International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: June 2016 (page 2 of 2)

Sudan “will shoot down” aircraft

Last month, specifically on 17 and 20MAY, Sudanese radar detected several unauthorised flights by Aid Agencies using chartered IL76 aircraft. The response from the government, on this occasion the Sudanese Army, was extremely strong.

We are concerned at the language being used in Khartoum and Juba. The most recent statement from the Sudanese Army, on 02JUN, says “This action is considered a serious violation of the aviation regulations and the international laws, so we consider it as a direct affront to the Sudanese sovereignty … [we] will deal decisively with any plane failing to observe the proper procedures and entering the Sudanese airspace without prior permission”.

At the start of this year, the South Sudan government declared: “The South Sudanese government has ordered its army to shoot down any aircraft flying across its airspace without permission, citing the increase of unauthorised incursions into the national airspace”.

It’s tempting to dismiss this as not related to regular airline or non-scheduled flying – including long haul overflights – but we’ve learned lessons in the last few years that the unexpected isn’t as distant a threat as it used to be.

 

 

 

 

Midweek Briefing 08JUN: Unsafe Airspace, New China ADIZ

Unsafe Airspace – new summary issued 08JUN Today Flight Service Bureau published International Ops Notice 02/16 – “Unsafe Airspace”.

New China ADIZ – South China Sea 08JUN There have been several media reports this week that China is preparing to set up a new ADIZ in the South China Sea. Read the article.


KCLT/Charlotte New SIDS and STARS for aircraft arriving and departing to the Northeast have been added to CLT as of May 31. Also, construction of a new ATC tower has also broken ground, the new tower will be equipped with NextGen systems that include STARS (Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System), ADS-B (Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast) and AEFS (Advanced Electronic Flight Strip System.

CZZZ/Western Canada has been experiencing fuel shortages due to recent wildfires in the oil patch. Please check with local handlers for any fuel constraints.

KZMA/Miami FIR NASA is planning on launching a Delta IV rocket on 09JUN. Please check KZMA FIR NOTAMS for restrictions.

KZZZ/USA Tropical Storm Colin has passed Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina before moving out over the Atlantic.

CYQY/Sydney, Nova Scotia has added 2 fire trucks and increased staffing levels to provide ARFF CAT 6 or 7, time of day pending. CYQY has issued NOTAM 1A3425/16 covering those hours.

LLZZ/Israel has signed an agreement with Eurocontrol and will allow the country and it’s users to benefit from the services that Eurocontrol provides. This is excellent news for filing out of LLBG and transiting to or over Europe as this will help streamline the process significantly and coordination will only have to be with Eurocontrol for any changes.

RCTP/Taipei has resumed operations on June 3 after operations were suspended due to flash flooding. The airport has also lost power numerous times due to the unstable power supply following days of severe flooding. While the power cuts rendered the terminal’s air conditioning system inoperable, the airport experienced only minor delays.

VNKT/Kathmandu has been experiencing problems with the VHF ATC equipment. Aircraft on approach and Area Control freqs may experience increased squelch and at times leaving ATC without comms.

HSZZ/Sudan has warned it will shoot down any aircraft that infiltrates it’s airspace that has not obtained the proper permission and/or following proper procedures. If you need to transit this airspace please make sure you have all the required documentation.

FHSH/St Helena has reportedly delayed the airport opening indefinitely, due to safety concerns – severe turbulence and windshear were commonplace during testing trials by a B737-800.

China Beijing – The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which supervises relations across the Taiwan Strait, on Friday issued a yellow travel alert for Beijing after the first H7N9 flu infection case for this year was confirmed in the Chinese capital.

Malaysia Malaysian officials fired several officials on charges connected to a security breach at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (WMKK/KUL). Security officials stated that airport security officials collaborated with human trafficking syndicates to bypass the airport’s passport verification system. The investigation discovered that, since 2010, airport officials purposely disrupted the immigration system at certain times of the day on several occasions. Malaysian officials will publish a report with the full findings.

Angola The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on 27 May 2016 that 301 people have died in Angola’s yellow fever outbreak, which began in December 2015. The number of suspected cases is now 2,536. The outbreak began in Luanda and has since spread to areas throughout the country, particularly along the coast and in the central regions, despite a large-scale vaccination program. Cases linked to the Angolan outbreak have also been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya and China.

Jamaica is now charging a $35 US departure tax for all air passengers.

Uzbekistan British FCO cautions when travelling with medicines; you can be detained on arrival if you’re in possession of certain medicines, including codeine; you should always carry a doctor’s prescription with you.

France – the Air France pilots’ union announced a work stoppage for 11-14 June, coinciding with the first week of the Euro 2016 soccer championship. The strike has been planned in protest over pay disputes, and the union has stated that it may observe further strikes. Further details are likely to emerge, as the situation is developing.

