International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Search results: "mexico" (page 1 of 3)

Mexico City Airport – After Earthquake Status

Following the 19Sep earthquake in Mexico City, MMMX airport sustained damage, and forced closure:

MMMX/Mexico City Operational again after the earthquake, since 1600EST yesterday. Terminal damage, airtrain not operating. Runways and Apron OK. No fuel issues reported.

  • If you require information about your flight, get in touch with your airline.
  • Access to Terminal 2 is only through the roundabout, plan ahead to arrive on time.
  • The airtrain is out of service.  Bus service is available between P6 and P7 from T1 and P4 from T2.
  • AICM is currently working on fixing both terminals, and this work is not risking the security the customers.


MMTO/Toluca Remained operational, did not close, no issues reported.

Any updates to MMMX operations will be posted here.

Midweek Briefing: Mexico Volcano Eruption, Atlantic MNPS is over… Introducing HLA

Mexico Volcano Eruption 29JAN Popocatepetl Volcano, which is 55 kilometres southeast of Mexico City, had its last major eruption in 2000; it erupted on Tuesday this week affecting flight operations at MMPB/Puebla, and with the risk of further eruptions affecting operations in Mexico City itself.

Atlantic MNPS is over… introducing HLA 29JAN Effective next week, 04FEB, there are another round of changes on the North Atlantic – HLA/High Level Airspace is the replacement for MNPS, and the airspace is extended with Bodø joining Shanwick, Gander, Reykjavik, New York, and Santa Maria. Read our International Ops Notice 01/2016.



North Atlantic Effective 04FEB MNPS Airspace is replaced by HLA/High Level Airspace on the North Atlantic – extended with Bodø joining Shanwick, Gander, Reykjavik, New York, and Santa Maria. RNP4 or RNP10 now required. Read our International Ops Notice 01/2016 
or our blog post: Did you know MNPS is over?

TTxx/Trinidad and Tobago The annual Carnival in Port of Spain will take place on February 8 and 9, 2016. Travel and tourism activities are expected to continue for up to two weeks after the celebration and will be busiest during weekends. February 10, 2016 (Ash Wednesday) is expected to be the busiest day of the year at the Port of Spain airport. February 8 to 9, 2016 is also expected to be a congested time for departures.

KSFO/Super Bowl 50 The FAA will not be imposing a slot-based special traffic management program for the game on 08FEB, but ramp reservations, made through specific FBOs, will be required for all arrivals and departures from 04-08FEB. The rule will apply to all airports in the region, including San Francisco International, Oakland International, Hayward Executive, Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International, Livermore Municipal, Buchanan Field, Napa County, Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County, Monterey Regional, Watsonville Municipal and Salinas Municipal. NBAA has set up a Super Bowl 50 information page that includes links to the FAA arrival/departure routes.

Uxxx/Tajikistan The U.K.’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for Tajikistan that reads as follows: “In early September 2015, armed clashes involving security forces resulted in a number of deaths close to Dushanbe International Airport and in the Romit Valley not far from Dushanbe. While tensions have eased, security remains heightened. You should continue to take extra care, monitor the local media and check this advice regularly.”

KFZZ/Falcon Field, Arizona In January and February, Runways 4R/22L and 4L/22R at Falcon Field Airport (FFZ) in Mesa, AZ will be closed non-concurrently for the taxiway ALPHA realignment construction project. These are hard closures with no potential for runway recall. Runway 4L/22R had closed Jan. 12, at 6 a.m. (1300Z) and will remain closed until Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Runway 4R/22L is expected to close Monday, Feb. 1, at 6 a.m. (1300Z) and remain closed until Sunday, Feb. 15.

Kxxx/United States A few weeks ago we reported on new FAA FDC NOTAMs that eliminate the need to obtain a TSA Waiver for domestic flights in the US. on 17JAN The FAA has corrected an error in these (in simple terms, they forgot to include some previously issued exceptions), and so there are 3 brand new NOTAMS effective – these are 6/4255, 6/4256 and 6/4260. Got some time?Read the original NOTAMs in full.

Mxxx/Mexico The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain places in Mexico due to threats to safety and security posed by organized criminal groups in the country. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery by organized criminal groups in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued May 5, 2015

EISN/Shannon FIR Due to a number of flights deviating from clearances prior to exiting Shanwick OCA, flight crews are reminded that Eastbound route clearances issued by Shannon Control for aircraft exiting Oceanic Airspace apply from AGORI, SUNOT, BILTO, PIKIL, ETARI, RESNO, VENER, DOGAL, NEBIN, MALOT, TOBOR, LIMRI, ADARA, DINIM, RODEL, SOMAX, KOGAD, BEDRA, OMOKO, TAMEL AND LASNO. Flights shall not turn before these points.

Uxxx/Russia The Russian Institute of Volcanology has issued a code orange alert after Russia’s Zhupanovsky volcano began erupting earlier this week, sending clouds of ash and gas to 27,000 ft. A code orange advises pilots to avoid flying near the ash cloud, reportedly moving over the North Pacific Ocean driven by prevailing easterly winds.

UIII/Irkutsk has issued NOTAM A0134/16 closing RWY 12/30 weekly on Tuesdays from 1210-1450Z beginning Feb 02 and ending March 22. UIII is not available as an alternate during those times.

UHSS/Yuzhno is closed daily between 0330-0500Z due to preventative maintenance. No end date has been issued.

RPHI/Manila FIR has begun Phase 1-b of an ADS/CPDLC trail. The specific details of the plan can be found here.

Wxxx/Indonesia  As of 19JAN, Mount Egon has been erupting on Flores Island, which is located east of Bali Island. Egon emitted large amounts of ash and noxious gas. As of yet, the eruption has not caused any flight delays or cancellations; however, previous volcanic eruptions in the lesser Sunda Islands have caused extended delays in Denpasar and Mataram.

Zxxx/China Talks with the Zhuhai municipal government, Chinese government, Zhuhai Airport Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority China (CAAC) resulted in temporary International China Inspection and Quarantine (CIQ) services at Zhuhai Airport for non-scheduled business aviation movements. Following the approval late last month, China’s National Port Administration Office opened a temporary customs port on January 1. The approval is renewable on a six-month basis. During the “approval period” from January 1 to June 30, crewmembers of foreign business aviation flights can enter and exit China via the temporary business aviation port at Zhuhai Airport.
View the full International Bulletin 27JAN2016

Monday Briefing: Georgia joins IFPS, new Mexico APIS requirements

Georgia joins IFPS Jan 13: Effective 09JAN, Georgia is now part of the Eurocontrol IFPS. Flight plans within the Tbilisi FIR are now managed by Network Management in Brussels/Paris. This means flights plans should be filed in the same way as other European Countries, and ATC slots will be managed from Brussels.

New Mexico APIS requirements Jan 13 : Effective this month, Mexico has a new set of Advance Passenger Information (API) requirements, published by the Mexican Government’s National Institute of Immigration (INM) and applying to all commercial, non-scheduled commercial (charter), and private non-revenue operations. For flights over 1 hour API data must be sent within 30 minutes, for shorter flights immediately.

