International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: May 2016 (page 2 of 3)

Fake Navigation fees – a growing problem

It’s a concern: instead of sending your Nav Fees payment to Eurocontrol, you’ve actually sent it to a suburb of Lagos. And you’re not going to get it back.

We’ve seen an increasing variety of bogus emails, that at first glance look like they are from Eurocontrol – but aren’t. Here’s a good example from this week:


You’d be forgiven for glancing over it and responding to request the details of ‘their’ new bank account. And that’s where the problem begins – you’ll get a new bank account, only it won’t direct your money to Brussels.

IATA has the same issue:


Fortunately, most of these emails are poorly written, and easy enough to identify as bogus – but that’s only if you are on your guard. The best solution is to simply be aware of the risk:


  1. Look at the sender address: real emails come from Fake ones look similar, but might be something like
  2. Most of the emails ask for a copy of an invoice or payment – be suspicious when you read that.
  3. Be especially alert when the email mentions a change in bank account. Eurocontrol has no plans to change bank accounts any time soon.
  4. Best advice: write to the real address: and ask for confirmation of any message, or call the Route Charges office on +32 2729 3838.
  5. The most secure way to handle Eurocontrol charges and payments is through their CEFA portal.



  1. Most recent fake addresses:,
  2. Contact the real address:


FHSH/ St. Helena – Local Traffic Regulations



  1. St Helena is strictly PPR. Contact the Aerodrome Administration.
  2. Compliance with local aerodrome requirements is mandatory.
  3. St Helena is a remote location and classified as a Category C aerodrome. Prior to flight operations, all required members of the flight crew must have received specific training with respect to operations into Category C airports, including the effect of adverse weather conditions, severe turbulence and recovery from windshear conditions.
  4. Aircraft operators wishing to use St Helena must take all reasonable measures to ensure crew and aircraft are adequately prepared before planning to fly to the aerodrome, especially the potential for the need to divert.
  5. Specific approval from the aircraft operator’s regulator for flights to Category C airports must be in force.
  6. A Category C airport briefing for St Helena must be given prior to every flight.
  7. In addition to routine MET information/reporting operators’ attention is drawn to the following:

i. Wind generally from the south-easterly direction throughout the year. However, in the locality of the RWY 20 threshold the wind strength and direction can vary rapidly and by great magnitude;

  1. Strong wind warnings will be issued when wind at any point of the aerodrome is forecast to have a two minute mean speed of 20 KT or greater, and/or wind gusts equal or greater than 28 KT;
  2. Wind Shear warnings will be issued for approaches onto RWY 02 and/or RWY 20 when the two minute mean speed indicated by the touchdown anemometer is forecast to reach a two minute mean speed of 20 KT or greater, and/or the vector difference between the two minute mean surface wind and wind 2000’ above the aerodrome exceeds 40 KT, and/or a THUNDERSTORM or HEAVY SHOWER is within 10 KM of the aerodrome:
  3. For landing on RWY 20 a windshear warning will be issued when wind velocities in excess of a two minute mean wind speed value 20kt gusting 35kt are observed;
  4. On downwind and final approach to RWY 20 the control tower will provide two minute mean wind values from the northern anemometer tower.
  1. Attention should be paid to the WIND DIRECTION indicators located on the West side of the runway, near each touch-down area. These will reflect unexpected and rapid wind changes. Occasionally, they may indicate wind from opposite directions to the velocity provided;
  2. When landing on Runway 20 “SEVERE” wind shear and/or turbulence may be experienced below 400 feet above the Runway threshold. Onset is quick with maximum intensity immediate;
  3. Strong down- or up- draughts are to be expected near the threshold of Runway 20;
  4. When landing on Runway 02 “WEAK” to “MODERATE” wind shear / turbulence may beexperienced on final approach.
  5. Wind Information on downwind and final approach, based on two minutes mean windvalues on final approach and touch down. Instantaneous wind read out, crosswind and

    tailwind components will be provided at pilot’s request;

