From tomorrow, 21JUL, the Hajj routes for 2016 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 ASECNA AIC 60/2016.