EDDL/Dusseldorf No arrivals Monday 13JAN 1000-1120 due to Bomb Disposal operation, delays expected until later in the afternoon.

LIxx/Italy ENAV Unions in have notified Industrial Action as follows: 30/01/2014, 1400-1415 UTC All ENAV personnel at LI ACCs and airports, 10/02/2014, 0900-1700 UTC ENAV personnel in LICJ TWR, 21/02/2014, 1200-1600 UTC All ENAV personnel at LI ACCs and airports

HSSS/Khartoum has a new area radar service from 05JAN in the northeast portion of the FIR.

NFFF/Nadi FIR, Fiji ADS-B In Trail procedure trial underway effective 09JAN, reducing separation to 15NM in Oceanic Airspace for suitable aircraft.

HSxx/South Sudan Due to the clashes in the Republic of South Sudan, HSSM/Malkal Airport, and HSWW/Wau Airport, are anounced closed, not serviceable, till further notice

EPWW/Warsaw ACC Significant restrictions in place for the next few months due to new system. Overall Enroute capacity reduction of 35%. Restrictions affect traffic departing from U… with destinations LI** LE** LO** EG**, LFP* and EHAM until 15 January.

Afghanistan PPR is Mandatory for all flights to Bagram (OAIX), Jalalabad (OAJL), Kabul (OAKB), Kandahar (OAKN) and Tereen (OATN). For operations to more than one airfield, a separate PPR request form must be submitted for each one

Bolivia The permitting process for Bolivia is becoming stricter, with delays in issuing permits more common than before. Both landing and overflight permits are required for operations to or overflying Bolivia for private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations. Permits are processed by Bolivia’s Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) during normal operating hours: Monday-Friday, 0830-1630 local. Documentation requirements are the same for private non-revenue and charter flights.

Mexico Effective January 1st, Mexico has a new set of Advance Passenger Information (API) requirements, published by the Mexican Government’s National Institute of Immigration (INM) and applying to all commercial, non-scheduled commercial (charter), and private non-revenue operations. For flights over 1 hour API data must be sent within 30 minutes, for shorter flights immediately.

India Crews operating Ferry Flights and General Aviation crews can once again secure visas or TLP’s (Temporary Landing Permits) on arrival into Indian airports. In addition, Indian missions and posts abroad have been authorized to grant business visas to crew of private non-revenue and charter flights within three days of the visa application. These visas will be endorsed on their national passport and not on the crew member certificate. These visa processing times also do not apply to crew who are nationals of a PRC country. Visas for these crew members could take as many as 30 days.

Russia New requirements for API and PNR data for Airlines operating both scheduled and non-scheduled flights in effect 01DEC. API data should be transmitted 15 mins prior departure to SITA MOWRU8X. NOTAM A2345/13 and AIC 04/13.

19JAN: Euro MMEL update, Iraq airspace officially open

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.

LFZZ/France The French ATC strike has been cancelled. It was planned to take place in the Marseille ACC (LFMM) from Jan 18-21, but was averted at the last minute as unions reached an agreement. ATC services will now be provided as per normal.

LTCG/Trabzon The airport has closed to all flights until Jan 19, as they work to remove the stranded Pegasus B737 that skidded off the runway on Jan 14 and came to a stop on a muddy cliff, with its nose almost in the sea.

OTZZ/Qatar The UAE allege that on Jan 15, Qatari fighter jets intercepted an Emirates aircraft in international waters just north of the tip of Qatar. Qatar denies the claim. Following the incident, the UAE CAA published a safety alert, warning about “unannounced and hazardous military activities within Bahrain FIR in airways UP699 and P699”, which they consider to be “a potential hazard to the safety of flight.” Qatar have filed a complaint of their own with the UN, claiming that UAE military aircraft have repeatedly violated their airspace during the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the Gulf states. All this complaining on both sides is much more likely to be political wrangling, rather than any kind of genuine airspace safety issue. [Full story]

FIMP/Mauritius and FMEE/Reunion have both escaped a direct hit by tropical cyclone ‘Berguitta’, which is passing just south of the islands as it continues to track south-westwards. FIMP reopened on Jan 18, and Reunion is set to open on Jan 19 at 0400Z.

EZZZ/Europe Last year, EASA began requiring all aircraft transiting European airspace to have an approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL) for each individual aircraft. An MEL that references the MMEL was not acceptable. EASA follows ICAO guidelines, and ICAO does not recognise MMEL as MEL. Now a joint EASA/FAA workgroup has been established, to try to sort out this mess. It looks like the FAA will soon issue a notice requiring international operators to obtain new D195 LOA’s, and EASA will halt any findings for a period of 12 months to allow for these new LOA’s to be issued.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia A missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen was intercepted over the Saudi city of Jizan, near the Yemeni border, by the Saudi air defense system on the night of Jan 16. Houthi rebels stated that an airport in the region of Jizan was the intended target of the ballistic missile. This is the third Houthi missile to be intercepted by the Saudis in 2018 – none have resulted in casualties, but operators should consider carefully operations to Saudi Arabia.

EDDM/Munich Two big events coming up: the Davos World Economic Forum from Jan 22-26, and the Munich Security Conference from Feb 14-18. The airport will be busy for both, so best get your parking requests in early. Also bear in mind that all GA flights will need to get special permission to land at EDDM during these events. For PPR contact +49 89 975 21132 or email

FACT/Cape Town After an unprecedented three years of drought, Cape Town has less than 90 days of water left in its reservoirs. The airport has published a Notam requiring all flights to tanker in water – don’t expect to be able to uplift any at the airport for the foreseeable future.

ORZZ/Iraq Expect ORER/Erbil and ORSU/Sulaymaniyah to re-open to international traffic soon. The Kurdistan Regional Government and Baghdad have reached an initial agreement to lift an international flight ban imposed on the autonomous Kurdish region by the Iraqi central government last year. No official date set yet.

VTSP/Phuket The runway will be closed overnight from 19-00z until at least Jan 21. There are also ongoing issues with BA/GA aircraft being unable to secure parking for longer than a few hours. Most are having to drop-off pax and then reposition elsewhere.

ESZZ/Sweden ESNN/Sundsvall has become the country’s second airport to have remote air traffic control, after ESNO/Ornskoldsvik made the switch back in 2015. So the local tower is now officially closed, and air traffic control service has been transferred to one of the country’s national control centres. ESSL/Linkoping airport will be the next one to be transferred to remote ATC later this year.

UUWW/Samara has put one of its two runways back into operation following reconstruction. The renovated strip is 3,000 meters long and 45 meters wide, and is capable of receiving Boeing 777 and Airbus А340 widebodies.

SBGL/Rio De Janeiro The annual Carnival will be taking place from Feb 9-13. Road closures and major travel disruption expected across the city. An estimated 6 million people, including 1.5 million foreign tourists, are expected to participate in the celebrations. The mayor of Rio has requested federal troops to provide support to local security forces to maintain order during the carnival period. So far, no special restrictions or procedures have been announced for SBGL airport, but it will be busy, so get your parking request in as early as possible.

HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga Heavy clashes broke out in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Jan 15, leaving at least nine people dead and forcing the airport to suspend all flights until further notice. Our advice: don’t land at any airport in Libya, don’t even overfly the country.

HEZZ/Egypt On Jan 13, Egyptian authorities imposed indefinite night-time curfews on areas of North Sinai province, including the cities of Rafah and Al-Arish. The Sinai region has suffered frequent terrorist attacks in the past few years. On Dec 19, militants fired artillery at HEAR/El Arish Airport in North Sinai, killing one army officer and wounding two others. There are still overflight warnings in place for the entire Sinai Peninsula below FL260.

SPZZ/Peru Airports in southern Peru are reported to be running as normal, following the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that shook the country on Jan 14, leaving at least one person dead and 65 injured in the cities of Arequipa, Ica and Ayacucho.

RPZZ/Philippines Volcanic earthquakes, rockfalls, and a number of steam-driven eruptions have shaken the summit of the Mayon volcano in the Philippines. More than 12,000 people have been ordered to leave a 7km evacuation zone around the volcano, which is located around 15km north of RPLP/Legazpi, and around 330km south of RPLL/Manila. There are warnings of destructive mudflows, and ash cloud around the volcano has been reported up to FL170.

MMTO/Toluca The runway will be closed overnight from 04-12z on the following dates in January: 20-22, and 27-29.

FQMA/Maputo The airport will be closed overnight from 21-04z for runway repair, until Feb 28.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia has issued an extension of the policy that requires all aircraft with a destination in Yemen to first land in OEBH/Bisha – through to Apr 13. The only exceptions are the UN, Red Cross, and MSF.

MMZZ/Mexico The U.S. State Department has issued its highest “do not travel” warning for five states in Mexico: the Pacific coast states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero, and Tamaulipas on the eastern Gulf. The advisory says that “Violent crime, such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery, is widespread.” This latest advisory ultimately classifies these regions at the same level of danger as Syria, Yemen, and Somalia.

URSS/Sochi The Russian Investment Forum will be taking place from Feb 13-17. During that time, charter aircraft with wingspan over 24 metres will be limited to a maximum of 2hrs on the ground. Make sure you get your slots in advance through your handler.

ORZZ/Iraq Back in December 2017, the U.S. FAA partially lifted the ban on the Baghdad FIR and started allowing U.S. operators to overfly Iraq at or above FL260. Now the three other big countries that regularly publish airspace safety information—France, Germany and the UK—have followed suit with new advice of their own. France recommends that overflights should only be on airways UM860 and UM688, and should be at or above FL320. The UK says that overflights should only be on airways UL602 to ALPET, UM860 and UM688, and should be above FL250. And Germany just say that overflights should be at FL260 or above.

TVZZ/St Vincent & Grenadines Reports of low fuel levels on the islands at the moment, so make sure you tanker in.

LIPZ/Venice The Carnival of Venice will be taking place from Jan 27-Feb 15. The general aviation terminal (GAT) is open daily 05-21z, with overtime available upon request, but bear in mind that both runways are closed for maintenance Mon-Sat 2330-0350z until Mar 24. PPR required at least 24hrs in advance – do that through your handler or call the airport PPR office direct: +39 041 260 6906. Currently there are only two large aircraft GA parking stands available at the GAT, and although parking may be possible on the commercial apron, it’s not guaranteed, so best get your request in asap.

EDDK/Cologne The airport’s two shorter runways (06/24 & 14L/32R) are both closed until the end of March, which is causing a few delays. And then on Jan 8, the airport had to suspend ops for a few hours due to emergency repair work which needed to be carried out on the only operational runway (14L/32R). It should be noted that all non-scheduled and GA flights must get PPR confirmed in advance, either through your handler or by calling the airport PPR office direct at: +49 2203 40 4310.

LSZH/Zurich The World Economic Forum is on from Jan 23-26. LSZH will be congested, so apply for slots early if you’re actually planning on stopping there. Earliest non-scheduled landing for a wide body aircraft without parking permission will be 1300z daily, Maximum 3 hour ground time for general aviation without parking permission. Also, you will not be able to use LSZH as an alternate to flights going to LSZS/Samedan. Note that LSZH operates from 05-21z daily, and overtime is not available – make sure you land before closing time or you’ll get diverted to another airport.

HCZZ/Somalia Somalia’s Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA) regained control of Somali airspace on Dec 28, after 27 years of management by the ICAO regional office in Nairobi. The airspace will now be controlled in Mogadishu as the country has installed new air traffic control facilities at HCMM/Mogadishu Aden Adde airport.

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.

07DEC: NAT changes today, Honduras airports curfew

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.
SOCA/Cayenne Due to the ongoing ATC strike, the airport will be limited between 01-11z daily, until further notice. This means you can’t file as an alternate, and if you want to arrive or depart during these times, you’ll need to call ATC for PPR in advance at +594 35 92 72, or +594 39 93 02.

VTZZ/Thailand Most of southern Thailand has been declared a disaster area after flash floods in the region killed 15 people in the past two weeks. Heavy monsoon rains since late November have affected more than 1.5 million people across nine southern provinces, with some areas reporting floodwater as high as two metres. The only airport currently affected is VTSF/Nakhon Si Thammarat, which will be closed until at least Dec 8 due to flooding. However, more rain is forecast in the region through to next week.

DISP/San Pedro Local sources have confirmed that the airport remains closed as of Dec 6, as runway repair work which was supposed to be completed by the end of Nov is still ongoing. No news yet when the airport will re-open.

FQZZ/Mozambique Make sure your travel visa is in order, and expect strengthened border control measures over the festive period, including at the country’s main airport FQMA/Maputo. Mozambique provides an easy entry point for illegal immigrants to neighbouring South Africa. Since the end of November, at least 95 foreign nationals have been denied entry to Mozambique on the grounds of alleged ambiguity over the purpose of visits, visa-related irregularities and other discrepancies.

VIDP/Delhi From Dec 15 to Feb 15, you can’t use VIDP as an alternate if visibility at the airport is less than 550 metres. This is the time of year when the city is regularly blanketed in smog, so check the latest METAR before filing.

UUZZ/Russia From 29 Mar 2018, Russia are introducing RNAV routes in their oceanic airspace above FL265. RNAV 10 out in the oceanic parts of Murmansk and Magadan FIRs (i.e. the area covering the entire northern coastline stretching from Bodo to Anchorage), but RNAV 5 over landmass.

EGMC/London Airport fire workers are set to go on strike between Dec 22 and Jan 6. If the strike goes ahead, this would effectively mean the airport would not be able to operate between these dates.

VNZZ/Nepal Election on Dec 7. Election-related violence, particularly small bombings, has intensified in recent days. Authorities have already sealed a number of land borders with India and China. Expect heightened security measures, checkpoints, patrols and spot-checks.

EGZZ/UK Storm Caroline will bring winds of up to 90mph to northern parts of Scotland on Dec 7, as well as snow and ice to large parts of the UK on Dec 8-9. Authorities have warned that the storm could bring storm surge and potential flooding to coastal areas. Airport ops are expected to be significantly affected only at airports in Northern Scotland.

