International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Month: July 2017

28JUL: B747 missile pics, Danger at Bucharest, Venezuela Warning – Weekly Ops Briefing

Weekly International Ops Bulletin published by FSB for OPSGROUP covering critical changes to Airports, Airspace, ATC, Weather, Safety, Threats, Procedures, Visas. Subscribe to the short free version here, or join thousands of your Pilot/Dispatcher/ATC/CAA/Flight Ops colleagues in OPSGROUP for the full weekly bulletin, airspace warnings, Ops guides, tools, maps, group discussion, Ask-us-Anything, and a ton more! Curious? See what you get. Rated 5 stars by 125 reviews.

 

747 Cockpit pics: unannounced missile launch

28JUL ZKZZ/North Korea Another ballistic missile was fired by North Korea today, landing in Japanese waters. Earlier this week, a B747 crew enroute to Baku captured a series of images of an unannounced missile launch close to their aircraft, over China. Read the article.

26R at Bucharest is SHORT! 2 aircraft have now over-run

28JUL LROP/Bucharest Runway 26R is shortened by about 1250m/4000 feet, and on Tuesday a Ryanair 737 became the second aircraft to run off the end in a couple of weeks: on June 22, a Turkish A321 did the same thing. Word on the street is that there isn’t much in the Notams to remind you of this. Read the article.

SVZZ/Venezuela The U.S. Department of State has updated its travel warning for Venezuela, warning against travel due to social unrest, violent crime, and pervasive food and medicine shortages. On July 27, the Department ordered the departure of family members and authorized the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas. For flight ops to Venezuela, it’s highly recommended to avoid tech stops or unnecessary visits to any SV** locations.

RCZZ/Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has granted visa-exempt status to nationals of 11 Latin American countries. Effective immediately, nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay are granted visa-exempt stays of up to 90 days while nationals of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Christopher and Nevis, and Saint Lucia are granted visa-exempt stays of up to 30 days.

EGCC/Manchester Night ops into Manchester? Carry extra holding fuel due WIP until August 17. [more in Aireport]

FEFF/Bangui has had a few interruptions to ATC service due to power cuts – not the only issue in Bangui, but another reason to think twice about travel to the Central African Republic.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia On 27 July, Saudi air defences shot down a Houthi ballistic missile in the sky over Taif. Reports indicate that the Yemeni-based Houthi rebels fired the missile from northern Yemen; however, the precise target is unclear. The interception did not result in any casualties or damage on the ground.

VTBB/Bangkok Extra holding fuel into Bangkok is recommended for the monsoon season until end of October.

HCSM/Mogadishu FIR HF is unreliable. Here are the alternate contact details, if you do insist on flying through their FIR (and we think you shouldn’t): SATCOM INMARSAT 466601. ATC/FIC Telephone: +254202365679, +254207622774, +254207626028 or +254202445632.

UUZZ/Russia Volcanic activity advisory ongoing for the Sheveluch volcano (56 38 N 161 19E) on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.

OPKC/Karachi The United States Consulate General in Karachi has resumed the movement of U.S. government personnel traveling to and from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi (KHI). Local security forces have increased security measures at the airport and in the city of Karachi. Movement of U.S. government personnel within Pakistan remains severely restricted due to the overall security environment. The consulate general canceled all travel of U.S. government personnel to and from the airport on 25 July, citing an elevated threat of violence “at or near this location.” The consulate general did not release further details on the nature of the threat.

EDDK/Cologne Don’t use this as an alternate overnight – at their request – that is, from 2000Z-0400Z. [more in Aireport]

LFMP/Perpignan Air show on, check for arrival slot and parking availability if you’re planning to use it between 28-30 July.

LDZZ/Croatia Several hundred taxi drivers are staging protests throughout Croatia on 28 July against the ride-sharing service Uber. Reports indicate that the protests have disrupted traffic in Dubrovnik, as well as around the airports in Split and Zagreb. Thus far there have been no reports of associated violence.

LHDC/Debrecen Limited hours of service, 48 hrs prior notice required if intending to use outside normal hours of service until end of July.

