International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: April 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Midweek Briefing 27APR: Rome Airport Closures, Strike: Germany, France

Rome Airport Closures 27APR Private flights (any non-commercial traffic) will not be allowed to operate to or from LIRA or LIRF on 30APR and 01MAY, as the result of a Papal Restriction. Refer to Italian NOTAMs for details.

Strike: Germany, France 27APR Widespread, mostly without notice, strike action across Europe today affecting operations for the coming few days. France and Germany worst affected (EDDF, EDDM, EDDK in particular); Lufthansa has cancelled all domestic flights. Monitor Eurocontrol NOP for latest.


 

KLAX/Los Angeles Due to a runway and taxiway construction project at LAX, arrivals (mostly general aviation) from the north and west can expect to be routed to arrive on the south side of the airport via the LEENA FIVE STAR between 09MAY and 06AUG.

KTPA/Tampa Due to an unforeseen required runway repair, TPA has closed 01R/19L and 10/28 until 09MAY. The airport is operating under single runway ops so you can expect ATC delays until the runway is fixed.

KDEN/Denver has opened a new train line that connects the airport to downtown. Named the ‘A Line’, it will take passengers to downtown in 37 minutes and cost $9 USD each way.

MKJS/Montego Bay increased traffic and possible delays into and out of MBJ 27APR-29APR due to the Airports Council International Convention.

SEZZ/Ecuador As of 23APR, 654 people have been killed, 113 people have been rescued alive, 58 people remain missing, and more than 25,000 remain displaced as a result of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Ecuador on 16APR.

LZBB/Bratislava will be introducing free route airspace in their FIR above FL245 on 28APR. All ATS routes have been withdrawn above this flight level.

MTPP/Port au Prince, Haiti On 24APR, approximately 2,000 protesters marched through Port-au-Prince in opposition of the postponement of the runoff elections. While the protest did not turn violent, it severely disrupted traffic in Port-au-Prince, as protesters set up roadblocks of burning tires in the streets

EZZZ/Europe The European Commission has officially offered citizens of Ukraine visa-free travel across Europe.

HEZZ/Egypt UK FCO Advice: there is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting celebrations of Orthodox Easter (24APR-01MAY).

RJFT/Kumamoto has reopened after closing for several days following the Japanese earthquakes. At this point, the airport can only handle arrivals, due to damage the terminal building sustained, which has effected the airports ability to perform security checks and handle luggage.

RZZZ/Japan The Immigration Bureau will be closed 29APR through 05MAY for Golden Week holiday observance. Foreign nationals should expect processing delays for immigration applications filed before or after this period.

ZZZZ/Worldwide On 25APR the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a likely increase in the upcoming months in worldwide cases of Zika. Experts believe Europe will be next to experience an increase of Zika virus cases due to the approaching summer.

ZSHC/Xiaoshan The airport authority has requested that all private flights arrive with their specific tow-bar on board to mitigate any departure delays. The expectation is in effect until SEP16.

ZKZZ/North Korea At 0930Z on 23APR the North Korean military launched a submarine-based ballistic missile off the Sea of Japan. The missile flew for approximately 16nm before falling into the sea.

VIAR/Amritsar is currently in the process of upgrading the CAT II ILS to a CAT IIIB ILS which will allow CAT III capable aircraft to land in visibility down to 50 meters. Currently the only other city in India that has a CAT III ILS is Delhi.

View the full International Bulletin for 27APR2016

Earthquakes: Japan & Ecuador, South America – New Timezone: Midweek Briefing 20APR

Earthquakes: Japan, Ecuador 20APR Two large earthquakes struck Japan and Ecuador in the past week, with a longer term impact on International Flight Ops. RJFT/Kumamoto and SEMT/Manta are both closed UFN. Read full article.

South America – New Timezone 20APR In an unusual move, a new time zone will take effect in South America from the 1st of May. As part of a measure to battle an energy crisis in Venezuela, the entire country will change timezone from UTC -4h30 to UTC-5, to ensure more daylight in the evening when energy consumption peaks. Read full article.


