International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: September 2016 (page 1 of 2)

Iceland Volcano alert – Katla

Icelandic volcano Katla has been raised to colour code Yellow by the Icelandic met office.

Katla lives beside Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that closed much of Europe’s airspace for a week or so in 2010.

Colour code yellow means that there is increased activity, but no eruption … as of yet. 

volcano_status

It doesn’t mean that an eruption is ‘expected’ either, but given the proximity of Katla to the site of the major eruption in 2010, there may be correlation. Icelandic scientists have also said that an eruption of Katla is overdue.

For now, keep an eye on updates at http://en.vedur.is/weather/aviation/volcanic-hazards/

katla_1918

Katla’s last eruption photographed in 1918

Caribbean Tropical Storm Matthew

TZZZ/Caribbean Tropical Storm Matthew is expected to increase to Hurricane strength as it tracks across the Caribbean. Today, Barbados, Martinique and a number of other airports in the Windward islands have notified closures.

Monitor http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

map_tropprjpath14_ltst_5nhato_enus_650x366

Pakistan closes part of airspace below FL330

Pakistan has closed part of its northern airspace (within the Karachi FIR) below FL330, amid tensions between India and Pakistan.

Overflying international traffic on the ATS routes A325, A454, A791, B505, G208, G210/214/216, M504, P518, and T385 will be restricted to a minimum enroute altitude of FL330. The full NOTAM is below.

pakistan-fl330-closure

 

 

A0938/16 – I) FOLLOWING ROUTE SEGMENTS OF INT’L ATS ROUTES WITHIN KARACHI FIR WILL NOT BE AVBL FROM SFC TO FL330 DUE OPERATIONAL REASONS: INTERNATIONAL ATS ROUTE ROUTE SEGMENT ======================= ============= A325 KC-JIWANI A454 KC-TAPDO A791/R462 JIWANI-KA B505 APELO-PI G208 KC-BINUR G210/M638 PG-KC G214 PG-IDEBA G216 ALPOR-KA M504 ALPOR-GOGUM N894 LATEM-DALDA P518 PAXUR-BINUR T385 ADGUL-TAPDO

II) ALTERNATE ROUTE FL330 AND BELOW: ================================ I. JI-PG-272000N 0650000E-IDEBA-SK-RK-TIGER/MOLTA/MULTAN VICE VERSA. II. JI-ASVIB/KEBUD-PG-272000N 0650000E-IDEBA-NH-KC/SAPNA VICE VERSA. III. ASVIB/KEBUD-PG 272000N 0650000E-IDEBA – NH-TELEM. IV. TASOP/RAMSA-KE-NH-IDEBA-272000N 0650000E-PG-KEBUD/ASVIB/JI. V. SAPNA/KC-NH-IDEBA-272000N 0650000E-PG-KEBUD-ASVIB/JI.

III) EXPECT CLIMB/ DESCEND TO / FROM FL340 REMAINING SOUTH AND SOUTH EAST OF KC UNDER ATC CLEARANCE. SFC – FL330, FM SEPT 26-29 AND 01-03 OCT BTN 0100-1130 AND 1400-1800, 26 SEP 01:00 2016 UNTIL 03 OCT 18:00 2016. CREATED: 22 SEP 13:30 2016

New airspace warnings – Turkey, Iran

Today Flight Service Bureau has published ION05/16 – an updated Unsafe Airspace Summary, with new warnings for Turkey, and Iran, and a new map at safeairspace.net. This replaces 04/16 issued in August.

Turkey: 23SEP16 Germany B1289/16 Do not plan flights to LTAJ due potential ground to ground firing in the vicinity of LTAJ/Gaziantep Airport.

Iran: 09SEP16 FAA Notam KICZ 19/16 Exercise caution within Tehran FIR due military activity.

New information in the PDF is marked with a   I   beside it. Please distribute the PDF to anyone you like, we are keen to make sure as many operators as possible are aware of the risks.

 

opg-safeairspace

Safe Airspace

One of the greatest gifts of having this wonderful group of people is the ability for any one of us to report something important, and let the rest of the group know. And for us, there is no more important area than Overflight Risk. Since MH17, there has been a constant stream of additional territories that need to be carefully watched – most recently, Kenya and North Korea. 

We’ve played around with a risk map for the group in various forms over the last few months, and out of that has come our safe airspace initiative (together with The Airline Cooperative).

OPSGROUP members have been instrumental in figuring out just how to gather this information, and present it in a really understandable form. Often, Airlines and Governments have more information than the private sector, and it can be really tough if you’re the lone dispatcher or single Chief Pilot in a GA/Charter/Business Jet operation. Thankfully, in the group, we have a Noah’s Ark of ops people – and so we get to see it from every perspective.

opg-safeairspace

To join OPSGROUP, visit opsgroup.co/#Join.

