsk the eastern portion (Sectors 1,2)
  • 16 March Referendum held in Crimea, result determines wish to join Russia.

Current Status – CHANGES SINCE RUSSIAN CONTROL OF CRIMEA

  • 24 March Rouble adopted as official currency of Crimea
  • 24 March Russian Passports issued to existing population. Russian Visa required to enter for non-Ukrainians/Crimeans
  • 31 March Clocks move forward 2 hours, Crimea is now on Moscow time
  • 03 April Simferopol ACC re-opens, providing ATC Service in the Simferopol FIR
  • 03 April Permit now required to enter Airspace over Crimea, according to NOTAM from Russia

 

Simferopol ACC

The Simferopol FIR is normally controlled from an Area Control Centre located at Simferopol Airport. It was closed on 13 March (picture taken same day) when Russia took control of facilities in the peninsula, and service for the FIR was provided using remote radar data by Ukrainian controllers from Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk.

At 10am on 3 April Simferopol ACC was reopened, managed by a new service provider called “Krymaeronavigatsiya”. The controllers in the centre are mostly the same controllers that operated Simferopol ACC for the Ukrainian National Authority.

To reactivate control of the airspace from Simferopol, Russia issued several NOTAMs on 28 March which were subsequently disputed by Ukraine and Eurocontrol. This has led to an unsafe situation leading to an ICAO letter and recommendation to avoid the Simferopol FIR until the situation is resolved.

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Monday Briefing: Security in Caracas, Tripoli, UK Permit rules

Security issues rule out Venezuela, Libya Mar 23: SVMI/Caracas, Venezuela, and HLLT/Tripoli, Libya, should be off your tech stop or charter lists for the foreseeable future. Both airports have been subject to rising security risks over the last months, reaching a climax last week with a bomb attack on RWY 09/27 in Tripoli and increased civil unrest in Caracas.

New rules for UK Permits Mar 23 : Significant changes to the approval process for Landing Permits for the UK will take effect on 06 APR. CAA will take over the responsibility for issuing approvals from the Department for Transport (DFT). Also, previously, a cabotage objection could be raised by a group of UK Charter Operators – this is removed. A fee is likely to be charged by the CAA for permits from this point forward.

SVMI/Caracas, Venezuela Public unrest has raised tensions in the capital to the point where several airlines have suspended service, including Air Canada this past week. Coupled with the security issue is a payment issue, with the Venezuelan government not releasing ticket payments. SVMI remains open and operational, but not recommended. For tech stops, consider TNCC/Curacao just to the north.

Uxxx/Crimea Region. Following the referendum on 16MAR, Crimea is now officially Russian Territory. This places the Simferopol FIR under Russian Control, but service is still provided by Ukraine. Simferopol Sectors 3,4 and 5 are now controlled by Odesa, and Sectors 1 and 2 are controlled by Dnipropetrvosk. UKFF/Simferopol and UKFB/Sevastopol are closed to civil traffic. No decision has yet been made by the Russian CAA as to whether permits will be required to overfly Crimea. It seems unlikely that there will be any change to the present ‘no permit required’ situation in the coming weeks at least, though when Simferopol Airport reopens we would anticipate Landing Permits being required through Russia.

VTSP/Phuket – International restrictions due to construction until 31MAR. Slot and PPR require 48HR PN, Landing Permit requests should allow 10 days.

LIxx/Italy ATC Industrial action announced for 30MAR 1030-1430Z. For this and subsequent strikes, ENAC, the Italian provider, will accept a limited number of pre-arranged flights from each AO.

EHAA/Amsterdam FIR Due to Nuclear Summit in the Hague on 24 and 25MAR, most of the FIR is accessible by Prior Permission only, including all flights to EHAM, EHRD, EHEH. Contact nss.ppr@minienm.nl or +31 (0) 577453696.
LLOV/Ovda, Israel will be closed to all flights 01MAY-07MAY

DGAA/Accra, Ghana Until 23JUN, The main runway (03/21) is open daily from 0500-2300Z only; no traffic accepted outside these hours.

YPXM/Christmas Island is closed and unmanned at present due to a Cyclone.

HLLT/Tripoli, Libya was subject to a bomb attack on Friday. The device was placed on the centerline of RWY09/27 overnight and detonated with a timer. Most regular operators cancelled flights immediately, with no set date to resume operations.

OSDI/Damascus FIR – For those still overflying, Syria has closed airway L513 from BURSA to LEBOR UFN.
UK Charter Permits. Significant changes to the approval process for Landing Permits for the UK will take effect on 06 APR. CAA will take over the responsibility for issuing approvals from the Department for Transport (DFT). Also, previously, a cabotage objection could be raised by a group of UK Charter Operators – this is removed. A fee is likely to be charged by the CAA for permits from this point forward.

Turkey. Effective 10APR2014 Visa on Arrival is no longer available at Turkish Airports. Visitors must apply online through https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for an e-Visa.