 

EGLL/London Heathrow An A320 was struck by a drone on approach to LHR on 17APR. This is the first incident of its kind, though there have been many close calls to date.

FMZZ/Madagascar Cyclone Fanatala is currently north of Madagascar, the equivalent of a Category 5 Hurricane. It is expected to miss the island nation and the main airport of FMMI but the close proximity of the cyclone to the island may cause flight disruptions.

BIKF/Keflavik beginning 01MAY, BIKF will be imposing a new Terminal Navigation Charge. This charge is to be applied to all flights arriving at BIKF. The airport authority has issued an Air Navigation Chargedocument to assist in determining the impact of the new fee.

LTZZ/Turkey. We’ve been alerted to a change in Overflight Requirements – aircraft with M- and VP- registrations, and any other countries without a bilateral agreement, require an Overflight Permit. See the new Turkey Lowdown for full information.

TIZZ/U.S. Virgin Islands authorities, assisted by the FBI, began investigating reports of a plot to attack airports on the Virgin Islands, notably the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport (Beef Island Airport). The U.S. Coast Guard first received information of a terrorist attack plot circulating on social media. The threat focused on Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport but also mentioned airports on St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John as possible targets. No information is available on what level of credibility authorities attach to these threats.

EBBR/Brussels A recent report from the Brussels Airport CEO has stated that EBBR will be 100% operational by the beginning of June.

EDNY/Friedrichshafen will be hosting the AERO 2016 exhibition from 20APR to 23APR. There is an expected increase in IFR traffic to the airport during the event. Please refer to NOTAM C0933/16 for further details.

LCCC/Nicosia FIR due to a Russian Navy Exercise and rocket test firings in the Mediterranean Sea, there are NOTAM’d route closures for W/UW17 from BALMA-NIKAS, R/UR78 and M/UM978 daily from 0500-1500Z on 21APR and 22APR. The NOTAMS covering the closure are A0308/16 and A0310/16.

SBZZ/Brazil The Canadian government has issued a helpful health notice for crew/passengers planning to travel to Brazil for the upcoming Olympic Games, which has advice on how to contend with the Zika virus.

MGZZ/Guatemala Volcano Santa Maria has had some recent high level ash dispersed into the atmosphere up to FL250. The Washington VAAC provides advisories and forecasts.

ZBAA/Beijing is not available for Non-Emergency diversions or planned as an alternate due to gate/stand shortage daily from 13-23Z daily until 28OCT16.

VIZZ/India The Government of India has introduced the e-TOURIST VISA (eTV) scheme for UK nationals travelling to India. All guests travelling under this scheme must carry a printed copy of the approved eTV for verification at the check-in counter prior to boarding.

WSZZ/Singapore the CAAS has issued 2 AIP supplements outlining the upcoming military exercise Bersama Shield 16. AIP SUP 40-16 covers Kuala Lumpur and Singapore FIR airspace restrictions and AIP SUP 41-16 covers additional Singapore FIR airspace restrictions. The exercise will be running from 21APR to 28APR.

HSZZ/South Sudan The UK FCO has issued a travel warning against travel to South Sudan and in particular to Juba due to the return of the First Vice President as “tensions and disturbances” may increase across the country in the coming weeks.

FNZZ/Angola The CDC has upgraded the yellow fever in Luanda Province to an Alert Level 2. The government of Angola requires all travellers older than 9 months to show proof of yellow fever vaccination on arrival. In addition, CDC recommends that all travellers aged 9 months or older be vaccinated against yellow fever.

DNMM/Lagos a new protocol issued by customs and immigration officials is causing congestion in the arrival hall. There are 2 forms being given to passengers only once they enter the arrival processing area. Please ask your handler if these forms can be provided ahead of time.

View the full International Bulletin for 20APR2016

Country Lowdown: Turkey

The latest in our series of Country Lowdowns is: Turkey. There have been some changes of late, including an exclusion for aircraft registered in countries without a bilateral agreement with Turkey, from the new overflight permit exemption. Hmmm. That’s a mouthful.