Pan Am, 727’s, and 1977 …

This afternoon I took a boat across the river to the Jersey side  and looked back at New York City; amongst the skyscrapers in Midtown one stood out – the MetLife building. It seemed familiar – and I wondered why. I realised it was once the PanAm building: in a different era, this was the headquarters of Pan American World Airways.

pan-am-3

Most interestingly, there was once a helicopter service, operated by PanAm in 1977, that connected downtown Manhattan with JFK, if you had a First or ‘Clipper Class’ ticket on a PanAm flight. The helicopter transfer, from the helipad on the roof of the PanAm building, took about 7 minutes – compare this to the 1 hour and 7 minutes it takes to get out to JFK these days – if you’re lucky.

1984-ad-pan-am-one-free

Today, a couple of blocks west of the former PanAm building sits a lonely Concorde beside the Hudson, another nod to a time when aviation seems to have offered more convenience and speed than it does today.

intrepidtws11

So, the question is whether this is nothing more than nostalgia, or whether things were indeed, in some way, better back then. Everyone will have their own answer to that – we’ve lost  Tristars with elevators, DC-8’s with their chrome and diesel and smoke and crackle, 727’s and Bac 1-11’s with their rear airstairs – and what have we gained? The newest arrivals – the C Series, the A350, the 787 – are sleek, fuel efficient, and open up new routes that weren’t possible before – but are pretty unspectacular.

No doubt though, the generation that got to fly and operate these aircraft looked back on the days of Flying Boats and DC-3 with equal fondness. I wonder whether the aircraft coming off the production lines today will evoke the same thoughts.

In International Flight Operations, though, it must be said that things are much improved. Compared to the era that spans the 70’s to the 90s, we’ve now got vastly improved flight planning systems, more direct routes, much better navigation systems, and we’ve largely moved from SITA, phone calls and fax machines to email when it comes to organising those flights. For the Dispatcher and Planner, there is no doubt that life is far easier. Even ten years ago, trying to arrange handling anywhere outside the US and Europe would take days to set up – now, the same trip can be arranged in 30 minutes.

We do have some new challenges. Airspace safety – and the risk to our aircraft overflying unstable regions, is of more concern now than at any time in history. Since MH17 two years ago,  there have been many new areas to avoid. But how to know where, and why? Through The Airline Cooperative and OPSGROUP, we’ve worked as groups of Dispatchers, Controllers, and Pilots to share information so that when one person becomes aware of new information, everyone gets to hear about it. Our shared map shows the current status at safeairspace.net.

safeairspace-net

As a group, we’ve also been creating some new tools that help us – Aireport is our shared review site, where we can let each other know about good and bad experiences with Handlers, Airports, and ATC – whether it’s service, procedures, changes, or avoiding a fuel stop that’s going to cost you a fortune.

aireport-co

Maybe the biggest problem with all this new access to information is the overload one – the internet is the equivalent of a Shannon to Singapore NOTAM briefing. 80 pages of crap with a couple of important things stuck in the middle. Sometimes those important things are good to know, sometimes it’s critical information.

So how do you find those couple of critical things on the internet? You won’t have any trouble finding Aviation sites, but if you are managing an International Flight Operation of any sort – whether you’re the pilot, the dispatcher, the controller, the regulator, the ramp agent – whoever: how do you find out what’s new that will affect your flight.

That’s the question that bothers us at FSB every day of the week. We literally work on this every single day – and every day it becomes a little easier. Every Wednesday, we squeeze and condense the things that we’ve discovered this week into our weekly International Ops Bulletin – removing as much as possible until you’re left with only the critical stuff. The biggest source, and greatest help – is our amazing group of people in OPSGROUP.

Anyhow, I digress. Back to PanAm …

Robbed by the CAA – and other horror stories

Three of the most recent headlines are:

Tempting to joke that this sound like Miami, or Nice – but these are reviews of FZAA/Kinshasa, in the DRC – rated at 2.5, one of the lowest Airports on Aireport.

One report reads: “Don’t go here unless you like to be robbed by the CAA. I was told I was in big trouble for not having an MEL on a private airplane. 500 USD would [apparently] solve everything

Continuing: “ATC is terrible, they wanted us to hold right over the airport in the middle of the T’storm we wanted to wait for to pass. I ended up telling him we would hold 15 miles out on the 090 radial. He wasn’t very happy about being over-ruled, but it worked”

And:  “People mill around the airplane looking for fuel drips to collect in their cans. Some guy told me he was a fueling assistant and wanted cash for his kind assistance. The handler is pretty much worthless, he just wants to collect the cash = $2700 USD for a fuel stop in a Falcon 900.”

There are some other horror stories in the database. SVMI/Caracas, Venezuela (“Handler demanded $9000 in Cash“);  VECC/Calcutta (“Immigration was a nightmare“); HEAX/Alexandria (“Handler tried the shakedown“)

 

There are also plenty of good reports – EGSS/London Stansted is “As easy as it gets in Europe“, EINN/Shannon, Ireland is “Absolutely outstanding“, and NFFN/Nadi, Fiji is given “Quick Turn, Inexpensive Fuel, and Perfect

NZAA/Auckland, New Zealand stands out as getting consistently good reviews: “Very knowledgeable and helpful staff”, “Air Centre One is superb”, “Flawless from Gordy” … the crew at Air Centre One is clearly keeping their customers very happy. Nice work guys.

corporate-jet-services

For all the ones in between – read for yourself: Aireport.co/reviews.

aireport-co

 

 

Midweek Briefing: Taiwan ADS-B requirement, Costa Rica volcano

Taiwan ADS-B requirement 21SEP Yesterday, Taiwan pushed the requirement for ADS-B above FL290 for all aircraft, back to 2020 – as a fast approaching deadline of December this year was looming. Read the article.