Australia. A reminder to all operators who are not ADS-B equipped, of the restrictions when operating into Australian Airspace effective from 15DEC13. If you not ADS-B equipped you must file with CASA, a Form 208 exemption application 14 days in advance of proposed operations into Australian Airspace. Then operations will be confined to the SSR radar coverage area extending from 200 nm north of Cairns down the East coast to 200 nm west of Adelaide. This is commonly referred to as the J curve. If you intend operating into the Brisbane or Melbourne FIRs from the west and north west of Australia, and are not ADB-B equipped you will be required to operate at FL290 or below.

URSS/Sochi Starting from 20JAN, including period of XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Winter Paralympic Games 2014, airlines are obliged to send the passenger manifest with exact Name, Surname, Passport number and series, or other ID, Ticket number, 24 hours prior to departure and no less then 4 hours prior to departure – passenger manifest changes, when operating to Sochi International airport (IATA code-AER). Information should be sent to the following e-mails: Checkin_DIsp@aer.basel.aero, Chief_smena_SAB@aer.basel.aero. See NOTAM A3075, A4018.

Monday Briefing: Simferopol ACC closed, new Kolkatta Oceanic ACC

Simferopol ACC closed – uncertainty in Crimea Mar 18: On 13MAR ATC service over Crimea ceased to be provided by Simferopol ACC, with responsibility shifted to Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk ACC’s. UKFF/Simferopol and UKFB/Sevastopol Airports are closed to civil traffic. It remains to be seen whether the Referendum on 16MAR results in the FIR being controlled by Russia, with ensuing permit requirements.

New Oceanic Area for India Mar 19 : Effective 19MAR a new Oceanic Area Control Centre (OACC) comes into being – Kolkatta Oceanic, partly covering the Kolkata and Chennai FIR’s on the eastern side of India over the Bay of Bengal. The callsign will be “Kolkata Oceanic”. Further details below …

VECF/Kolkata OACC, India A new OACC/Oceanic Control Centre becomes operational on 19MAR known as the Kolkata Oceanic Control Centre. The area is operational from MSL to FL460, CPDLC is primary comms method, HF backup on 10066/6556/3491. See India NOTAM A0211/14.

Uxxx/Crimea Region. With the current situation in Crimea, there have been several changes this week in the provision of ATC in the region. Simferopol Sectors 3,4 and 5 are now controlled by Odesa, and Sectors 1 and 2 are controlled by Dnipropetrvosk. UKFF/Simferopol and UKFB/Sevastopol are closed to civil traffic. It remains to be seen whether the Referendum on 16MAR will result in the airspace being controlled by Russia, with the possibility that a permit will be required as for the rest of the Russian Federation.

LFxx/France has announced industrial action on the 18MAR. Negotiations will continue over the weekend with SNCTA , and the strike situation will be much clearer on Monday.

SACF/ Cordoba ACC, Argentina Radar issues continue, no radar control provided in the South Sector of the FIR.

OAKN/Kandahar – AIrcraft planning through flights using Military Ramp face fuel restrictions due supply issues. Limit of approx 1200USG per aircraft.

VTSP/Phuket – International restrictions due to construction until 31MAR. Slot and PPR require 48HR PN, Landing Permit requests should allow 10 days.

SBKP/Campinas – Airport will be closed between 0330-0730LT on 13-15MAR and 18-22MAR.

OSDI/Damascus FIR – For those still overflying, Syria has closed airway L513 from BURSA to LEBOR UFN.

Turkey. Effective 10APR2014 Visa on Arrival is no longer available at Turkish Airports. Visitors must apply online through https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for an e-Visa.

UK Charter Permits. Significant changes to the approval process for Landing Permits for the UK will take effect on 06 APR. CAA will take over the responsibility for issuing approvals from the Department for Transport (DFT). Also, previously, a cabotage objection could be raised by a group of UK Charter Operators – this is removed. A fee is likely to be charged by the CAA for permits from this point forward.

Australia. A reminder to all operators who are not ADS-B equipped, of the restrictions when operating into Australian Airspace effective from 15DEC13. If you not ADS-B equipped you must file with CASA, a Form 208 exemption application 14 days in advance of proposed operations into Australian Airspace. Then operations will be confined to the SSR radar coverage area extending from 200 nm north of Cairns down the East coast to 200 nm west of Adelaide. This is commonly referred to as the J curve. If you intend operating into the Brisbane or Melbourne FIRs from the west and north west of Australia, and are not ADB-B equipped you will be required to operate at FL290 or below.

URSS/Sochi Starting from 20JAN, including period of XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Winter Paralympic Games 2014, airlines are obliged to send the passenger manifest with exact Name, Surname, Passport number and series, or other ID, Ticket number, 24 hours prior to departure and no less then 4 hours prior to departure – passenger manifest changes, when operating to Sochi International airport (IATA code-AER). Information should be sent to the following e-mails: Checkin_DIsp@aer.basel.aero, Chief_smena_SAB@aer.basel.aero. See NOTAM A3075, A4018.

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