In easier language – if you’re flying an M-reg or a VP-reg aircraft, you’ll probably need an overflight permit.

We publish these Country Lowdowns on a regular basis, and they are sent directly (free) to members of OPSGROUP.

If you’d really like the one for Turkey, just email team@opsgroup.co. Or – join the group at opsgroup.co and you’ll get them all as they are published.

 

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New time zone for South America

In an unusual move, a new time zone will take effect in South America from the 1st of May. As part of a measure to battle an energy crisis in Venezuela, the president also gave the public sector every Friday off until at least June 6th – to save electricity.

In addition, the entire country will change timezone from UTC -4h30 to UTC-4 from 01MAY, to ensure more daylight in the evening when energy consumption peaks.

At SVMI/Simon Bolivar, Primary radar has been off the air since 04APR – and remains out of service until the end of May – it’s unclear if this is electricity related.

If operating to Venezuela after 01MAY, local time will therefore be 4 hours behind UTC.

 

 

Earthquake effects: Japan, Ecuador

Two large earthquakes struck Japan and Ecuador in the past week, with a longer term impact on International Flight Ops.

Japan

At 0124LT Saturday a 7.3 quake hit Japan, centred on Kyushu, the large island at the southern end of the country.

Airports: RJFT/Kumamoto is closed UFN to all traffic. RJFF/Fukuoka operating normally, RJFU/Nagasaki operating normally. In addition, in Kyushu: – Many roads, bridges damaged, Railways out of service, Region should be avoided.

Ecuador

On the same day, a 7.4 earthquake centred towards the north-west of Ecuador.

SEMT/Manta, a regular tech stop for traffic between the US and South America, is closed to normal operations after the Terminal and Control Tower suffered significant damage.

Japan-eq   Ecuador-eq

 

 

Collapsed Control Tower at Manta

Collapsed Control Tower at Manta

US, Canada may lose EU visa rights, More Free Route Airspace for Northern Europe

US and Canada may lose EU visa rights 13APR The European Commission published warning on 12APR that visa-free travel by US and Canadian citizens to Europe is at risk, due to the lack of a full reciprocal arrangement for EU citizens. Read the full article.

More Free Route Airspace for Northern Europe 13APR Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia will be increasing free route airspace from 23JUN16. This allows operators to utilize User Preferred Routes above FL285. Details of the implementation can be found through the AIC A3/2016 from Sweden.


 

RKSS/Gimpo is set to open South Korea’s first purpose-built FBO next month. It includes a passenger terminal with customs and a large hangar that can accommodate up to eight large jets. The FBO is a partnership between Korea Airport Crop and Avjet Asia.

EBBR/Brussels Controversial ATC Strike occurred without notice yesterday 12APR, restricting traffic at EBBR and in Belgian Airspace. Eurocontrol advises 4 of 6 sectors operational Wednesday 13APR, at this stage no significant further effect likely.

KZZZ/USA New security measures in the U.S. are being enacted in response to the Brussels Airport Bombings. The Senate voted to increase the vetting of airport workers, expand the number of TSA viper teams that sweep through airports unannounced to stop and search suspicious people, and double the number of TSA’s bomb-sniffing dogs. Also, local law enforcement may also conduct random checks of cars and taxis heading towards the airport.

KZZZ/USA the FAA has provided its NextGEN update for 2016. It highlights all the completed items along with the expected achievements for the year. You can find all the info through the NextGEN website.

EZZZ/Europe as of 05APR Eurocontrol as been publishing Target Time information together with Calculated Take-off time (CTOT) in the Slot Allocation and Slot Revisions Messages (SAM and SRM). The purpose of the initiative is to provide flight crew with operational awareness of their flight’s planned time at the congestion point in the air, rather than solely providing the corresponding delayed departure time (CTOT) to implement ATFM measures.

EGZZ/United Kingdom A large scale military exercise named ‘Joint Warrior 16-1’ has been taking place since 09APR16 and will last until 22APR06. EGPX and EGTT FIR/UIRs are affected. However, low to medium impact on airline operations is expected.