  6. A service message will be promulgated whenever winds exceed 15 knots;
  7. It is recommended that first time operators carry out an approach in a low drag configuration to assess the weather and windshear conditions on Final Approach to Runway 20 prior to a landing approach;
  8. Where feasible, operators should assess the implications of landing with a tailwind component on runway 02 in the event that conditions on approach to runway 20 are too severe for landing;
  9. The preferred take-off runway is 20.
  10. Operators must obtain a meteorological forecast for the flight prior to take off and,where possible, a briefing from the MET forecaster based at the airport.
  1. Long-term or overnight aircraft may require relocation on the apron if scheduled movements are due on the following day.
  2. Isolated parking for aircraft with Unlawful Interference is on the taxiway.
  3. Pilots are advised to manoeuvre with extreme care when taxiing to the take-off point for Runway 02/20 due to the use of the extended starter strip for the runway, and proximity to the cliff edge.
  4. Pilots should be aware of a daily Radiosonde launch from the MET Station at Bottom Woods (approximately 2nm north-west of the aerodrome). The launch is carried out at 11:15 UTC.
  5. Caution – cliff dwelling bird activity in the vicinity of the aerodrome.
  1. The wearing of high visibility clothing by all employed on the apron including flight crew and attendants is mandatory and is to be fastened up. It is the responsibility of the aircraft captain to ensure passengers are escorted by aircrew or ground staff at all times when on foot in external areas of the aerodrome.
  2. Diversion Procedure – Operators are required to have made arrangements for ground handlingpriortoarrival.Nothinginthisprocedureshallhowever,preventanaircraft thathas declared an emergency from landing.
  3. It is a requirement that every airline using St Helena must have local orders compatible with St HelenaAirportEmergencyPlan.Aviationoperatorsshouldalsonotethatitis theirresponsibility to recover disabled aircraft and aircraft wreckage. They must have appropriate arrangements in place, and confirmed in writing to St Helena Airport, before commencing flying operations into the aerodrome. St Helena Airport will act as coordinating body throughout the recovery operationandhasonlylimitedequipment whichmaybeusedtoassistintherecoveryof aircraft.
  4. Care should be exercised due to the proximity of other aircraft when manoeuvring.
  5. RWY 20 is the preferential runway.DEPARTURE CLEARANCE PROCEDURES
  6. No SID/STARS, ATC clearance subject Traffic

Midweek Briefing 11MAY: Reykjavik Oceanic Closure, Australia to turn off Navaids

Reykjavik Oceanic Closure 11MAY Operators planning eastbound flights across the NAT should be aware of a NOTAM issued earlier by Reykjavik Oceanic/Iceland ATC, that essentially asks traffic to avoid the airspace wherever possible, due to further ATC Industrial Action. Read the article.

Australia to turn off Navaids 11MAY On 26MAY, Australia will switch off around 180 different VOR’s, NDB’s, and other ground-based Navaids. All international operators will be required to have GNSS/GPS as primary navigation. Read the article.

CYMM/Fort McMurray, Canada is closed due to Forest Fires; only emergency and evacuation flights are allowed.

EGPX/Scottish Expect delays from 17MAY when controllers change to a new ATC system. ATC advises a fundamental level of change in the method of operation within Scottish Upper Airspace will result. There is no change to the Oceanic Operation, and Domestic CPDLC will be available at all times from 17MAY.

KATL/Atlanta closed one of its three security checkpoints in the domestic terminal for three weeks and will reopen 25MAY. They have added additional security lines to the other 2 checkpoints in hopes of reducing the impact. Plan for extra time if you are heading through ATL in the next few weeks.

LGZZ/Greece An update on 09MAY was issued for the slot allocation Rules and Guidelines for all Greek Coordinated Airports. The updated document can be found at GABA report.

YZZZ/Australia CASA has issued clarification as to who is responsible for Terrain Clearance when ATC instructs an aircraft to “resume own navigation”. Consistent with ICAO standard, while under radar vectors below the MSA, ATC assumes responsibility for Terrain Clearance. The AIC is worthwhile refresher reading as this applies to most International Ops.

OYRN/Mukalla has reopened after it was recently re-captured by government and Emirati soldiers. It is currently only accepting humanitarian and aid flights.

HKIS/Isiolo is a new airport in Kenya that will be operational in early JUN. The new facility will cater to domestic and international flights and will have annual passenger capacity of 125,000 and a 1400m runway. Isiolo is located near many national reserves, approximately 125 mi/200 km northeast of Nairobi.

BIRD/Reykjavik Oceanic Operators planning eastbound flights across the NAT should be aware of a NOTAM issued earlier by Reykjavik Oceanic/Iceland ATC, that essentially asks traffic to avoid the airspace wherever possible, due to further ATC Industrial Action. Eastbound flights in particular will not be accepted into the airspace unless … Read Full Article.

LIZZ/Italy Another ATC Industrial Action in Eurore has been announced for 14MAY, this time in Italy and affecting only part of operational personnel. Only some air navigation services may be affected. The following NOTAM has been issued.