HTZZ/Tanzania has published a new rule effective December 6th, requiring all travelers to have a Yellow Fever cert, regardless of departure country. Previously, only travelers arriving from affected areas were required to have this.

WAZZ/Indonesia Although Mount Agung has now stopped emitting ash, another large eruption is still likely. The local monitoring agency are registering powerful and continuous tremors, and authorities have ordered locals and journalists within 10km of the volcano to evacuate. All airports in the region have now re-opened and are operating as normal – but check the Notams for some nighttime closures for runway repair at WADD/Bali and WARR/Juanda throughout December.

EGKK/Gatwick The main runway (08R/26L) will be closed every night from 2300-0530z until Dec 20, then again from 2330-0600z Jan 2-31. During that time, the northern runway (08L/26R) will be open – the one that normally gets used as a taxiway! There’s no ILS on this runway, so approaches must be DME or RNAV.

KZZZ/USA The US Supreme Court has allowed President Trump’s revised travel ban to go into effect – banning nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and North Korea (plus certain government officials from Venezuela) from entering the US. Judges have said the ban can take full effect straight away, even though legal challenges continue in the lower courts. The U.S. will now refuse entry visas to prospective travellers from these countries, regardless of whether they have “bona fide” links inside the U.S. such as business links or close family relationships.

LEMD/Madrid Sporadic strikes planned by security staff at Madrid airport from Dec 22 to Jan 8. Expect longer queues to get through departures if the strike goes ahead.

EHAM/Amsterdam KLM cabin crew strike planned all day on Jan 8, means potentially no KLM flights will depart from the airport that day.

UUZZ/Russia is expanding its free electronic visa program to all of its Far East international airports by the end of the year. The system allows citizens of the following 18 countries to obtain a free visa online for stays of up to 8 days: Brunei, India, China, North Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Japan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey.

URRP/Platov The new airport in Rostov will officially open on Dec 7, replacing the old airport, URRV/Rostov. By 08z on Dec 7, all airlines will switch to the new airport. The old airfield will officially close to all traffic from March 1, 2018.

UHPP/Petropavlosk Mt Shiveluch in the far-east of Russia has erupted again, ash cloud currently up to FL330, moving south-east out over the Pacific Ocean at 20 knots.

GOBD/Dakar New international airport set to open at Dakar, called GOBD/Blaise Diagne International Airport. From 1430z on Dec 7 onwards, all scheduled operations will switch to there from the current airport – GOOY/Dakar. However, possible travel disruption on Dec 7 itself, as there’s a protest by local residents set to take place on the road to the new airport on the opening day.

LATI/Tirana Severe flooding across the country, including the capital, Tirana. Over 120,000 households are without power, and the army has now been sent in to evacuate people. Flights to and from the airport were temporarily suspended over the weekend.

ZKZZ/North Korea Cathay Pacific crew onboard a flight from from San Francisco to Hong Kong on Nov 29 witnessed the re-entry of North Korea’s latest missile near their position. They said they saw it “blow up and fall apart near our current location”, highlighting again the danger posed to aircraft in this region from debris fields of missile fragments.

LGTS/Thessaloniki Chaos at the airport the moment, as both of the main runways are closed, and the parallel taxiway “F” of RWY 10/28 has established as the only functioning runway – they’ve called it RWY 10L/28R. There’s currently no radio control facility, and there’s a whole bunch on obstacles which are affecting the take-off flight path area and the visibility of the runway lights (check the Notams for those). Easyjet have already cancelled flights to the airport, as it no longer meets their safety standards. If you’re planning on operating there any time soon, you’ll want to read their AIP SUP 04/17 for full details, plus all the charts you need. The runway repair work is not expected to be finished until around March next year.

WARR/Juanda Airport will be closed for runway repair from 16-22z daily until Jan 06.

WADD/Denpasar Bali’s airport will be closed for runway repair from 18-23z daily (except Saturdays) until Dec 31.

OYSN/Sanaa Worsening fighting over the past few days is now moving toward the airport. Last week, the Saudi-led coalition said they would resume issuing clearances for humanitarian aircraft to land at the airport, but so far they have not done so, and the UN have been unable to evacuate staff from the city.

FSZZ/Seychelles has lifted the travel restrictions it imposed last month against flights to/from Madagascar, following the plague outbreak there. No more 7 day quarantine for incoming passengers any more. Air Seychelles are set to resume flights to Madagascar on Jan 12.

DNZZ/Nigeria Long lines at filling stations reported across the country as people are panic buying fuel. Fuel shortages and the subsequent hike in prices seems to happen around this time every year in Nigeria. Shortage of Jet A1 fuel is a common problem here, and often leads to grounding of flights. International operators are being advised to tanker wherever possible, particularly over the coming festive period.

LIZZ/Italy Alitalia services likely to be disrupted on Dec 15, as some staff will be on strike all day. And expect some delays on the trains across the country on Dec 17, when some staff are planning an eight-hour strike from 9-17 local time.

KPHX/Phoenix Expect delays from Jan 8 – Feb 21, as RWY 8/26 will be closed for repair. The airport will be operating with lowered arrival and departure rates during this time. The most likely periods for delays will be during IMC conditions: 07-10 and 17-20 local time (14z-17z and 00-03z).

CYYZ/Toronto Since More reports of laser strikes on arriving aircraft. Since mid-November, there have been 23 laser strikes on commercial jets in the Toronto area.

KBUR/Burbank is close to the California wildfires affecting the region at present, but airport ops are normal. Transport to/from is affected, some trains/buses cancelled as not able to operate. No delays or restrictions at the airport itself. That said, there is smoke in the METAR, so it may change.

KZZZ/Worldwide The latest Unsafe Airspace Summary is available to members here, published 29NOV – edition JULIETT. Primary changes Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia.

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.

29NOV: WE QUIT. Unsafe airspace warning, Bali volcano, Shanwick changes

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.
 EGGX/Shanwick From December 7, you’ll need datalink in most of the NAT Region between FL350-390. After Jan 4, you can expect additional RLAT tracks, and in March, PBCS. Need more on that? Read our NAT Changes 2017 page. Confused? Read our NAT: Choose your own Adventure guide to figure out what happens if you don’t have HLA approval, RVSM, TCAS, RNP4, Datalink, or enough coffee on board.

ZKZZ/North Korea. On November 3rd, the FAA published Notam 23/17, which now prohibits US operators from entering any of the Pyongyang FIR. replacing SFAR79 and previous advice to ‘exercise caution’. The situation remains tense, and as highlighted by FSB in September, the western portion of the Japan FIR is a risk area due to multiple missile re-entries into the same portion of Japanese airspace. Updated UAS 29NOV.

GAZZ/Mali The conflict in Mali is onging. Germany added a new specific warning for GAKL/Kidal on 15 Nov, in addition to GATB/Timbuktu and GAGO/Gao. Updated UAS 29NOV.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia is now at Level 2 – assessed risk. Due to military activity related to the involvement in Yemen, it is suggested to avoid the southwestern region of the Jeddah FIR. On Nov 4 a missile launched from Yemen reached Riyadh Airport. Saudi sources say missile was intercepted, this is not yet confirmed. Threats have been made by Yemen of further strikes. Updated UAS 29NOV.

