International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: January 2017 (page 1 of 2)

HLLL Tripoli FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Libya

Feb 1st, 2017 HLLL/Libya has issued state guidance to areas that they believe to be active Conflict Zones. While we list the entire country as Level 1 – Avoid” at safeairspace.net, it is nonetheless noteworthy as this type of notification from a ‘Conflict Zone state’ is rare. The 3 areas with coordinates, are below.

Area 1:- 3116N01610E 3108N01707E 3030N01700E 3042N01605E
Area 2:- 3251N02240E 3243N02246E 3239N02218E 3247N02216E
Area 3:- 3212N02002E 3209N02007E 3157N01953E 3154N02005E

These correspond to sites at Sirte, Benghazi, and Derna, left to  right below, with Sirte being the largest.

 


 

 

More:

  • Libya Airspace/Overflight risk warnings  at safeairspace.net

OIIX Tehran FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Iran

Feb 1st, 2017 Traffic is getting far busier through the Turkey-Iran FIR boundary (Europe-Asia main flight route). ALRAM is the new “corner” for avoiding Iraq. Here’s updated flight planning  guidance from Turkey for Jan-March 2017 – use these when planning your ATC route (refer LTAA A5716/16). We’ve translated the Notam a little for clarity, here’s the highlights:

1. SRT-ALRAM segment of UG8  – use FL330 or higher.
2. ULTED-ALRAM segment of UT36 – use FL330 or higher.
3. Going via UG8 or UT36, to leave Tehran FIR via ALRAM, at FL320 and below: Route EZS-UG81/UL124-VAN-BONAM-UMH. Check Iran AIP Sup 93/15 for more.
4. ALRAM-BAYIR segment UT888 minimum FL330. If entering LTAA/Ankara FIR via ALRAM lower than FL330, then route UMH-BONHAM-UI124/UG81-VAN-UI124-UG81-BAYIR.
5. VAN-BONAM segment of UG81 and UI124 can be used bidirectional below FL330.
6. ULTED-NINVA segment of UM688 – use FL330 or higher.
7. Entire R/UR21, SRT-KABAN segment of M/UM860, and ULSAB-KABAN segment of UT334 closed FL180-FL310.
8. UT332 – use FL330 or higher.
9. UT301 totally closed.
10. UT333 closed FL180-FL310 inclusive.

 


IOB Bulletins

31AUG 2016 OIZZ/Iran has approved the use of its airbases by Russian fighter aircraft; Russia has notified intention to launch missiles in the direction of Syria from the Caspian Sea fleet. The Russian Air Force has deployed six Tu-23M3 BACKFIRE bomber aircraft and multiple Su-34 FULLBACK strike fighter jets to Hamedan Air Base (OIHS/NUJ). FSBIOBXX

17AUG 2016 On August 16, Russian TU-22 bombers based in Hamedan, Iran, attacked targets in the Syrian towns of Deir Ezzour, Aleppo and Idlib. These were the first Russian airstrikes carried out from bases in Iran.

07DEC2015 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.

13OCT 2015  On 06 OCT 15 the Russian military launched 26 Kalibr-class cruise missiles from 4 ships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria. These missiles were routed through the airspace of Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria, causing concern as to the safety of international air traffic crossing the missiles trajectory. Full notice.

 

More stuff:

  • Iran Conflict Zone/Overflight risk warnings  at safeairspace.net

Immediate US Visa ban on 7 countries – Aircrew also

KZZZ/USA Now in force, is an immediate ban on US visas (and therefore US travel) for citizens from 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. This is distinct from the Visa Waiver Program ban in effect since January 2016. The ban is posted for 90 days, but may last longer.

Admission will be refused to visitors with a passport issued by the following 7 countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and holding a valid immigrant or non-immigrant visa for the US.

This travel ban does not apply to:
– Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) of the USA who also hold a passport issued by one of the aforementioned countries
– Dual Nationals, holding and traveling with a valid passport issued by USA as well as a passport issued by one of the aforementioned countries
– Dual Nationals holding and traveling with a valid passport issued by a third country as well as a passport issued by one of the aforementioned countries
– Passengers with diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations and G-1 ,G-2 ,G-3 ,and G-4 visas

Aircrew
This affects aircrew as well, whether travelling on a C1/D visa, or whether on duty or off duty.

That’s the situation as we understand it, we’ll keep this page updated.

 

What altitude is ‘safe enough’ to overfly a Conflict Zone?

