International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: December 2015

KVNY/Van Nuys: Vandals tag 3 different business jets

27DEC Three business Jet aircraft were sprayed with graffiti on Sunday night (27DEC) at KVNY/Van Nuys Airport, in Los Angeles. The aircraft belong to locally based Charter companies, according to law enforcement and aviation sources.  Two years ago, a $2.3-million Learjet suffered $100,000 in damage after being spray-painted with graffiti in a secure area of the same airport. The LAPD said at the time that the crime was gang-related but no one was arrested.

Monday Briefing: Kanlaon Volcano Eruption, Colombia Permit requirements

Kanlaon Volcano Eruption 28DEC The Kanlaon Volcano in the Philippines erupted on 27DEC, with an initial ASHTAM issued up to FL260. Extreme caution advised for airways B472, B473, and W7. You can get the latest updates through the Tokyo VAAC.

Updated Colombia Permit requirements 22DEC For Non-Commercial aircraft, ie. Ferry flights, General Aviation – authorisation is required only if stopping in Colombia longer than 48 hours, or operating to more than 1 Colombian Airport. Updated list of document requirements in AIP Supp 22/15 issued 22DEC.

New Years closures. Check opening times carefully during the next week, as many major airports and FBO’s have closures, especially on 31DEC/01JAN.

Kxxx/USA Scattered thunderstorms, some of which will be strong to severe, will move east across Kentucky, Tennessee, eastern Mississippi, Alabama, western Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Heavy rain will once again trigger flash flooding over portions of the South. Airports in the risk area include KATL/Atlanta, KBNA/Nashville, KMEM/Memphis, KCHA/Chattanooga, KBHM/Birmingham, KMOB/Mobile and KLEX/Lexington.

FYWH/Windhoek, Namibia has new opening hours from 23DEC, 0700-2000LT Daily.

HSSS/Khartoum, Sudan has no Jet A1 available to Ad-hoc operations between 27DEC and 05JAN. Carry return fuel or choose another tech stop.

MUFH/Havana FIR, Cuba Airspace restrictions in place 23DEC-31DEC due to staff shortages, airways UB760 and UL210 are northbound only, and between 1400-0100Z daily, all aircraft will be spaced 25nm apart through the Havana FIR, regardless of altitude.

OAKB/Kabul, Afghanistan a car bomb detonated near Kabul International Airport at approximately 0800 local time (0330 UTC) today.Taliban militants took responsibility for the attack.

UIBB/Bratsk continues to have fuel supply issues, fuel limitation extended to 12JAN

LSZH/Zurich has parking issues for Private flights, the Airport Company will generally only accept 6 hours ground time. Extended stays will require a reposition to another airport, limitation until 06JAN.

Space Weather/Polar Ops 55% risk of R1-R2 Minor to Moderate Radio Blackout risk predicted through Dec 30th. For the most up to date information please see the NOAA Space Weather Dashboard for Aviation.

LTFJ/Istanbul A Kurdish militant group has claimed responsibility for an attack at Istanbul’s second airport that killed 1 person, and threatened more assaults.

FAA/North Atlantic Aircraft operators crossing the North Atlantic have been required to include the aircraft registration and six-character hexadecimal code that is the aircraft’s address in Item 18 of their ICAO flight plans. However, an FAA review of flight plans filed during a one week period revealed that many operators were not meeting this requirement. Therefore, the agency has issued Information for Operators (InFO) 15015, which emphasizes the importance of providing the required information in the proper format.

Vxxx/India Signaling a major shift in granting air traffic rights, the government is looking at restricting the number of landing points for overseas airlines irrespective of their seat entitlements.A senior Civil Aviation Ministry official said it was looking at restricting the ports of call given to foreign airlines under bilateral rights, while remaining flexible on seat entitlements.

VAJB/Jabalpur The Aviation regulator DGCA has suspended the license of Jabalpur airport following an incident early this month, in which a herd of wild boars marched onto the runway during the taxiing of a commercial aircraft. Following suspension of its license, no flight operations can take place from Jabalpur airport, sources said adding that the AAI has been told to remove deficiencies including proper fencing of the operational area.

RKxx/South Korea South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has formally declared an end to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) health threat on December 23. According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, its decision follows World Health Organization. MERS was first confirmed in South Korea on 20MAY, and the last fatality from MERS-related complications in the country occurred on 25NOV.

Monday Briefing: Cuba Travel opens up, Chile Airport strike ends

Cuba Travel opening up 21DEC Negotiations between the USA and Cuba on scheduled air services between the two countries are progressing at pace; meaning that we expect to see sanctions on private US Tourism Travel lifted as early as next March. See more below.