EGLL/London Heathrow has been identified as the airport most affected in the UK by laser strike incidents with 121 in 2015, followed by EGBB/Birmingham with 94, EGCC/Manchester recording 93 and EGNM/Leeds Bradford with 77.

SKBO/Bogota has introduced a significant enhancement to the current ATC infrastructure by adding Secondary Surveillance Radar or SSR. The Columbian CAA issued AIC A07/16 to cover the upgrade. This will help increase the level of safety for operations in SKBO, especially given the terrain in the vicinity.

WZZZ/Indonesia The Visa-Free Program has expanded to Nationals from a total of 169 countries and are now eligible to enter Indonesia without a visa.  Although the regulation is silent on the allowable activities under this status, the previous version of the law restricted its use to tourism.

LFPG/Paris The first IFR LPV approach was implemented at LFPG for Runway 26L on 03MAY The new approach mirrors Cat I ILS approach minimums, including a 200-foot decision height, and it is supported by the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS).

WSZZ/Singapore has introduced a system called ATLAS (Air Transportation License and Administration System), for obtaining the application, renewal and administration of licences and permits for scheduled and non-scheduled air services.

View the full International Bulletin for 11MAY2016

Reykjavik Oceanic Closure

BIRD/Reykjavik Oceanic Operators planning eastbound flights across the NAT should be aware of a NOTAM issued earlier by Reykjavik Oceanic/Iceland ATC, that essentially asks traffic to avoid the airspace wherever possible, due to further ATC Industrial Action. Eastbound flights in particular will not be accepted into the airspace unless:

– Destination is in Iceland, Scandinavia, Baltic States or Russia
– Departure point is west of Denver (105W)

Refer to NOTAM A0248/16

We recommend to monitor BIRD/Iceland NOTAMs carefully as similar restrictions can apply in the next few days.

FL200 – or 2,000ft? International differences

The key to this incident in Ireland, just published by the AAIU, is the wording of a departure clearance to a corporate jet departing EIKY/Kerry – “Climb Flight Level Two Hundred”.

The crew report states: “Our altitude climb instruction was “climb level Two Hundred”. We read back the clearance and began the departure. As we began to climb we had some confusion as to what the altitude clearance limit was as we were unsure what level Two Hundred meant. We levelled at Two Thousand feet to ensure we didn’t exceed any altitude limits

US operators are used to Flight Levels being that airspace above 18,000 ft, and in Ireland, as in much of Europe, Flight Levels can be as low as FL060 (6,000ft) – depending on the transition level – this international difference appears to have been the root cause of the confusion.

Standard ICAO phraseology dictates that “FL200” is Flight-Level-Two-Zero-Zero, but the UK in CAP413 suggest using “Flight-Level-Two-Hundred” to avoid confusion with FL210; this edict has been adopted de-facto many European ATC agencies.

The concern in this case, raised by ATC in Shannon, was that the aircraft levelled out at 2,000ft in the direction of high terrain – with, it appears from the report, real potential for CFIT.


The full report is here.

Eurocontrol – Cargo Flights alerts

In 2012, the EU put in place the EU ACC3 program – air carriers that fly cargo or mail from a non-EU airport to an EU airport must ensure that all cargo and mail carried to the EU is physically screened or comes from a secure supply chain which is validated.

Air carrier stations in third countries are required to have undergone an audit to obtain an EU Aviation Security Validation in order to acquire or maintain their ACC3 designation. This validation needs to be reissued every five years, according to the EU Regulations.

On 01FEB16, Eurocontrol set up a NM ACC3 alerting system –  checking Flight Plans, and sending a message to the European Commission and the relevant EU Member State/s when a flight is identified as not having the correct ACC3 accreditation.



Australia is turning off its Navaids – are you ready?

On the 26th of May, Australia will switch off around 180 different VOR’s, NDB’s, and other ground-based Navaids. Those that escape the cull – about 245 of them – will form the basis of their new “Backup Navigation Network”, or BNN.

For International Operators, in short, Australia wants you to navigate with GNSS as your primary means of navigation. The new standards, from 26MAY, are:

  • Oceanic Routes: RNP4 if able, otherwise RNP10
  • Continental Routes: RNP2
  • SIDs and STARs: RNP1
  • Non Precision approaches: RNP APCH (ie. RNAV(GNSS)

CASA will issue an exemption if you have an existing RNAV1 or RNAV2 approval based on GNSS from your National Authority, but you must have either the above RNP capabilities, or the exemption, to operate in Australian Airspace from 26MAY.