OAZZ/Afghanistan The situation in Afghanistan remains similar. On November 15, Germany removed wording to maintain FL330 or higher, no altitude advice now exists, but they recommend against landings at Afghan airports. Updated UAS 29NOV.

SOZZ/French Guyana There seems to be no end in sight for the French Guiana ATC strikes. Here’s the current situation: SOOO FIR: the entire airspace will be uncontrolled from 00-11z until further notice (extended beyond 01Dec). That means there will be no ATC staff on duty during these times. Basically, during the closure, there’s a contingency plan in place: so if you want to cross this bit of airspace, there are now very specific routes and levels you have to fly at. Check these carefully prior to ops, and make sure you’re at the right flight level before crossing the FIR boundary. Once you’re inside the FIR, don’t change your speed or level. Read the article.

ORZZ/Iraq has reopened to international carriers for overflights, or, better put, international carriers are starting to overfly again. Emirates was the first international airline to resume overflights of Iraq, with the first flights through the Baghdad FIR on Monday Nov 27, followed closely behind by Turkish Airlines. According to FSB sources, the GCAA authorized UAE based airlines to use this airspace, after several years of restrictions. Emirates anticipates that about 150 flights a day will now route via Iraq, rather than having to take longer routes via Saudi Arabia or Iran. This is the first in several steps we expect will lead to almost full resumption of overflights over Iraq, meaning operators will have shorter routes through the Middle East available once again. The next step will be for the FAA to authorise US carriers to overfly Iraq – most likely at FL260 or above. That approval was initially slated for the end of October, but was held back after events on the ground posed a security concern for UM860 and UM688 – the two main routes through the Baghdad FIR to Europe and vv.

EHAM/Amsterdam New time slot system currently being trialled, where passengers travelling within the Schengen area can reserve a spot at a certain time to pass through security. The system is designed to reduce the huge queues at peak travel times.

DXZZ/Togo Further anti-government protests planned on Nov 29-30 and Dec 2 in the capital Lome and other urban centres. Authorities have said they may temporarily suspend SMS and internet services during the protests.

MMZZ/Mexico From Dec 7 onwards, HF radio in Mexico’s oceanic FIR MMFO/Mazatlan will be provided by San Francisco Radio, for all flights above FL195. So for all position reports or route/level change requests, contact them on any of the following: 3413, 5574, 8843, 8915 or 13354 KHZ.

VGZZ/Bangladesh Nationwide strike planned for Nov 30, protesting against recent electricity price hikes. In the capital, Dhaka, expect increased security, transportation disruptions, and possible protests.

LLBG/Tel Aviv Airport workers are planning to stage a 24hr strike from Fri to Sat evening, Dec 1-2. If the strike goes ahead, this would pretty much completely shut down the airport – only a skeleton staff would remain at the airport to deal with emergencies.

SBZZ/Brazil is launching a new e-visa program. From Jan 15, travelers from the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan can apply for visas online. The issuing process should take around 72hrs.

ZZZZ/Worldwide FSB made a permit map. It’s new. It will give you a quick summary of overflight and landing requirements for each country. If you want the full bible, then you can buy the new FSB Permit Book that goes with it. Try the map.

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.

New rules for flying from the U.S. to Cuba

Update 9 Nov 2017: Effective today, the US has new rules for travel to Cuba as an individual. These restrictions will limit the ability of US citizens to undertake most personal travel to Cuba unless part of a licensed group. The new measures will also bar US citizens and companies from engaging in business activities with over 180 Cuban enterprises the US government has concluded are linked to the Cuban government in some way (check the full list here).  The new policy will not affect travellers with existing bookings, such as a flight or hotel reservations. Upon their return, all US citizens will be required to maintain proof of all activities in Cuba, and must ascertain that no U.S. laws were violated during their trip. OFAC and CBP will enforce the new regulations, much talk of hefty fines.


If you’re traveling to Cuba from anywhere other than U.S. territory, it should be a doddle. Get a landing permit, arrange your ground handling, file your flight plan, and off you go.

If you’re trying to get to Cuba from the U.S. though, it’s a different story…

A tale of two Presidents…
In December 2014, President Obama announced plans to improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba, and in the July of the following year a lot of restrictions were lifted for N-registered aircraft operators wanting to do private and charter flights to Cuba.

However, the U.S. authorities (the Treasury Department, in this case) didn’t want to break with tradition and make the process completely straight-forward and misery-free, so their Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) introduced a rule which means that only 12 categories of travel are permitted between the US and Cuba. This was then further complicated by legislation introduced by President Trump in June 2017! Here are the permitted categories of travel:

(1) family visits
(2) official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organisations
(3) journalistic activity
(4) professional research and professional meetings
(5) educational activities or so-called “people-to-people” travel – it’s not possible to claim this category if you make your own travel arrangements; this is only possible for officially sanctioned group travel.
(6) religious activities
(7) public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
(8) support for the Cuban people
(9) humanitarian projects
(10) activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
(11) exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials
(12) certain export transactions that may be considered for authorisation under existing regulations and guidelines.

As you might have spotted, you cannot simply travel from the U.S. to Cuba for the purpose of general tourism! You have to match one of these 12 categories.


Applying for a licence to travel
Here’s the thing: you don’t actually have to do this.

Once you decide which category applies to you, you do not need to apply for any kind of licence to travel from OFAC – you will simply qualify under their rules for the so-called ‘General Licence’.

However, each one of these 12 categories for permitted travel is highly controlled and has specific requirements that must be met for the exemption to apply. If you want help in trying to work out which one of these categories might apply to you, read the FAQ section of the official guidance – it’s actually pretty good:

Once you’ve done that, you might want to read the extra little FAQ they put together, following the changes made by President Trump in June 2017 (basically this just says that no more individual travel for educational or “people-to-people” will be allowed – only group travel will be allowed in this category):


I don’t match any of those 12 categories – what do I do?
If you do not match any of the categories, things get tricky. In this case you would need to apply to OFAC for a ‘Specific Licence’ – although this process can take up to 3 months. You can do this online at the US Treasury Dept page:


Should I book a trip myself, or book through a tour agent?
If you really are going to Cuba to visit relatives, or for some kind of religious pilgrimage, you could probably get away with making your own travel arrangements.

If not though, the easiest way to make sure you qualify will probably be to just engage the services of a U.S. based company to help make your travel arrangements – they’ll book you on to some kind of tour and get you to a sign a “travel affidavit” to confirm that you really are going to Cuba for the reason you say you are!

If you decide to make your own arrangements, you’ll still need to make sure you carry one of these documents. You don’t need to submit it anywhere in advance, but you do need to keep it handy just in case anyone from CBP asks to see it. To get a sample of this form, click here.

Bear in mind that if you book through a tour company, you will be traveling under a specific, government-approved itinerary. That means that when you get to Cuba, officially, you can’t just go wandering off by yourself. Your tour company won’t be able to book you into Cuban hotels, rent cars or take buses at all, since the Cuban government owns them. You’ll most likely be booked into a bed-and-breakfast, or a homestay, and you will only be able to take part in pre-approved, pre-arranged activities.