LFZZ/France beginning 03MAY16 France will be implementing CPDLC services within LFFF, LFEE, LFRR, LFMM and LFBB FIR’s. The full details of the IOC can be found in AIC 10/16.

EGGX/Shanwick OCA implemented a trail of 5 minute separation minimum between aircraft which are following the same track, irrespective of whether they are East or Westbound. Full details can be found through AIC Y 022/2016.

LOWW/Vienna every weekend until 24MAY16 LOWW will be operating under single runway ops beginning 2100 on the Friday until 1600 on the Sunday. The closures are weather dependent and the closure will be recalled if the forecast calls for the use of runway 11/29. In any single runway scenario use at Vienna delays are a guarantee.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia The U.S. State department updated a travel warning to Saudi Arabia on 11APR16. It outlines the risk to travellers due to an increased risk with the threat of terrorism.

SKZZ/Colombia The U.S. State department has updated the travel warning to Colombia. They have actually improved the travel warning as the security in the country has improved significantly in recent years. Foreigners should still exercise caution though.

LTCC/Diyarbakir is now able to handle international flights due to a new terminal building that has opened.

OLBA/Beirut two airport employees were detained on suspicion of terrorist activity involvement on 08APR16. Traces of explosives and a handgun were found on the two individuals.

DIAP/Cote D’Ivoire has reduced the passenger departure tax by 50% and have also removed the solidarity contribution tax levied on airline tickets.

GABS/Mali began renovations last month (MAR16) to increase the airports capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers which is up from the 800,000 annual passenger traffic. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

View the full International Bulletin for 13APR2016

US and Canada may lose EU visa right

The European Commission published warning on 12APR that visa-free travel by US and Canadian citizens to Europe is at risk, due to the lack of a full reciprocal arrangement for EU citizens.

The core of the issue is this: Although US and Canadian passport holders can travel to Europe for stays of up to 90 days without requiring a visa, citizens of some EU countries are not eligible for the same privilege in return. Specifically, citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania require a visa for the US, and citizens of Bulgaria and Romania require one for Canada.

The deadline for US and Canada to include those citizens in their own visa-waiver programs expired yesterday, on 12APR2016. Consequently, the EU is obliged, under their own policy document, to take steps to remove the visa-free travel privilege for US and Canadian Citizens.

The United Kingdom and Ireland do not take part in the development of the common visa policy and would not be bound by a visa waiver suspension.

No change has yet occurred, and any decision to limit travel would have a lead time (most likely 90 days). For further background see the full EU press release.

MHTG ‘Interesting Approaches’ to end, Greeks or Italians? ATC strikes:

MHTG ‘Interesting Approaches’ to end 06APR MHTG/Tegucigalpa Dangerous approaches at MHTG will be consigned to history, as a new airport was finally confirmed at the weekend by the Honduran government. Read the full article.

Greeks or Italians? ATC strikes this week 06APR There will be an ATC strike this week in Europe, maybe by Greece, maybe by Italy, maybe by both. These strikes are often cancelled shortly before starting, but at this pre-planning stage, it seems likely to go ahead. Read the full article.

 


 

EBBR/Brussels has now reopened but operations are still very restricted. The airport is not expected to be fully operational until June or July by current estimates. The airport authority has instituted new security measures that include a requirement for passengers to arrive 3 hours prior to their departure time. The terminal is still closed to busses and trains. Slots must still be requested from the Brussels Airport Authority if you intend to operate in or out of EBBR.

ZKPY/Pyongyang FIR Many reports that North Korea is jamming GPS signals, also reported by South Korea RKRR NOTAM A0450/16. Signals have been reported as unreliable or lost when operating in or near to North Korean airspace. Exercise caution if you rely on GPS in those areas. Read our DPRK Overflight Risk article from a few weeks ago.

LIZZ/Italy Eurocontrol has confirmed an Italian ATC strike is set for April 9th. NOTAMS A2062/16A2 and A2063/16A2 have been issued covering the proposed strike.