Most conflict zone guidance from Aviation Authorities is based on the risk posed by MANPADS – Man Portable Air Defence Systems, or more descriptively – Shoulder Launched Surface to Air Missiles (SAMS).

Large-Unit SAM attacks on aircraft are uncommon – MH17, removed from the sky by a Russian-made Buk missile, was the first aircraft to be shot down by a large SAM unit since a Siberia Airlines Tupolev in 2001. These large units – requiring a radar system as part of the mechanism – have never been used by terrorists. Almost all incidences involving large-unit SAMs have involved misidentification. There is no safe altitude from a large SAM.

MANPADS, on the other hand, represent a greater threat to aircraft in 2017. These shoulder-launched systems are very portable, and far more likely to fall into the wrong hands. Common ranges are in the 10,000 – 15,000 ft range. The most dangerous is the FIM-92 Stinger, which has an operational ceiling of 26,000 ft (and there is concern that these have reached anti-government rebels in Syria)

The internationally promulgated standard safe altitude for overflight has now become about 25,000 ft AGL. Most CAA/State guidance is issued based on this number. There are two important points for aircraft operators to note:

    • That is 25,000 feet Above Ground Level. A missile could easily be launched from a mountain, or higher ground, so if you take 25,000 feet as your safety margin, make sure to add the terrain elevation beneath. In South Sudan, for example – Juba is at 2,000 feet – most of the country is at about this height. So 27,000 feet should be the minimum safe level, and you can work with FL270.
    • This is based on the assumption that we’re not worried about Stingers. Especially in the Middle East, a higher safe altitude might be better. FL300 seems like a good place to start.

 

References:

Germany issue new warnings, Manila may not ban GA after all

Germany issues new warnings 25JAN Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics. Read the article

 

Manila may not ban GA after all 25JAN RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

 


 

HEZZ/Egypt, HSZZ/South Sudan, ZKZZ/North Korea Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics.

RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

NTAA/Tahiti The airport is open again as of Monday morning local time, after closing due to flooding after torrential rains, but many taxiways remain flooded. Expect delays in handling and tech stops.

KZZZ/USA Announced yesterday and expected to come into force this week, is an immediate ban on US visas (and therefore US travel) for citizens from 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. This is distinct from the Visa Waiver Program ban in effect since January 2016.

GBZZ/Gambia FSB Risk Level changed from Level Three to “No Warnings” on Jan 24. New president has taken power. Parliament revoked State of Emergency. Situation calm.

SBZZ/Brazil In the last bulletin we had a headline about a Boeing 767 shot on approach in Brazil. A bullet was found lodged in the wing. Some updates to that story are here, and safeairspace.net’s Brazilpage is updated.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Don’t forget it’s New Year in Asia this weekend. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02 Feb.

EDDB/Berlin Brandenburg will now not open until 2018, as they found more problems with the fire system this week. This is a recurring story, which dates back to 2012. So, for the foreseeable, you’re stuck with Tegel and Schoenefeld.

LTFJ/Sabiha Gökçen (Istanbul) Due to insufficient capacity at LTFJ, applications for individual non-scheduled flights will be refused, and private/charter flights can only be operated at “non-busy hours”.

KBPI/Palm Beach is going to see some new TFR restrictions due to the proximity of Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate. If operating when he’s down here, you’ll have to depart from a gateway airport to PBI – those are TEB, HPN, IAD, MCO and FLL. NBAA has the details.

LSGG/Geneva EBACE is on from Monday, 22 May through Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Now would be a good time to get those slots booked if you’re planning to head over.

LFMN/Nice has a new procedure where ATC will alert crews to windshear.

MSLP/San Salvador‘s only runway 07/25 will be closed from 1600-1700 each day until Feb 3rd.

VGHS/Dhaka The UK Department for Transport (DfT) announced today that it recently carried out assessments of security at Dhaka International Airport. Following this, the DfT has assessed that security at Dhaka airport does not meet some international security requirements (they haven’t said which).

OMAD/Abu Dhabi (Al Bateen) is hosting the International Defence Exhibition in February, so will not be available to IFR traffic daily between 0600-0800Z until Feb 23rd. There are also restrictions on using it as an alternate.

DNAA/Abuja The latest on the Abuja closure is that it will be completely closed to all traffic from March 8th – April 19th.

SKCG/Cartagena‘s only runway 01/19 is closed daily 0530-1100Z until Feb 6th.