Chile Airport Strike ends 21DEC A four day strike was ended yesterday 20DEC in Chile by the Trade Union, as 3000 Airport workers across the country responded to the governments rejection of a pension plan. Several hundred flights were cancelled. Non-scheduled operations were largely unaffected, but the risk of further action remains.


HUEC/Entebbe ACC, Uganda. ATC in Uganda is reporting a significant increase in the number of flights entering their airspace without prior coordination from Sudan and Congo (Khartoum and Kinshasa FIRs). Regional ATC in Africa is known to be challenging, but this warning deserves attention. Crews should make all efforts to contact each FIR 10 mins in advance – HF 11300, or relay on 126.9 if unable.

KZMA/Miami FIR SpaceX announced Sunday it has pushed back its planned launch of a Falcon 9 rocket with 11 communications satellites to 2033 ET Monday. KZMA has issued NOTAM A1357/15 for launch. It will also affect the KZJX Jacksonville FIR and TJZS San Juan FIR. The FAA will also issue tactical advisories regarding the launch and will most likely restrict operation on AR6 and AR15.

EGGX/Shanwick have issued a reminder to flights operating on the “Tango Routes” (T9, T16, T213) that HF in all cases is required to operate here, and crews should be trained in the procedures. Request OCA Clearance 50 mins in advance. Primary/Secondary HF freqs: Southbound 6547/8879, Northbound 8879/6547.

LIPH/Treviso Fuel spillage on the runway has closed the airport until 1700Z today 21DEC.

Cuba and USA Reports in the international media last week indicated that an agreement between Cuba and the US is likely to be signed early next year, allowing up to 110 scheduled flights: 20 to Havana, 10 to each of the other 9 international airports in Cuba. At present, US visitors must still fall in to one of the 12 official categories for authorised travel; however, once scheduled services are in place, we anticipate this to be the leverage to remove the final hurdle for US citizens – visiting Cuba for tourism. The first flights will likely operate in early March.

It should be noted that there are no restrictions on the Cuban side. US Aircraft can land in Havana with a routine Landing Permit issued by IACC, and US Aircraft can overfly with a routine Overflight permit. We anticipate that the requirement for a permit will stay in place as this is routine in most Latin American countries, primarily to check Navigation Fee debts and Operator Profile.

Georgia and Ukraine On 18DEC2015, the EC announced that both Georgia and Ukraine meet requirements for being granted visa-free travel to the European Union’s Schengen zone. However, the European Parliament and the EU member states must vote in favor of granting Georgia and Ukraine visa-free travel before they are able to do so. Reports indicated that the decision could be put to a vote as early as 2016.

Haiti On 19DEC, election-related demonstrations across Haiti turned violent amid accusations of electoral fraud. Violent clashes led to the burning of several government buildings. Haitian police officers stated that they were trying to restore security to the country.

Space Weather/Polar Ops moderate an ongoing G1 geomagnetic storm expected for Mon, Dec 21. Please check the NOAA Space weather aviation dashboard for the latest actuals and predictions HERE.

PAZA/Anchorage ARTCC has a number of new procedures and systems in place effective 17DEC, including 30/30 RNP4 separation, an update to the Track Advisory program for westbound Russian Tracks, and standard routings. Check the current PAZA NOTAMs for complete information.

ZBAA/Beijing authorities have issued a red alert for high levels of air pollution and reduced visibility. The alert will be effective until 22DEC. According to China’s National Meteorological Center, air pollution levels are forecast to be slightly higher than those recorded from 06-09DEC.

EGLL/EGKK London Heathrow/Gatwick Airport train links will be disrupted over Christmas. The Gatwick Express trains will stop running for 10 days due to engineering works, with the last service of 2015 leaving Victoria station at 9.15pm on Christmas Eve and the first services of 2016 scheduled for 4 January. At Heathrow, the usual one-day closure on Christmas Day will be extended by three days. Neither Heathrow Express nor Heathrow Connect trains will run from London Paddington station during the period.

UBxx/Azerbaijan will become part of the IFPS (Integrated Flight Plan System) zone as of AIRAC 1601 on 07JAN2016. Azerbaijan will delegate responsibility for the provision of flight planning services for IFR/GAT flights within the Baku FIR to the Network Manager’s Integrated Initial Flight Plan Processing System. For more info see Azerbaijan AIC 01/2016 Series A, AIP ENR 1.10, AIP ENR 1.11 and NOTAM A0126/15.

UHPP/Petropavlovsk FIR Volcano Karmsky has recently been active with ash reported up to 15,000 ft and possibly affecting ops on R220. Please check for the latest Tokyo VAAC advisories.