MHTG/Tegucigalpa Dangerous approaches at MHTG will be consigned to history, as a new airport was finally confirmed at the weekend by the Honduran government. Full article here.

LFXX/France an Operational Trial of CPDLC Services in French Airspace of Reims (LFEE), Paris (LFFF) and Marseille (LFMM) ACC will be in effect from 05APR to 11APR.

EZZZ/Europe The U.S. State Department along with numerous other countries have issued a Europe wide travel warning in response to the attack in Brussels. While extra vigilance should be exercised it is also a very generic response to a threat that has yet to be fully understood from a commercial aviation perspective. If you would like to be kept up to date on specific travel alerts from the U.S. State Department you can sign up through their STEP program.

EHAM/Amsterdam reports of near misses with drones have recently been reported by crews. The location of the near misses was on the approach path but no specific runway was mentioned.

KEWR/Newark The FAA will be increasing the number of available slots to EWR, available at the end of October. The change is in response to the improved efficiency of the airport and the ability to increase the ATC arrival rate.

FAA/United States has issued Advisory Circular 00-30C. It describes the various types of CAT (Clear Air Turbulence) along with avoidance techniques and possible future forecast systems for helping Dispatchers and Pilots in the planning stages.

KZZZ/USA Check your passport! Effective 01APR16, if you’re travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you will also need to have a valid e-Passport along with your ESTA.

CZVR/Vancouver ACC will begin to use ADS-C on 18APR In their Oceanic sectors, for both alerting service (SAR) and improved ATC separation purposes.

UDDD/Yerevan FIR Due to Air Defence activity ATC route segments with Yerevan FIR
Crossing FIR boundary points MATAL, ELSIV, PEMAN and VETEN between Yerevan FIR and Baku FIR are not available.

UBBA/Baku FIR Entry/Exit points VETEN, PEMAN, ELSIV, MATAL are closed.
Baku FIR Entry/Exit points BARAD, DISKA closed from GND to FL305. NOTAMS A0030/16 and A0032/16 have been issued as well.

UHSS/Yuzhno will be closed daily 10APR-14MAY between the hours of 12-21Z.

OMZZ/United Arab Emirates will begin charging a $9.50 USD Passenger Tax effective 30JUN, to be imposed on all travellers over the age of 2 through all airports including those only transiting the UAE. A driving factor in this new charge appears to be low oil prices affecting the Gulf States.

UUZZ/Russia has stated that aviation authorities are intensifying its ramp inspections of all aircraft (especially foreign aircraft, we guess) in the wake of the Rostov accident.

FZZZ/Nigeria The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has stated that steps are currently being taken to end the countries fuel shortage, but may take upwards of 2 months. We suggest to check with local handlers for the availability aviation fuel supply until the issue is resolved.

VNKT/Kathmandu We have received some reports that VNKT ATC weather reports are inaccurate, especially regarding visibility. Any feedback please let us know.

VIAR/Amritsar has suspended all night operations for 1 year due to the planned reconstruction of the airports runways.

View the full International Bulletin for 06APR2016

Multiple ATC Strikes Europe

Greece has just announced a strike of ATC staff on 07APR (Overflights unaffected), starting 2100Z on 06APR and ending 24 hrs later. Italy has also announced strike action by its controllers for 09APR. The best place to keep informed on these two strikes is the Eurocontrol NOP.

 

 

No more MHTG

You’ve seen the video; which gives some background to why MHTG/Tegucigalpa is sometimes referred to as “the most dangerous airport in the world”. News over the weekend from Honduras confirmed a new $163 million airport is being developed. There have been multiple incidents at the airport over the years, mostly due to the surrounding terrain and approach.

The new airport, with a longer, 2440m/8005 ft runway, will be about 25nm from the capital near the Palmerola military air base, and the president said “The new airport is meant as an alternative “so that passengers can land in an airport that does not put their lives at risk,”.

If you’re operating to Honduras, Landing permits are required for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations to Honduras, along with notification to “CENAMER,” a joint air traffic control service covering Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

 

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