Yemen On 28MAY, approximately 20 gunmen stormed Aden International Airport (OYAA/ADE). A 90-minute gunfight followed the attack, during which one civilian was killed by a stray bullet. Authorities regained control of the situation and detained the gunmen’s suspected leader.

Nepal A nationwide general strike is planned on Thursday 09JUN2016 across the county. Protest can occur at short notice anywhere. Stay cautious and stay away from these areas.

View the full International Bulletin 08JUN2016

New China ADIZ – South China Sea

There have been several media reports this week that China is preparing to set up a new ADIZ in the South China Sea. So far, nothing concrete is in place, but similar reports in 2013 were swiftly followed by the establishment of an ADIZ in the East China Sea. That ADIZ is still in place.

We published this analysis in 2013:

ANALYSIS The announcement of the new ADIZ has a political background relating to China’s broader assertment of sovereignty over offshore islands. The impact on daily operations for operators flying through the ADIZ is minimal, and the unilateral advice from the Foreign Affairs departments of countries responding to the announcement is to comply with the request for FPL’s to be copied to the AFTN addresses in the NOTAMs. It is important to stress that ADIZ does not represent extensions of a nation’s airspace, and as such a nation doesn’t exercise exclusive claims over the area. A nation enforcing an ADIZ thus does not have the right to force airplanes to change course or to refute access to the ADIZ – unless, under the international convention of national self defense – the airplane, for example, is determined to harbor hostile intent and presents an imminent threat to the nation. When an airplane declines to follow with the protocols set for an ADIZ, and is assessed to not be a threat, the most the nation administering the ADIZ can do typically is to track it – which may include scrambling jets if it so deems.

The same analysis remains current, and would do if the new South China Sea ADIZ goes ahead.

The “2013” ADIZ

For the 2013 ADIZ, these details still apply: For any operator planning a flight through the ADIZ, the advice is to plan a normal flight, as per previous operating rules, and copy the flight pan to the AFTN addresses ZBBBZGZX and ZSACZQZX. This new ADIZ impacts 4 FIRs (RKRR, ZSHA, RCAA, RJJJ). There is no requirement for an overflight permit from China unless operating in Chinese Sovereign Airspace.

This report from the Asia Times in March 2016, again on the East China Sea ADIZ , points out that:

“China may be seeking to advance its position in the East China Sea over the long term after a short spike in tension, leaving a new status quo with the East China Sea ADIZ in place. China would acquire strategic advantage by asserting a maximalist position, then seeming to back down, while preserving some incremental gain — akin to a ‘ratchet’ effect. According to this theory,  China would project a calm image and justify the East China Sea ADIZ as a ‘reasonable’ step to which foreign nations should not object. If there is an accident, crisis, or loss of life, Beijing could then blame Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, or Washington.”

 

 

Unsafe Airspace – a summary

With the events surrounding the shootdown of MAS17, risk assessment of potentially unsafe airspace has given far greater weighting to the situation on the ground. Access to reliable information to determine the ever-changing risk level, is by nature of it’s inherent uncertainty, challenging.

Today we published International Ops Notice 02/16 – “Unsafe Airspace”.

Three levels of airspace risk are used in our assessment.

  • LEVEL 1. Moderate risk – No Fly
  • LEVEL 2. Assessed risk
  • LEVEL 3. Caution

The countries that issue the most relevant updates for unsafe airspace are:  The US (FAA) – through FDC Notams and SFARs, the UK (NATS) – AIP and Notam, Germany (DFS) – Notam, France (DGAC)- AIC. In general, the Civil Aviation Authorities of the countries whose airspace is determined to be unsafe are unlikely to issue reliable guidance.

Five countries are currently included in the LEVEL 1 – Moderate Risk category: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen.

The basis for inclusion is the highly unstable current events on the ground, and in all cases the ground factions having access to RPG’s, Surface-Air missiles. We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. All countries have multiple warnings, and your country of registry is likely to have issued specific instructions not to penetrate these airspaces.

Download the full notice.

References:

ION0216 Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midweek Briefing 01JUN: EASA Updates ‘Suspect Aircraft’ Guidelines, 8th French ATC Strike

EASA Updates ‘Suspect Aircraft’ Guidelines 01JUN EASA has published new guidelines for inspectors to assess which aircraft should be prioritised for SAFA ramp checks in Europe and SAFA compliant states. Read the article.

8th French ATC strike this weekend 01JUN Notification has been given by French ATC Unions of a Three Day Strike this coming weekend from Friday-Monday, starting at 0400Z Friday 03JUN. Read the article.


ZZZZ/China The new 144 hour visa-free rule is extended to Nanjing Lukou Airport of Jiangsu, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport of Zhejiang, and all air, sea and railway ports of Shanghai, including Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusong Passenger Transport Center and all railway stations in Shanghai.

CYMM/Fort McMurray is scheduled to reopen 10JUN to regular commercial operations. The airport has been closed to normal traffic due to a significant forest fire.

MMAA/Acapulco after an outage lasting several years the ILS for RWY 10/28 is operational again.