All this talk of OFAC and categories and travel affidavits is hurting my brain. Isn’t there an easier way?
Technically, yes there is, but we wouldn’t recommend it.

If you want to avoid all this bureaucratic misery, you could always fly to Cuba by way of Mexico or Canada. There are no restrictions from those countries regarding travel to Cuba, so U.S. citizens can fly straight in. Remember, Cuba doesn’t restrict U.S. citizens from entering – just get a visa in advance, and that’s all you need.

The only thing to bear in mind with this clever rouse, however, is when you return back to the U.S. – if you get caught out trying to hide your trip to Cuba from U.S. Customs officers, you could face serious punishment.


Cuba landing permit
You’ll need one, regardless of where you’re flying from, or what country your aircraft is registered in. The official notice required by the Cuban authorities to process a permit request is 3 working days. No docs are required to obtain an overflight permit, but for a landing permit, the following is required: CoR, CoA, CoI, crew and pax information, reason for flight and receiving party in Cuba for landing approval. Which brings us neatly on to…


Receiving party
Cuba will only give you a landing permit if you provide the name and contact details of a local receiving party or ‘business sponsor’. If you’re trying to do it yourself and do not yet have a local receiving party arranged in Cuba, you should contact your ground handler to check if they can act in this role for you.


Landing fees
There’s actually a very simple way to work these out:


The Cuban CAA require all operators to obtain handling confirmation from a company based in Cuba. If you don’t have a copy of an ‘Airworthiness Review Certificate’ for your aircraft (N-registered aircraft, for instance), you have to show a copy of aircraft maintenance log book entries showing the recent work performed on the aircraft and confirming that the aircraft was returned to service in an airworthy condition. Also, any jet over 10,000 LBS MTOW must provide a noise certificate via their handling company.


If you’re flying to Cuba from the U.S. you’re going to need to get proper business visas (remember, you’re not a tourist!). Although it is possible to obtain these on arrival in Cuba, reports suggest that it takes ages to process, so it’s probably best to get these in advance.


Make sure that your aircraft insurance does not specifically exclude travel to Cuba – many do!


Foreign passengers
If you’re flying between the U.S. and Cuba with foreign nationals onboard – they are subject to the exact same rules as U.S. nationals in terms of meeting OFAC licensing requirements. The only exception is for Cuban citizens present in the United States in a non-immigrant status – they can travel to Cuba without having to tick any of those 12 OFAC boxes.


Time on the ground in Cuba
U.S.-registered aircraft are allowed remain in Cuba for up to seven consecutive nights. If you want to go for longer then you will need to get an export licence – that gets complicated.


US Airports of Entry for your return flight
Recent policy changes mean that aircraft can now depart to Cuba from any customs designated airport in the U.S. (this applies to both U.S. and foreign-registered aircraft). However, when you return to the US, as you will be entering the from the south, you will need to land at the first designated airport of entry that is nearest to the point of crossing the U.S. border or coastline; if you want to land elsewhere you will need to get a Border Overflight Exemption.

Here is the list of southern airports of entry, from US Code of Federal Regulations 19 122.24

More information: There are a ton of reports on Cuba in Airport Spy, which is where all of us in OpsGroup tell each other about the airports we’ve been to – good ATC, bad handlers, rip-off fees… think of it as the TripAdvisor of airports. Also, if you want to know exactly how to get your Cuba landing permit, check out our Permit Book – this tells you how to get a permit for each and every country in the world!

09NOV: UAE and Saudi threat, CYYR closed, Italy strike, Polar alternates

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.

ENSB/Svalbard Discussions complete with the Norwegian CAA! You can continue to use ENSB as an ETOPS or emergency alternate. When the airport changed to domestic status in October, it meant that operators could no longer file ENSB as a destination alternate. But, CAA says that it will remain available H24 for emergency diverts, and RFF8 is the normal fire category. If you want to confirm any details, chat with ATC there at +47 67 03 54 25. Full article.

VIDP/Delhi A double whammy of delays at Delhi Airport at the moment. One of the airport’s three runways is already completely closed for repair until 0130Z on Nov 10, but now extreme smog is causing extra delays as flights are having to be staggered. Avoid VIDP for the next few days if possible. FSB Blog.

LIZZ/Italy The National ATC Strike planned for Friday from 12-16Z, has been cancelled. Ops normal, apart from some potential local stoppages at LIRF and LIPO. No further dates for strikes set. FSB Blog.

SBGR/Sao Paulo New long term parking procedures are in effect at SBGR – if you want to stay for longer than 3 hours, you’ll have to go park over in the Open Air Hangar (OAH) area, rather than just on the apron as before. The F1 Grand Prix is coming up there again on Nov 11-12; last year they were turning away lots of aircraft because they had no space to park them – this year, that won’t be a problem. The bad news is it’s probably going to cost a fortune to park on the OAH – expect around $2000 USD per 24 hours (without any serious price reductions if you stay for less time), and a mandatory towing charge of $300 USD each way. FSB Blog.

OYZZ/Yemen The Saudi Arabia coalition has closed all air, sea and land borders with Yemen after the missile strike on Riyadh on Nov 4, effectively closing all airports in Yemen. Yemenia airlines said Monday that the coalition, which controls Yemen’s airspace, had declined it permission to fly out of Aden and Seiyun, the only two remaining functioning airports. OYSN/Sanaa has been closed since August 2016. All UN humanitarian flights to Yemen, one of the few international operators, have been cancelled after flights were no longer given clearance from the Saudi-led coalition to land in the country. Full article.

ORZZ/Iraq Local ATC controllers tell us that the strike is over – they are running what they call ‘ops normal’ for two weeks, before they will/may strike again as negotiations continue. Inside word is that a number of local controllers have been fired, and Serco were providing most of the staff to cover the centre. Baghdad FIR Control Centre and Iraqi Airports are running normally – for now.

DNZZ/Nigeria A shortage of Jet A1 is affecting operations in Nigeria, especially affecting DNMM/Lagos and DNAA/Abuja. This has happened in previous years also, with local comment that it may be artificially created. Check before operating or using DN as RALT.

SOZZ/French Guiana The ATC strike has been extended to Nov 15. Airspace will be uncontrolled during the daytime hours 1100-2030z, but ATC will be working at night – unless you see any last-minute Notams saying otherwise. During this time, if you want to cross this bit of airspace, there are now very specific routes and levels you have to fly at in their contingency plan. Once you’re inside the FIR, don’t change your speed or level. ATC staff at SOCA/Cayenne airport are not part of this strike, but check airport Notams for various runway closures throughout November.

RPZZ/Philippines ASEAN Summit coming up this Friday, more restrictions announced. RPLB/Subic Bay will be completely closed to civilian ops until Nov 15. Expect it to be especially busy at RPLL/Manila. Nov 12-15 only allowing departures from 13, and arrivals on 31, and GA banned unless connected to the event. FSB Blog.

OMDW/Dubai The Dubai Airshow will be taking place between Nov 12-16 at Dubai’s second airport, Al Maktoum International. However, with all the rehearsals they’ll be doing, the airport will be closed to non-airshow traffic at various times each day starting from Nov 8th. So if you’re headed there, check the Notams carefully. FSB Blog.