Further reading:



The Three Sisters – Shanwick’s Tango Routes

When the French Controllers go on strike, which is often, the airspace surrounding France becomes of high interest to international operators, especially the North-South routes within Shanwick’s airspace.

There are three very useful routes if you happen to be flying North-South. With the changes in February this year from MNPS to HLA, the normal confusion over what is required to operate on T9, T16, and T213 (‘The Three Sisters’), has increased further. Let’s try to get all the specifics in a row.

Map of the Tango Routes:

Tango Route Map T9 T16 T213



The most popular of the three – often chock full of holiday traffic between Northern Europe and the Canaries. Requirements:

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • At least one LRNS/Long Range Nav System
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.


  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.


  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time, or Santa Maria if you’re going north.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Key Points:

  • You probably won’t get the level that you want – either because the airway itself is busy, or because you’re crossing a bunch of East-West NAT Traffic. If the rest of your Flight Plan shows FL380, plan FL320 for most of the Tango portion – especially T9.
  • You need a HF radio to enter Shanwick FIR, period. There are no exceptions.
  • You need HLA Approval to use the routes at FL290 and above, same goes for RVSM.

Operating Tips:

  • You can make an Oceanic request by Data-link (ACARS), Clearance delivery – 127.65 VHF, 123.95 VHF or via HF (Frequencies vary on the day, but 5598 is normally a safe bet).
  • If you get a low Flight Level for the Oceanic Route, Shanwick are happy for you to check in again closer to the boundary and see if higher is now available.
  • Entering the Oceanic Airspace, make a full position report: Position and time /flight level / Next position and estimate for that point / Following position
  • Don’t make a full exit position report when you enter domestic airspace, just callsign and “Approaching LASNO, FL370”. Exception: Santa Maria likes one.
  • Shanwick and Santa Maria are outside the IFPS zone, so copy flight plans to EGGXZOZX and LPPOZOZX – failure to do so will delay getting an oceanic clearance.
  • No contact on HF? Relay on 123.45, or Sat Phone EGGX 423201 or EIAA 425002.

NAT HLA Approvals

  • If you have an existing MNPS approval, it’s good until 2020.
  • If you need a new HLA approval, then you’ll need RNP4/RNP10.
  • Individual Crew need training in international procedures and HLA, as part of the process.

From Shannon ATC

Thanks to Shannon ATC for adding this useful information for crews operating on the Tango Routes:

  • EICK Departures via T9/T213/T16 should get their  Oceanic clearance prior to departure – ask the Tower 45 minutes ahead of time.

  • All other EI/Irish departures can request clearance when airborne. For info, the earlier crews request their clearance the better, as it means they are more likely to get a better level and it allows ATC to plan for getting the aircraft to that level.

  • Important: Due to the risk of two aircraft using the same squawk leading to a mis-ident, Northbound traffic entering SOTA via T9, LASNO or T213, TAMEL should squawk 2000 at least 10 minutes prior to the Irish boundary.


Midweek Briefing 04MAY: New US CBP Airport, Iceland ATC Strike continues

New US CBP Airport 04MAY A new US Customs facility opened in KMTH/Marathon on 20APR, to facilitate increased traffic to Cuba. Read the article.

Iceland ATC Strike continues 04MAY Icelandic controllers are in a pay dispute with Isavia, leading to multiple strike actions at BIKF/Keflavik and BIRK/Reykjavik. Last week BIKF was closed overnight at short notice. Read the article.

EHAM/Amsterdam and other Dutch airports will observe a two minute silence on ATC frequencies today, 04MAY, from 1800-1803Z. ATC will arrange traffic flow so that no aircraft will land or taxi during this period, meaning likely delays, albeit for a short period.

SECU/Cuenca, Ecuador remains closed after an E190 slid off the main runway on 29APR, latest estimate is no reopening before 06MAY.

CZZZ/Canada Visa-exempt foreign nationals can enter and exit Canada by air without an Electronic Travel Authorization until 29SEP2016. After that date, these travelers will need to obtain online authorization to visit.

BIZZ/Iceland Multiple ATC Strike actions for BIRK and BIKF are ongoing, check NOTAMS and with handler for latest. Read article.

TFFR/Guadeloupe has ongoing main runway closures due to WIP, current shown are 04MAY 0200-1015Z, 17MAY 1000Z- 18MAY 1600Z. Only helicopters will be allowed to operate during these periods.

UIBB/Bratsk has a fuel shortage until 31MAY, non-scheduled movements are by PPR only.