The ICAO Council adopted a new tracking standard for certain international flights that requires crews to report their aircraft’s positions at least every 15 minutes. It will become effective in March 2016 and applicable 08NOV2018. The new requirement also will be formalized as Amendment 39 to Annex 6—Operation of Aircraft, Part I. Only aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 59,000 pounds and a passenger seating capacity of more than 19 are affected by the rule. Also, the requirement applies to over oceanic and other remote areas, and where air traffic service is obtaining position information greater than 15-minute intervals.

Christmas and New Years closures. Check opening times carefully during the next 2 weeks, as many major airports and FBO’s have closures, especially on 24, 25, 26DEC and 31DEC/01JAN.


Monday Briefing: New Overflight Map, Typhoon Melor affecting the Philippines

New Overflight Map 14DEC The Airline Cooperative and Flight Service Bureau have finalised the initial version of an online Overflight Permit and Security Map, showing current airspace and security warnings worldwide, together with county by country information on permit requirements. The map is available ot all AO’s at Read more below.

Typhoon Melor affecting the Philippines 14DEC the center of Typhoon Melor is forecast to move into the central Philippines (near southeastern Luzon) Monday evening local time as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. The current forecast path indicates the Typhoon moving inland towards Legazpi City, Sorsogon City and Gubat are some of the locations. For more details visit the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

EGGX/Shanwick/CZQX/Gander The technical issues affecting the implementation of the RLAT/Reduced Lateral Separation tracks have reportedly been finally resolved and the first publication of the “Half Tracks” is now scheduled for today, 14DEC2015.

LFRR/Brest FIR Most sectors regulated day and night due to new software (ERATO) implementation. High delays. The worst delays are in the following sectors: LFRMZSI, LFRJ, LFRN, LFRVKWS. German departures to USA are advised to consider routing North of Brest airspace via NIK (or North of).

OAKN/Kandahar A Taliban attack took place at the airport on 08DEC, with close to 50 fatalities. The attack was a major security breach, as heavily armed militants were able to enter a fortified area supposed to have been made secure by the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

The ICAO Council adopted a new tracking standard for certain international flights that requires crews to report their aircraft’s positions at least every 15 minutes. It will become effective in March 2016 and applicable 08NOV2018. The new requirement also will be formalized as Amendment 39 to Annex 6—Operation of Aircraft, Part I. Only aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of more than 59,000 pounds and a passenger seating capacity of more than 19 are affected by the rule. Also, the requirement applies to over oceanic and other remote areas, and where air traffic service is obtaining position information greater than 15-minute intervals.

Central/South America On 10DEC2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 1 Travel Warning for Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Brazil, Columbia, Paraguay, Suriname and Venezuela, advising travelers to protect themselves against the Zika Virus. Zika is a viral disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also carries the dengue and chikungunya viruses.

KSAN/MMTJ San Diego/Tijuana A new pedestrian bridge spanning the U.S.- Mexico border now connects KSAN/San Diego and MMTJ Tijuana. The airport terminal, called Cross Border Xpress, opened last Wednesday and will improve travel for fliers going from Tijuana to the United States.

Kxxx/United States The U.S. House of Representatives voted in support of a measure to tighten control on the Visa Waiver Program, which allows travelers of certain nationalities to enter the U.S. without a visa. Under the new measure, the U.S. will now require visas for anyone who has traveled to Iraq or Syria in the past five years. The measure requires that all countries participating in the visa waiver program share intelligence with the U.S. regarding possible extremists.

FVFA/Victoria Falls Intl A new international passenger terminal opened at Victoria Falls International Airport (FVFA/VFA) on 02DEC.

Zxxx/China Chinese officials lifted a red alert they had put in place on 7 December after heavy smog greatly reduced visibility throughout the city and increased health risks for anyone venturing outdoors. The smog was so heavy it affected operations at nearby airports.  Heavy smog is an annual occurrence in northeast China, and the problem is most severe during the winter months, when the morning fog becomes dense and power plants run at a higher rate to produce electricity for in-home heating. Because of this, you should expect similar alerts to be issued periodically throughout the remainder of the winter.

Yxxx/Australia FIR & Oceanic Changes. REF: AIC H24/14. ADS-B, GNSS and Mode S Transponder Equipment Mandates. Aircraft must be equipped with the mandatory avionics by certain dates. First Implementation date is 04FEB2016.

Cxxx/Canada Nav Canada has issued AIC 30/15 which addresses a proposal for amendment to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD) to optimize high frequency (HF) radiotelephony use in the North Atlantic (NAT) Region. The change eliminates NAT Region specific RT phraseology that has been made redundant with the availability of flight data to radio operators.