Costa Rica volcano 21SEP MROC/San Jose, Costa Rica has reopened after the eruption of the Turrialba volcano on Monday. A risk of further closures continues. Read the article.


OPZZ/Pakistan Some airspace in the north of the country (Kashmir region) has been closed by the Pakistan CAA. Details are unclear but reports indicate Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral Airports are affected by the closure.

BIKF/Keflavik Departing KEF eastbound? Icelandic ATC would love you to file the following as a standard route: PIXUM PETUX ORTAV ODPEX, or 63N022W CELLO if you’re planning to cross 10W at GOMUP or south of.

EDDL/Dusseldorf has closed 05L/23R for a couple of days to remove a WW2 bomb. Some delays at peak times may result.

HLGT/Ghat, Libya Three foreign nationals were kidnapped along the road that leads to Ghat Airport on 19SEP, located in the Fezzan province along the southwest border with Algeria. The foreigners were construction workers employed by the Italian-owned Conicos company to service Ghat Airport. There are numerous armed militia and terrorist groups active in the area and the foreigners were said to be operating under discretion due to the security risk.

EDHL/Lubeck will closed on Oct 4th for repairs – all day.

ENGM/Oslo will introduce new RNP AR approaches in November, available to all runways. Auth from Norwegian CAA is required to use them.

FKKD/Douala now requires PPR 72 hours prior arrival, for non-scheduled flights, due to upcoming space restrictions as a result of WIP. You can make requests directly to Airport admin at pce.douala@adcsa.aero.

GBZZ/Gambia In a change to procedure, Overflight Permits, and Landing Permits for traffic operating to GBYD/Banjul, are now issued by the Department of Flight Safety Standards at the GCAA.

HCMM/Mogadishu has issued a security reminder to operators: “OPERATORS SHOULD EXER EXTREME CTN AND FULLY ASSESS THE POTENTIAL FOR RISKS TO FLT SAFETY AND SECURITY WHEN PLANNING OR CONDUCTING OPS INTO MOGADISHU AIRPORT DUE TO LACK OF INFORMATION ON ARMED CONFLICT AND LACK OF AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION.”

FAZZ/South Africa The CAA has updated its warnings for operators, with new guidance for two airspace blocks: that affected by the Syrian conflict – namely Baghdad, Damascus, and Tehran FIRs; and that affected by recent concerns over the Northern Sinai – their advice is to overfly at FL260 or higher.

LMML/Malta airshow coming up on 24-25 Sept, multiple restrictions, check before operating or filing as alternate.

FZZZ/DRC Congo Since September 19 large-scale demonstrations have been resulting in violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Kinshasa and elsewhere in the country. The situation is particularly tense in Kinshasa where violence has caused casualties. These demonstrations could continue over the next few days and the situation could further degenerate. The sole road to the Kinshasa airport could be blocked and some flights have been cancelled.

OJZZ/Jordan It’s White Stork migration season, and Jordan has issued warnings for all of its airports, for crews to be mindful of the high chance of presence of large flocks of them on arrival and departure.

SKED/Bogota has some comms issues on north/south bound routes to Peru (Lima FIR); 10 minute separation is applied betwen aircraft on these routes until at least Sept 26th.

KZZZ/USA For some good reading, the FAA (thanks Andy for passing this on), have updated their Aviation Weather guidance doc. This is the first revision to the document since 1975.

Input: ATC, Pilots, Dispatchers: Any topical items that you think should be going out to the community? Let us know, and we’ll get your message out there. tellus@opsgroup.co.

View full International Bulletin 21SEP2016

Taiwan pushes ADS-B requirement to 2020

The fast approaching deadline of December 2016 for all aircraft within the Taipei FIR above FL290 to be ADS-B equipped, has been given a new date of implementation – 2020. Clearly, the amount of operators not so equipped has rendered the ADS-B plan unachievable.

Yesterday, Taiwan issued AIC 06/16 confirming the new date, and also adds that aircraft are no longer required to have ADS-B Out operational approvals by the State of Registry.

As things stand, then, you technically need ADS-B to operate on B576 and B591 – but if ATC radar is functioning normally, that rule is also waived. So, in effect, check back in 2020.

References:

 

MROC/San Jose reopens after Volcano

MROC/San Jose, Costa Rica has reopened after a two day closure following the eruption of Turrialba.

As of 1100 a.m.Tuesday , the Civil Aviation Directorate reported that approximately 12,000 passengers had been affected, and that 120 flights had been cancelled during that lapse. The SJO airport was closed from early Monday afternoon due to intense volcanic eruptions of the Turrialba Volcano located some 50 km southeast of Alajuela.

The only other airport affected was Pavas, a smaller domestic airport.

 

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