KSEA/Seattle has runway 16C/34C closed until 27JUN for repairs. ATC initiatives possible through the construction.

EINN/Shannon and EICK/Cork will be testing a new “Remote Tower” system from 06JUN until September, where at quieter times the controller in Dublin will provide the ATC service to flights at Shannon and Cork. The IAA says airspace users will not notice the change. We think you might.

LFLL/Lyon will be re-numbering their runway to 17/35 from 18/36 in September.

VOTP/Tirupati will begin International operations beginning the end of June with flights to the U.S. The airport had recently upgraded their customs systems and other procedures.

LZZZ/Mediterranean Despite some reports, NATO operations in Libya appear unlikely. There are several new airspace NOTAMs, but is anyone still flying to Libya?

LFZZ/France due to ongoing protests at french oil refineries and fuel shortages the French CAA has advised to tanker in as much fuel as possible to help mitigate any issues. Please check with local handlers for any specific fuel constraints.

SPZZ/Ecuador Volcano Sangay is producing ash that extends up to 20,000 feet. Movement is towards the west at 10 knots. Please check with the Washington VAAC for the latest advisories.

LLBG/Tel Aviv, Israel On 26-27MAY strike action in the form of a work go-slow took place.The slowdown has primarily affected outgoing flights by increasing the time between takeoffs, but it has been reported that if the slowdown continues it will begin to affect incoming flights.

NVZZ/Vanuatu 27MAY a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck west of Vanuatu. The quake was centered approximately 60 mi/95 km northwest of Port Vila and was measured at a depth of about 6 mi/10 km. No tsunami warning has been issued.

DAZZ/Algeria At 0054 local time (2354 UTC) on 28MAY, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck approximately 35 mi/55 km southeast of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The epicenter of the earthquake registered a depth of approximately 7 mi/ 12 km. Following the quake, there were no reports of injuries or damage.

FNZZ/Angola A yellow fever outbreak has caused 301 deaths so far this year. The number of suspected cases is 2,536. The outbreak began in Luanda and has since spread to areas throughout the country, particularly along the coast and in the central regions, despite a large-scale vaccination program.

VDPP/Cambodia Political tensions are high in Cambodia following contested national elections in 2013. Arrest warrants have been issued for the leaders of the opposition CNRP party and the situation is unpredictable. On 30 May police blocked roads in southern Phnom Penh to prevent opposition CNRP supporters from carrying out a planned protest march. Further disruption is possible if the remaining leader is arrested. The opposition party has announced it will hold mass, non-violent, demonstrations and a number of unions have said they will strike in support.

LFZZ/France Despite recent strikes, the French government has stated it will not back down from labor reforms despite street protests and refinery blockades. The CGT Union has threatened to disrupt the upcoming Euro 2016 soccer tournament if the government does not back down; however, after meeting with representatives of the oil industry, government officials stated that the situation at fuel depots is improving.

Ramadan starts on 06JUN, for one month. If you are operating to any Islamic countries, expect the usual slowdown in work, longer processing times for permits, and closures.

OEZZ/Saudi FIR Saudi Arabia has intercepted a ballistic missile that was fired from Yemen, after which Saudi aircraft bombarded the missile’s platform. A Saudi official stated that the country may reconsider the kingdom’s truce with Yemen, as a result of the strike. The missile launch was the second strike in May.

RCZZ/Taiwan On 31MAY, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 70 mi/115 km northeast of Taipei. The quake was measured at a depth of about 150 mi/240 km. There were no reports of damage, and no tsunami warning was issued.

UKZZ/Ukraine On 29MAY, attacks by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, violating the ceasefire signed in February 2015, killed five Ukrainian military officers and wounded four others. The latest attacks follow a 24 May report released by Ukrainian authorities, stating seven soldiers were killed on that day, making it the deadliest day for Ukrainian forces since August last year.

KZZZ/USA The State Dept has issued a warning to arriving travellers this summer to make sure that they have all necessary documents to enter the United States – there have been multiple changes to the rules this year (see Active Bulletins below for more on this).

View the full International Bulletin 01JUN2016

French ATC strike this weekend – Number 8

Notification has been given by French ATC Unions of a Three Day Strike this coming weekend from Friday-Monday, starting at 0400Z Friday 03JUN. This is Strike number 8 this year, and if it goes ahead, promises to be a disruptive one.

As with all previous strikes, reroutes if you are overflying will be important.

Highlights:

Reroutes via Tunisia, Algeria

Tunisia and Algeria regularly open up their airspace to reroutes during French ATC action – and will likely do so again for this strike.

  • Tunisia (DTTC FIR): Overflight permit is required (AFTN direct DTTVYAYX)
  • Algeria (DAAA FIR): Overflight permit not required during this strike but copy FPL to DAAAZQZX and DTTCZQZX

Reroutes via Shanwick Airspace

Read our earlier post on this: http://flightservicebureau.org/the-three-sisters-shanwicks-tango-routes/

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