SUZZ/Uruguay The ATC strike has been extended, with three more days of 2 hour stoppage action added – Nov 12, 14 and 16. Only departures affected.

MMOX/Oaxaca Significant disruption from ongoing roadblocks by transport workers. Blockades have reportedly been erected on some roads heading towards Xoxocotlan International Airport (OAX).

FAOR/Johannesburg Another ‘Follow-home’ robbery on Nov 2. Three foreign travellers were robbed after being followed from OR Tambo airport, and used Police ID to stop the vehicle. Persistent crime threat, crews should be aware.

LEZZ/Spain Roadblocks reported around Barcelona, blocking Via Laietana, Travessera de Dalt and Gran Via avenue. and on the C-17 motorway. Protesters are reacting to the arrest of Catalan leaders by the Spanish authorities, following the region’s unilateral declaration of independence on 27 October. Major demonstrations are planned for Nov 11-12. FSB Blog.

EHRD/Rotterdam Closed for runway repair from 23-05z each night until Nov 12, and then the airport will be completely closed for three full days from Nov 13-16. FSB Blog.

URRR/Rostov A new airport has been built, called Platov International Airport, and it’s set to open on Dec 1. ICAO code will be URRP, and the longest runway is 3200m. This will replace the old URRR/Rostov Airport, which is expected to close by March 2018.

KZZZ/USA The FAA has published a ton of information on Thanksgiving and Snowbird routes for the upcoming holiday season. Everything you might need is here.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia Several press reports quoting a Yemeni rebel threat to further target Saudi and UAE airports, after their missile reached OERK on Saturday, specifically, ‘We urge all airline companies and travelers to avoid airports in both Saudi and UAE as we consider them a legitimate military targets within the range of our ballistic missiles’. Full article.

NCRG/Rarotonga has limited fuel at the moment; won’t be available to non-scheduled flights until Nov 13.

GOOY/Dakar International Peace forum Nov 13-14, many heads of state attending, airport will be busier than normal, confirm fuel and handling.

EIZZ/Ireland You can now plan your flights DCT across Irish airspace at any flight level. Free Route Airspace (FRA) has now been extended into the lower airspace below FL245 across all of Irish airspace – this includes Shanwick OCA, the Shannon Oceanic Transition Area (SOTA) and Northern Oceanic Transition Area (NOTA).

MKZZ/Kingston FIR Updated flow requirements related to new ATC system, enroute delays possible. 40nm between aircraft entering FIR 15Z-midnight, and 80nm midnight -15Z.

NVVV/Port Vila The reconstruction of Vanuatu’s main airport has finally begun, after a few major airlines cancelled flights there back in 2016 due to the shoddy state of the runway. For now, the runway remains operational, but they’re just asking aircraft over 35 tonnes to go easy on the brakes.

LGMK/Mykonos Between Nov 12-19, the only way to get to Mykonos will be by helicopter. During this time the airport will be closed to all other flights, as they’re doing runway repair work.

FMZZ/Madagascar There has been a decline in the reported number of cases in the ongoing plague outbreak, but the disease still remains present in cities of Antananarivo and Toamasina, as well as in rural areas. There have been around 2000 cases of plague since August, including 140 fatalities. Don’t go there unless you absolutely have to.

HSZZ/South Sudan The security situation in Juba remains tense following the President’s decision on Oct 30 to deploy a military and national security personnel presence to surround the residence of the former Chief of the Army staff; he has been under house arrest since May; the UK FCO continues to advise against all travel to South Sudan.

LTZZ/Turkey On Nov 6, the U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey resumed visa services on a “limited basis.”, a rollback of the U.S. decision on Oct 8 to suspend all non-immigrant visa services after the arrest of an employee of a U.S. Consulate; Turkey reciprocated the move the same day. It is unclear whether the U.S. will completely lift the suspension or whether Turkey will also rollback its suspension.

AYMN/Mendi Security risk, unrest over results of general elections. Airport operational (closed Oct 4-18 due local protest and violence), but airlines not yet operating there. Local sources indicate several months before normal ops will resume.

OBZZ/Bahrain US Embassy in Bahrain issued has issued a Security Message concerning travel in Bahrain. Authorities have located several unexploded IEDs recently, and there are several upcoming events which may lead to demonstration and protests.

KZZZ/USA Enhanced security measures on US-bound flights came into effect last week. These include: enhanced surveillance of aircraft on the ground and of the departure gate area; more sniffer dogs; Explosive Trace Detectors will be used for airport security checks; and there will also be a personal interview for each traveller (of the kind that already takes place for travellers on US carriers). Airlines are instructing passengers to arrive to the airport early, and to make sure all their electronic devices are charged and removed from their cases before security.

SKZZ/Colombia On Oct 31, the government authorised airstrikes against armed groups. The directive allows for military action against such groups, including dissident members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as well as armed paramilitary groups, BACRIMs. The authorities have said that military operations will begin in the coming days; a specific date has not been announced.

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27OCT: New US datalink rule, Japan storm, Met strike, ATC delays

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.

LFZZ/France The French CGT Union has called for a strike on November 23 targeting the oil sector, which will likely have an affect on fuel supplies at French airports.

MXZZ/Central America Tropical Storm Selma is heading for Central America, landfall El Salvador coast on Saturday, current winds 35G45 kts.

FMZZ/Madagascar The plague epidemic that began in August 2017 has now killed 124 people. Outbreaks of plague occur regularly in Madagascar; however, this year’s outbreak began earlier than usual and is affecting urban, rather than rural, areas. Additionally, authorities have reported that the number of cases is three times higher than the yearly average. Other countries in the region have restrictions on flights from Madagascar, check Notams.

FAOR/Johannesburg A protest by taxi drivers blocked the entrance to the airport this morning, resulting in huge delays. There was a similar protest at FALA/Lanseria earlier in the week, and more may be expected.

HRYR/Kigali is going to be closed daily from 0800-1300Z to upgrade the runway to CATII, until January 24th, they say.

GLRB/Monrovia will be closed to flight operations every Monday and Thursday until further notice, due to WIP.

LOZZ/Austria appears to have a new regulation from today requiring arriving commercial flights (airlines and charter operators) to send APIS to the Austrian Border Police, before departure from port of origin. Anyone doing this already? Any feedback?

SEGU/Guayaquil Runway will be closed Nov 25 and Dec 2 from 1300-2000Z, for maintenance

MMTO/Toluca The Fly Across FBO at Toluca is now – or shortly will be – a Signature facility. MMTO is the most popular GA alternative to MMMX for Mexico City.

EDZZ/Germany Karlsruhe ACC has a new ATC system, with some enroute delays this week and likely next as well. Eurocontrol NM has the latest.

LPZZ/Portugal There is an ongoing strike this week by Met Service officials in Portugal, affecting publication of Metar/TAF information for LP* locations.

GAZZ/Mali On Oct 21, the Malian government extended the state of emergency that has been in existence since November 2015 by a year, until 31 October 2018.