NVZZ/Vanuatu Health authorities have declared a dengue outbreak following a large increase in suspected cases in December 2016 and January 2017. Protect yourself against mosquito bites

WSZZ/Singapore is implementing the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseologies from March 2nd. Read AIP SUP 29/17.

LIRF/Rome Fiumicino is working on 16R until March, so 25 will be used for deps and 16L for arrivals. This means delays, especially if you want 16L/34R for departure – they say up to a 60 minute taxi time.

UKZZ/Ukraine amended the military boundaries of its airspace on Monday Jan 23rd, identifying the Donbas conflict zone region as a separate area. More details here.

 

View the full International bulletin 25JAN2017

Updated airspace warnings for Egypt, South Sudan, North Korea

Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of Egypt, South Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. Germany is one of four states that provides Aircraft Operators with conflict zone and risk advice. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics.

The current Flight Service Bureau summary of each country follows:

Egypt Since the Arab Spring, Egypt’s stability and security situation as a state has declined. In October 2015 a Russian A321 was brought down over the Sinai peninsula by a bomb loaded at HESH/Sharm El Sheikh. In the aftermath, it was initially feared that a missile had caused the crash. Multiple warnings still in place from that fear. 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Mediterranean, cause unknown. GPS jamming reported at HECA/Cairo several times in 2016. High threat from terrorism in Egypt. Further attacks are likely. Not recommended as a tech stop. [Read full country information]

South Sudan Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights. [Read full country information]

North Korea The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operations east of that line. [Read full country information]

 

References:

 

 

Manila’s GA ban-plan may be softening – RPLL

RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators.

Background: The airport is heavily congested, it’s a big deal in the Philippines, and the President himself started the action to fix things.

The original plan  was that February 2017 would see all GA traffic moved to other airports (aka RPLC/Clark or RPLB/Subic Bay). For international operators, neither of these are great alternatives. Clark can be a 3 hour drive to Manila, and Subic Bay is further again, with about a 4 hour drive.

However, the original threat of moving everything that isn’t line traffic out of RPLL might have dissipated. The NAIA Airport Company has now introduced some hefty slot restrictions for GA:

  • 2 GA movements from 0600-1200 local time
  • No GA movements between 1200-1900
  • Slots will be assigned only 24 hours in advance for domestic flights
  • Slots will be assigned maximum 15 days in advance for international flights

The word on the ground (as of January 25th) from the local handling agents, is that the Airport Authority is evaluating whether this might be a sufficient restriction for GA. It seems that they don’t want to exclude GA or non-scheduled flights entirely. We’ll keep you posted.

 

Boeing 767 shot on approach in Brazil

Details still emerging: this page will be updated. Report any information to report@safeairspace.net.

25 JAN – Information updated.

At Flight Service Bureau we rarely report on individual aircraft incidents, because the impact to other operators in International Flight Operations  is very minimal.  This case is different.

We received an OPSGROUP member report of an incident that occurred around January 15th, to a B767-300 operated by Latam Airlines, on approach.

Our initial report indicated that the 767 was fired upon on approach to Runway 15 at SBGL/GIG – the main Rio de Janeiro airport. A 7.62mm bullet lodged in the No. 3 slat, on the left wing. Pictures are below. Subsequent reports from other sources suggest that it may have occured in Sao Paolo.

The specific location in Brazil is therefore uncertain, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the aircraft overflew a favela on approach, and that Rio remains the most likely candidate for the location.

Rio Airport has however asked us to publish this statement:

RIOgaleão, concessionaire responsible for the operation of Tom Jobim International Airport, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), informs that there has not been any record of an aircraft hit by a bullet within the airport site. The airline’s press office, in a statement, informed to the Brazilian press that it has activated the national and aviation security agencies. The public agencies investigate the case to identify where the incident occurred.

An entry for Brazil with the full report has been added to SafeAirspace.net, our shared repository on threats to aviation including Conflict Zones, Airspace Security, and Overflight risk.

 

B767 PT-MSY

Section of wing with lodged bullet

 

 


Update:

19JAN: Rio Airport has asked us to publish this statement:

RIOgaleão, concessionaire responsible for the operation of Tom Jobim International Airport, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), informs that there has not been any record of an aircraft hit by a bullet within the airport site. The airline’s press office, in a statement, informed to the Brazilian press that it has activated the national and aviation security agencies. The public agencies investigate the case to identify where the incident occurred.