HCMM/Mogadishu Aden Adden, Somalia On the evening of 13DEC2015, African Union (AU) peacekeepers thwarted a suspected al-Shabaab attack on the Airport. The assailants, who were on speedboats, reportedly attempted to stage a seaborne attack on the facility. Heavy gunfire was reported throughout the encounter. Aden Adde International Airport has not been operational during nighttime hours since 1991. Currently, the airport and its compound host foreign embassies and delegates.

VOMM/Chennai Airport has resumed full operations after recovering from major flooding last week.


View the full International Operations Bulletin for 14DEC2015

Monday Briefing: Northern California airspace changes, Iraq closes airspace below FL300

Northern California ‘Metroplex’ airspace changes 07DEC On 10DEC, several revised and new SIDs and STARs associated with the Northern California Metroplex project will be published. These procedures will be the last major changes associated with the project. You can find the full document covering the changes here.

Iraq closes airspace in Kurdish North below FL300 06DEC  Iraq issued a new Notam on 06DEC warning of further Cruise Missile operations below FL310. ORBB A0423/15 states that “Flights operating at FL310 or above, and flights operating at ORBI, ORNI and ORMM are not affected”. You can read the full Notam here.


OIIX/Tehran FIR German Authorities published a new Notam last week warning of a risk to flight for aircraft operating in the vicinity of OITT/Tabriz, OITL/Ardabil, and OIGG/Rasht. DFS, the German ATC agency, recommends overflying this general region at FL260 or higher. A6875/15.

Russia/Turkey Effective 01DEC, Direct non-scheduled flights between Russia and Turkey are banned by decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated 28NOV. Prohibited for all airlines, regardless of the country of aircraft’s registration .

VOMM/Chennai Re-opened for 24-hour domestic and international flight operations today, five days after it was shut due to flooding.

EGGX/Shanwick As of 07DEC, although system testing and acceptance is reportedly finished, no RLAT/Reduced Lateral Separation tracks have yet been published by Shanwick or Gander for the daily OTS. It appears uncertain what the first day of operation will be.

MUHA/Havana, Cuba Hotel Capacity in Havana is under severe strain at present. With increased traffic to Cuba, finding a hotel room is now a regular challenge. Some airline crews have had to be accommodated in Varadero instead, as there were no hotel rooms left in the city. Book well in advance, where possible.

OMxx/United Arab Emirates It has been advised to us, that the requirement for TCAS 7.1 also applies to the Emirates FIR. All aircraft arrivals/departures or those transiting UAE airspace from 01DEC must be 7.1 compliant, or a re-route around UAE airspace will be required. Another option is to obtain a special dispensation to operate, this is available from GCAA in AUH, but is reportedly difficult to obtain. For more details please see the UAE AIP ‘Gen Carriage of ACAS-II’.

LIxx/Italy There is a possible suspension of IFR non scheduled commercial traffic to/from LIRF and LIRA on Dec 8th. Please see NOTAM LIXX 1W2845/15 for the official restriction.

LIxx/Italy Ongoing volcanic emission from Mt. Etna may disrupt routings through Italian Airspace. Please check the Toulouse VAAC for the most up to date info.

ESxx/Sweden have been forced to suspend, with immediate effect, flights from northern Iraq to Sweden following a directive from the Swedish Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen). In a statement issued last week, Transportstyrelsen said the increased military activity across northern Iraq posed a threat to civilian flights thus warranting a ban.

VTxx/Thailand The FAA has downgraded Thailand to a Category 2 after an audit of the country’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in October showed continued non-compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) safety standards. The FAA’s move comes five months after the ICAO formally instituted a Serious Safety Concern (SSC) against Thailand for failure to adequately address shortcomings identified during a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) inspection in January.

MUxx/CUBA Will be reinstating travel permits for doctors. On 01DEC, Cuba announced that it was reinstating the travel restrictions it had previously imposed on doctors, which requires doctors to obtain permission before leaving the country. The restriction had been lifted in 2013, but is now being re-imposed, as the government claims that its universal and free health care services are being “seriously affected” by the number of doctors leaving the country.

Zxxx/China will mandate that its air traffic controllers use only English when communicating with pilots of any airline starting in 2017, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The move will improve situational awareness for foreign pilots. Currently, ATC at all airports across China use English to communicate with pilots of foreign airlines and Mandarin with those flying for Chinese carriers. The CAAC will announce the exact date for implementation later, ensuring the readiness of all stakeholders involved in the process.

ZUUU/Chengdu has completed the on going construction work. The parking bay has been released and is available on a first come, first serve basis. This applies to overnighting aircraft as well.


View the full International Operations Bulletin for 07DEC2015

International Ops Bulletin
You are welcome to receive our weekly bulletin on upcoming Airport closures, Security issues, ATC restrictions, Airspace changes, and New Charts
Sent to you every Wednesday
Thanks, I'm already a reader.