KMSP/Minneapolis St Paul First snowfall of the Winter 2017/18 season today, as the weather grows colder. Ground stop likely later on.

EGLL/London Heathrow has new trial RNAV approaches to both runways. If you want to use them, say “Request RNAV Yankee” on first contact with Heathrow Director 119.725. Refer to temporary charts 12-01 thru 12-04.

EGAC/Belfast City A proposed two hour strike by Swissport baggage handlers was called off on Thursday. Negotiations continue, potential for further as dispute not resolved.

SEZZ/Ecuador Mt Reventador active, volcanic ash cloud seen up to FL380, monitor here.

EGGX/Shanwick will be running voice only on Monday evening for an hour or so from 2130Z – no CPDLC, ACARS, or ADS-B

FOOG/Port Gentil is out of fuel until the end of month, at least. Definitely check before operating, or tanker in.

KZZZ/USA In case you missed the several hundred Notams, KUSA is the new identifier for all logons in the US, including CPDLC-DCL, and enroute. There are some comments that it doesn’t work properly if you don’t have an active FPL in the box, let us know your experiences on that.

RJZZ/Japan Tropical Storm Saola is south of Japan, gusts to 80kts, will affect southerly Japan airports ROAH, RJFF, RJFK on Sunday and on current track Tokyo likely affected by Monday.

SVZZ/Venezuela Updated US State Dept travel advice Oct 23, down a level from previous – still unstable, but the edict requiring embassy family members to leave has been rescinded.

CYYZ/Toronto The nearly three-month strike of Swissport ground crew has ended. 700 workers returned to work on Oct 18, after agreeing a 3 year pay deal.

KTRI/Tri-Cities airport in Tennessee is operational again after a helicopter crash on Thursday

VOTV/Trivandrum will close for 5 hours on Saturday for a religious ceremony. Ops suspended from 16-21 LT.

ENTO/Torp, Norway has ongoing work meaning the airport is closed Sunday-Friday 0000-0600LT. Common alternate for Oslo, so take care.

VMMC/Macau From ATC: Approaches with the suffix Z are the preferred approaches; if you want something different, tell them when you join the Star.

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05OCT: PR Ops, French Strike, Shanwick Closure

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.

 LFZZ/France Looks like another French ATC strike is on the cards for next week. Several ATC unions have called for a work stoppage, affecting French airports and airspace from Monday evening (Oct 9) through Wednesday (Oct 11). There are no specifics just yet as to impact on FIR’s or specific airports, but this follows a previous pattern with French strikes that tends to have a high impact – meaning Ops to or over France are best avoided next Monday evening and Tuesday. DGAC/DNSA will hold a teleconference in French at 1130Z  this Friday (on +33 (0) 1 49 94 80 41, no PIN required), followed by a Eurocontrol teleconference in English at 1300Z. We will post any further information here as soon as received. Read the full article.

MHZZ/Central America Tropical Storm Nate is currently just off the northern coast of Nicaragua, moving NW at 8 kts with sustained winds of 35 Kts. Forecast to move towards Louisiana over the weekend as a Cat 1 Hurricane. Heavy rain expected across Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Honduras, Belize and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsular. No airport closures anywhere yet, but keep an eye on the forecast for MMUN/Cancun, as that’s directly in the path of the storm.

TJZZ/Puerto Rico We got a ton of useful reports in the last few days from OPSGROUP members that have been to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. OPSGROUP members can login to Aireport for the full reports and latest additions as we get them – just view the latest reports and scroll through to see all.

GLZZ/Liberia On Oct 10th presidential and general elections will take place in Liberia causing political rallies and large gatherings to become more frequent during this time, particularly Oct 6th-8th.  Expect road blockages and disruption to traffic in the area of Monrovia, and disruptions and delays along the airport road on Oct 7th.

TJSJ/San Juan As of Tuesday night, slots are now only required if you’re using the contingency ramp at San Juan – for that, call MFOC at 001-850-283-5994 and for all other flights file FPL normally.

UACC/Astana is experiencing a fuel shortage. The airport authority has restricted refueling until further notice, operators should tanker though. If tankering isn’t possible, you should advise estimated uplift requirements as early as possible, so coordination can begin ASAP.

LSZZ/Switzerland In 2018, Switzerland will be launching their own emissions trading scheme, to integrate with the rest of the European ETS. All domestic flights, flights from Switzerland into Europe, will require this ETS. Read the full article.

VTZZ/Thailand A travel advisory has been issued to visitors and tourists, regarding the cremation ceremony of late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Oct 25-29th. The ceremony is expected to draw 250,000 people to Bangkok and 70,000+ security personnel. They are expecting large crowds to disrupt traffic in Bangkok, and warned that some routes may be closed to traffic. The ceremony may affect services on 26 October, which officials have declared a national holiday.

VISR/Srinagar, India On Oct 3rd, three Islamist militants launched an attack on a Border Security Force (BSF) compound near Srinagar International Airport (VISR/SXR), located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Soldiers killed all three militants in a 10-hour gun battle. One soldier was killed. There were no casualties or damage at the airport, but the facility was closed for more than five hours.

EDDK/Cologne Airport is PPR for non-scheduled and GA Traffic until Dec 27th. You can get your PPR 72 hours prior, +49 2203 40 4310 or

EETN/Tallinn Parking PPR is required from Oct 2-12 if you’re going to be on the ground for more than 3 hours.  Exempt for scheduled and home based aircraft.

KLAX/Los Angeles From Oct 2-3, one of the 4 runways at KLAX will be completely closed for repair – RWY 24R/6L on the north side of the airport. During this time, the parallel RWY 24L/6R will be used for both arrivals and departures. Expect longer taxi times and departure delays throughout October, particularly at peak times.

LTZZ/Turkey GPS signal outages continue, expect interruptions to service within the Ankara FIR.

UTTT/Tashkent Sounds like there might be a fuel shortage again – until the end of the year, the airport is only available as an alternate for aircraft ‘with enough fuel on board for onward flight to their intended destination’. Although the airport is still fully serviceable as an en-route alternate, aircraft that use Tashkent as a destination alternate and end up having to divert here will face ‘extremely’ long delays for refueling.

ANYN/Nauru No HF radio coverage at Nauru until the end of the year. If you’re operating there, maintain HF contact with Brisbane  until you can make VHF contact with Nauru on 118.1MHZ or 126.MHZ. For overflights in the region outside of VHF range, you can contact them on satphone: either +61 147 148478 or +61 147 163879.

URSS/Sochi On Oct 10-21 Sochi will be hosting this year’s World Festival of Youth and Students. 2hr maximum ground time for flights not connected with the event. Expect long delays for fuelling – tanker in if possible.

LYBE/Belgrade Oct 8-11: No ad-hoc commercial or GA flights allowed, and you cannot use as an alternate, due to a mysterious “government event” Notam (it’s actually just an official state visit by the Turkish President).

MKZZ/Jamaica The airspace has now pretty much returned to normal, but ATC are moving over to a new system after deciding not to repair their radar which was damaged in a lightning strike last month. For now: 40 miles between aircraft on the same route regardless of flight level, and 40 miles between arrivals to MKJP.

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