MMMX/Mexico City They’re planning on building a new airport near Mexico City. The outlines of the runway have already been painted onto the surface of a dry lake in the exact position it will be built, including full markings. These are all clearly visible when departing from the existing Mexico City Airport (MMMX) RWY 05 and approaching on RWY 23. These painted lake bed surfaces are not intended for use as a runway!

LGAV/Athens Prior permission required – contact ASOC@AIA.GR 24 hours before arrival. [more in Aireport]

CYYZ/Toronto Pearson Ground crew workers launched a strike on 27 July over a labor dispute with their employer, Swissport. Reports indicate that approximately 700 workers — including baggage handlers, cargo handlers and cabin cleaners – are participating in the strike. Swissport serves 30 airlines at Pearson.

KZZZ/USA Qualifying citizens of India are now eligible to apply for Global Entry membership. Applicants who meet program requirements and pass a background check can benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports.

UBBB/Baku If you’re headed down Baku way – be aware that they are pretty much out of fuel. Check latest.

EYVI/Vilnius is closed from 14 July – 17 August due to the reconstruction of the runway. The most suitable alternate is EYKA/Kaunas, but also consider EYSA, EYPA, EVLA, EVRA.

MMPR/Puerto Vallarta has overnight closures at present, check Notams.

CYFB/Frobisher Bay has multiple closures and restrictions on going, check before using this as your NAT enroute alternate or tech stop.

FAOR/Johannesburg Another robbery occured on July 8 in a process that is becoming common here: Armed robbers followed a couple from the terminal and forced the victims to stop their vehicle in Centurion, on the corner of Rietvlei Dam Street and Delmas Road, and proceeded to steal belongings. The victims were not injured.

ENGM/Oslo From July 17-August 2, if you’re bringing your 777, 787, 330, or other Code E or larger aircraft to Oslo, plan on not getting fuel there, due to work on fuel pits and pipes – carry onwards fuel.

 

Weekly International Ops Bulletin published by FSB for OPSGROUP covering critical changes to Airports, Airspace, ATC, Weather, Safety, Threats, Procedures, Visas. Subscribe to the short free version here, or join thousands of your Pilot/Dispatcher/ATC/CAA/Flight Ops colleagues in OPSGROUP for the full weekly bulletin, airspace warnings, Ops guides, tools, maps, group discussion, Ask-us-Anything, and a ton more! Curious? See what you get. Rated 5 stars by 125 reviews.

Security Alert: Papua New Guinea Airports

AYZZ/Papua New Guinea – affecting AYPY/Port MoresbyAYMH/Mt. Hagen

The elections today and tomorrow in Papua New Guinea have created civil unrest. Counting irregularities in the highlands city of Mt Hagen sparked violent protests that have gone for several days, and led to the burning of buildings on July 27. The city’s airport has been closed, residents were warned roads were blocked and there were reports of gunfire. MPs from the Opposition National Alliance party clashed with police and members of the governing People’s National Congress (PNC) party at the Port Moresby airport.

As many operators use AYPY as a tech stop in the Pacific, please check the latest before operating.

Unannounced missile launch seen from 747 cockpit – the pics

North Korea has been the country of greatest concern when it comes to unannounced missile launches. Back in the day, they would advise ICAO of their plans, and a couple of fairly specific Notams could be issued to keep crews and airplanes away from the hot spots.

They stopped doing that for every launch a few years back – and now, there’s pretty much zero warning. On safeairspace.net, North Korea is still listed as Level 1 – Do Not Fly, primarily for this reason. Since most DPRK launches end in failure, the tracking of the missiles is anything but controlled. And therefore we worry.

This week, we’ve seen images from a Cargolux 747 enroute Hong Kong to Baku, whose crew encountered an unannounced test launch of a Chinese ballistic missile, with some amazing photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The route of flight, and location of the launch, can be seen here:

 

The full gallery can be seen at this blog.

 

26R at Bucharest is SHORT! 2 aircraft have now run off the end

A recurring theme at Bucharest, Romania: Runway 26R is shortened by about 1250m/4000 feet, and on Tuesday a Ryanair 737 became the second aircraft to run off the end in a couple of weeks: on June 22, a Turkish A321 did the same thing.

So, first, if you’re planning to land on 26R at Bucharest, be aware that it’s about 2200m/7000 feet long instead of the previous 3500m/11500 feet.