NWWW/Tontouta has an ATC staff shortage and requires slots for arrival until 31MAY, Tel +687 352437. Work on 11/29 is also ongoing, check NOTAMS for any current outages, which will close the airport.

EGGX/Shanwick is trialling transferring westbound flights direct to a HF frequency rather than via an initial VHF frequency, using CPDLC. The default frequencies will be HF 5649 H24, 2872 0000-0900 and 1800-2400, and 8879 0900-2100.

PAZA/Anchorage has published new procedures Eff 28APR for User Preferred Routes within the PAZA FIR, refer A0075/16.

SVZZ/Venezuela changed timezones on 01MAY to UTC-4. In addition, all public offices, including public ministries, will only operate on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.

TTZP/Piarco FIR is trialing ADS-C and CPDLC with ident TTZP until 31MAY. Flights entering the FIR east of 57W should log on 15 minutes prior to the boundary with TTZP.

UHSS/Yuzhno has advised that B777 aircraft are limited to 310T during the summer period.

UIAA/Chita is only available as alternate for one specific airline (Aurora) between 0930-2100Z. Outside these times ops normal.

WSZZ/Singapore has introduced a fingerprint clearance system to verify the thumbprints of arriving and departing travelers ages six and above at select immigration checkpoints. The system will be progressively implemented starting at the manned immigration counters of sea and land checkpoints, followed by air checkpoints until full implementation is completed in the months ahead. Travelers should be prepared for slightly longer immigration clearance times at manned checkpoints, especially during the initial implementation stage of the project.

YZZZ/Australia Border Force employees have been banned from taking industrial action at airports for three months; the threat of ongoing strike action caused much concern for operations in March.

RJTT/Haneda the airport authority has changed the number of slots available for general aviation aircraft. Effective 25APR, slots for GA during the daytime (0600-2259 local) will be increased to 16 total for arrival and departure (from eight in the past). Note that there are no slots restrictions for night time operations (2300-0559 local).

CYVR/Vancouver will have one of its main runways 08R/26L closed nightly between the hours of 05-13Z 08MAY-02SEPT for construction. During the day (13-05Z) the runway will have the ILS on 08R/26L out of service, along with no approach lighting on runway 26L.

SLZZ/Bolivia Certain medications prescribed for personal use are treated as narcotics in Bolivia, with severe penalties for import or export without a valid prescription from a doctor; make sure you carry a letter from a doctor describing the medical condition and any prescribed drugs and that they are in their original containers and clearly labelled.

EBBR/Brussels has partially reopened the departure hall, which has remained closed since 22MAR. 110 Check-in counters will be open in the airport departure hall along with an additional 36 counters that are housed in temporary buildings. The EBBR airport authority expects this will bring the airport up to 80% of capacity.

EZZZ/Europe Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania will begin a project to interface their ATC systems so they can handle a significant build-up of airspace traffic in the Black Sea area. New routes are expected by mid 2016.

LEZZ/Spain The Spanish F1 Grand Prix is being held from 13MAY-15MAY and will bring heavier than normal traffic to LEBL/Barcelona and LEGE/Girona.

HEZZ/Egypt Individual travellers will in the future require a visa before entering Egypt. The exact date of the implementation of this rule is not yet determined. The visa must be applied for from the Egyptian embassy and the consulate generals before departure.

GVZZ/Cape Verde Aviation officials issued a statement announcing that national airports are open and operational. The statement was released following reports that flight operations had been suspended at the country’s airports.

ORZZ/Iraq Iran canceled all flights to Baghdad following a breach of the International Area by protesters on 30APR. The demonstrations have caused problems for pilgrimage flights to Baghdad, and those flights will operate instead to ORNI/Najaf.

VIDP/Delhi has opened a new ATC tower (which is the country’s tallest at 60 metres). VIDP will also be starting construction on a 4th runway this year and is expected to be completed by 2018 which will increase the airport arrival rate to 105 landings an hour, and will mitigate the common airborne holding.

View the full International Bulletin for 04MAY 2016

Iceland ATC Strike continues

Icelandic Air Traffic Controllers are currently in a pay dispute with airport operator Isavia and service organisation SA-Business Iceland. Controllers are at work, but a ban on all overtime has been in place since 06APR. Last week, two controllers were taken ill and, because of the work-to-rule, no cover could be found.

The result was a shutdown of BIKF/Keflavík International Airport, a regular tech stop and alternate for the NAT, between 9pm and 7am.

Similar closures are currently NOTAMed for BIKF and BIRK in the coming days, notifying multiple further ATC strike actions.


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