 

References:

World Airports Database

We needed a reliable, comprehensive Airport database for International Flight Ops. There wasn’t one out there.

That was six years ago. All of the databases that we found online – both paid for and free – had flaws that made them unusable in the daily Flight Operation. Too short, too long, not enough data, wrong codes, badly formatted … We realised that we had to built a new one from scratch.

So we did. In the interim, we’ve added all kinds of useful data to it, updated it, and made it into what we think is the best database for Ops Controllers, Pilots, Airlines, Software developers, and service providers.

Take a look at the database – you can see a sample 100 records, but the full version is a paid product.

Download the sample

static1.squarespace

 

International Bulletin: B767 shot on approach to Rio, Updated SafeAirspace Map

B767 Shot on approach to Rio 

18JAN A B767-300 was fired on last night during approach to Runway 15 SBGL/Rio de Janeiro. One 7.62mm bullet lodged in the left wing. Read the article.

Updated SafeAirspace Risk Map 

18JAN We have updated SafeAirspacewith information for Aircraft Operators on The GambiaNorth KoreaBrazilUkraine, and Turkey.


GBZZ/The Gambia State of emergency declared on 17th January. Foreign citizens being evacuated. Banjul International Airport (GBYD/BJL) and land borders remain open, for now. More at safeairspace.net/information/the-gambia.

UKZZ/Ukraine Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for Ukraine’s airspace. There are two risk issues in Ukraine. First: arms fire. Including MH17, multiple aircraft (the others all military) have been shot down since the beginning of the Donbass region war in 2014. The 10th ceasefire was declared in December 2016, but not holding. This risk is contained within the Dnipropetrovsk FIR – UKDV. The second issue affects the Simferopol FIR which is Disputed Airspace. (Ukraine:UKFV, Russia:URFV). In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The ATC Center is in Simferopol, Crimea, and is now run by Krymaeronavigatsiya. Russia claims the airspace. Ukraine refuses to recognise the change, and asks crews to talk to Ukrainian controllers in Dnipro/Odesa ACC instead of Simferopol ACC. Four routes are approved by EASA through the high seas portion of the airspace.

KIAD/Washington and area airports – guaranteed busy during the Presidential Inauguration this Friday, Jan 20. Updated restrictions here. Departure slots required for aircraft departing IAD between Friday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 22. Departure slots can be obtained through an IAD FBO of choice (Ross Aviation or Signature Flight Support). Slots will be divided equally between the two FBOs at IAD.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls on 28th Jan. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02FEB.

BGBW/Narsarsuaq A seasonal reminder that if you’re planning to use Narsarsuaq as a destination, alternate, or enroute alternate outside of the operating hours (MON-SAT 1000-1900z daily until 03APR), you must contact the airport in advance to apply for them to stay open for you:
Email: bgbw@mit.gl. Also make sure you file your ATC FPL including the AFTN address: BGBWZTZX.

EKCH/Copenhagen A copy of the AOC must accompany fuel release or expect an MOT charge of approximately $1.70 USD to be charged. Next destination must be shown on the fuel release or expect delays.

EGPH/Edinburgh, Scotland Until Apr 1st, you will need PPR to operate to Edinburgh, due to reduced parking capacity.

RPLB/Subic Bay will be closed for maintenance bewtween 0100-0800z until January 20th.

SKZZ/Colombia New Tower and ACC for Bogota. From 16th Jan – 15th Feb moving of Bogota’s ACC will take place. ATS/AIS/COM/MET/ATFM services transition process should not affect operations, however, due to the large change extent foreseen, some failures might occur in the process.  AIC 1/17 outlines contingency procedures in place

SVZZ/Venezuela has closed its land borders with Colombia and Brazil periodically in the last 12 months. Border closures occur frequently, often with short notice. The Venezuelan government will withdraw the 100 bolivar note (VEF 100) from circulation as of 20 January 2017.

LYBA/Beograd If you have any outstanding navigation fees in Serbia, better get them paid, or they’ll add a 9.88% interest charge.

HSSS/South Sudan Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for South Sudan’s airspace: Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights.

ZKKP/North Korea Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for DPRK North Korea’s airspace: The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operationseast of that line.

ZZZZ/Worldwide How have you been getting on with the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseolgies? In short, some countries are implementing, and others aren’t. What is your country doing? Tell us at bulletin@fsbureau.org.

 

View the full International Bulletin 18JAN2017

Older posts
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.