Word on the street is that there isn’t much in the Notams to remind you of this: there’s a (yawn) Trigger Notam pointing to an AIP Supplement that nobody will have on board:

A1240/17 NOTAMN
A) LROP B) 1706220000 C) 1707060000
E) TRIGGER NOTAM – AIRAC AIP SUP 03/17 WEF 22 JUN 2017
WORK IN PROGRESS AT BUCURESTI/HENRI COANDA AIRPORT.

Maybe a simple Notam that said …

A1240/17 NOTAMN
A) LROP B) 1706220000 C) 1707060000
E) Runway 26R is much shorter now! LDA 2237M

… would be better? Of course, since we haven’t evolved to using ASCII yet in the Notam system, we can’t use exclamation marks or correct case, but you get the idea.

Either way, heads up when heading to LROP.

 

Libya: it’s simple – don’t land, don’t overfly.

There has been a flurry of activity in Libya of late. The people with their hands on the AFTN printer for Libya have been putting out all kinds of information, advertising availability of aerodromes and the Tripoli FIR. All are welcome!

Don’t be too hasty.

Libya is still a desperately unstable country. A Notam published today (A0070/17) indicates that HLLM/Mitiga is open and available “H24 for International Flights and Diversions”.

We’d love you to come visit, they say. What the Notam doesn’t mention is that two weeks ago, 5 people were killed and 32 injured during fighting at the airport.

As a matter of update on the Libyan ATM situation, we can inform operators that there are regular outages in the provision of ATC services especially at the main airports due to security or technical failure issues.

The main ACC in Tripoli is also subject to severe limitations with no radar service and limited provision of CNS/ATM services in most of the HLLL FIR airspace.

Overflight through HLLL FIR is only approved by the Libyan authorities on one southbound route from RASNO-LOSUL but even this is subject to severe limitations and a degree of confusion as to who is actually authorizing flights to transit the airspace.

There are several NOTAMs issued by adjacent States prohibiting overflights on certain entry/exit points creating further complications.

Here’s a simple guide for you from FSB:

  1. Don’t overfly Libya or enter the Tripoli FIR, and don’t land in Libyan airports.
  2. Refer to 1.

 

Libya remains categorised as a Level One country (Do Not Fly) at safeairspace.net

 

Fighting at Tripoli Airport, 5 killed

July 5, 2017 – HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga : Intense fighting at the Airport yesterday, with 5 people killed and 32 injured. The fighting is ongoing between rival members of the Buni Brigade militia, which controls the airport terminal building. It is understood that there had been a falling out over the distribution of the income the militia earns from goods and passengers passing through the terminal.

Operations were switched to Mitiga from HLLT/Tripoli International in 2014, after that airport was severely damaged in the heavy clashes that broke out across the capital in mid-2014 and closed to all operations.

Also yesterday, July 4th, the first flight in three years to land at HLLT/Tripoli International arrived from Addis Ababa, which was a non-scheduled flight operated by Libyan Arab Airlines. There is no indication yet that HLLT is open again for regular traffic.

Libya remains categorised as a Level One country (Do Not Fly) at safeairspace.net

 

Africa: Hajj 2017 routes in operation

From 20JUL, the Hajj routes for 2017 will take effect.

What are Hajj routes? Every year, millions of pilgrims travel to Mecca and other sites in Saudi Arabia – and this changes the predominant traffic flow over the African continent. ATC in the FIR’s most affected put in place standard routings to help flow that traffic.

Normally, traffic is very much north-south predominant, with Europe-Africa flights being the main flow. When Hajj operations start up, a good amount of traffic starts operating east-west (ie. Africa-Saudi Arabia an vv), and this is something to be aware of when cruising along at FL330 with spotty HF comms.

So, in addition to the normal IFBP belt and braces on 126.9, keep an eye out for a much higher amount of crossing traffic during the coming months.

The FIR’s affected are: Algiers, Accra, Brazzaville, Dakar, Kano, Khartoum, N’Djamena, Niamey, Roberts, and Tripoli.

The Hajj routings are contained in this ASECNA AIP Supplement.

IATA IFBP

International Ops Bulletin
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