International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Author: Declan Selleck (page 2 of 23)

FSB and OPSGROUP win bid to control 1.8 million km area of Pacific Airspace

Clipperton Oceanic starts operations today, and is the worlds newest piece of airspace.

This one is different though – the users are in charge.

Flight Service Bureau, together with OpsGroup, takes official control today of the Clipperton Flight Information Region (FIR) in the South Pacific, a 1.8 million square kilometre chunk of airspace west of the Galapagos Islands and north of Tahiti. The FIR has been unused since 1958, when the Clipperton Oceanic centre and radio service closed.

Announcing the news in an official Press ReleaseFrancois Renard, PM of the Clipperton Government said: “We are a little island but we are proud of our history in Pacific aviation. The years from 1937-1958, when Clipperton Oceanic was a name known to all passing aircraft, are looked back on fondly here. Now, we look forward – to a resumption of traffic on these once busy routes, and we are confident that FSB and OpsGroup are the key to making this happen”.

For the first time, regulations are set by the users. There is no requirement for PBCS, RNP, ADS-B, ADS-C, GNS, GNSS, HLA, MNPS, RLAT, RLON, SLOP, or any of the other exponentially increasing acronyms that operators struggle to keep up with. No LOA’s, no slots, no delays. And no ramp checks. There are no Notams. Although it is large, it’s a simple piece of airspace, and that allows for a simple approach.

Juergen Meyer, a Lufthansa A350 Captain, and a long standing OpsGroup member said: “We’ve seen enough. Ercan (the Cyprus based Turkish ATC centre) doesn’t officially exist, yet you have to call them every time. French Guyana seems to have abandoned their ATC centre. Several African countries have outsourced their entire Permit Department, meaning you have to pay extortionate amounts just to secure a routine overflight. Greece and Turkey continue to hijack the Notam system for a diplomatic war. CASA Australia, like many others, continues to publish absolutely unreadable Notams, endangering safety. Nobody dares to enter the Simferopol FIR. The French ATC service is on strike more often than they are not. Libya lies about the security risks at their airports. Egypt and Kenya refuse to publish safety information because it would harm their tourism.”

Jack Peterson, an Auckland based operator of 2 G550’s, said: “If all these agencies can exist with a poor service, then why not try something different? Clipperton puts the users in charge, and we get to decide whether any of these rules or procedures actually serve us. Now that we have our own airspace, we can make it safe and user-friendly rather than user-hostile. And the South Pacific is the perfect place to start.”

FSB have also banned Ramp Checks within the region, a practice where pilots are taken hostage by the local Civil Aviation Authority during routine flights, and held accountable for the mistakes of their company, not being released from the ordeal until they submit with a signature.

The Clipperton FIR has a chequered history. The island is named after a Pirate (John Clipperton). First activated in 1937, Clipperton Oceanic Radio provided a Flight Information and Weather service to trans-Pacific flights for 21 years, until it lost funding from a French-British-American government coalition in 1958.

In 1967, the Soviet Union attempted to takeover the airspace, offering to build several Surveillance Radars on the island. That was seen by the United Nations as a cover story, with their interest being more likely centred on having additional monitoring territory proximate to the US.

Since then, the Flight Information Region has remained dormant, appearing in most Flight Planning systems as “XX04”. Until the agreement with FSB, no service of any kind was provided.

The Clipperton FIR, still marked on the Skyvector chart as “XX04” (Click to expand)

The move has been seen by some observers as similar to the delegation of control of Kosovo airspace to Hungary in 2013, under a 5-year agreement that will likely be extended. Reinhard Kettu, newly appointed Oceanic Director, FSB, commented: “It’s not really the same thing. The Kosovo thing was just a delegation of Air Traffic Control, and at that, just for civil aircraft. Here, in Clipperton, FSB is taking full control of the aviation system. That will allow us to introduce an across-the-board user-first system.

On the Notam issue, FSB founder Mark Zee commented: “We’ve made things really simple here. Critical Notams, for the most part, tell us of a binary Yes/No for availability. Runway closed, ILS unavailable, Frequency u/s. It’s basically an On/Off switch, and the existing system handles that pretty well. When it comes to everything else, they fail, badly. So much rubbish about unlit towers, cranes, birds, and the rest. That makes up the noise. So, we’ve banned them in this new airspace, while we work on a better system. We will notify operators through the DCA of any withdrawn essential service or facility, for example if our HF is broken. Nothing else.”

Operationally, there are two new airways, UN351 and UN477, with 8 associated waypoints. HF is provided on the South Pacific MWARA Network, on the same frequencies as Auckland, Brisbane, Nadi, and Tahiti – 5643 and 8867 will be the primary ones.

Flight plans should be addressed to NPCXZQZX and NPCXZOZX. Although only HF is required to enter the airspace, CPDLC is provided and the AFN logon is NPCX. To begin, only a Flight Information Service is provided; no alerting, SAR, or Air Traffic Control service is part of the agreement. The rest is detailed in Clipperton AIC 03/18.

FSB and the Clipperton Government have also partnered with Thales and the KPA Military Construction Unit in a US$27 million agreement to build an entirely new Oceanic Control Centre on the Island, to be completed by 2021. “Until then, we will rely on HF and position reporting, but from 2021 we will be able to use space-based ADS-B”, said Mr. Kettu.

Clipperton Oceanic welcomes all. If you’re passing, say hello on HF. And if you’re planning to enter the airspace, make sure to read AIC03/18.

Media contacts:

Further Reading:

New Unsafe Airspace Summary and Map

March 20, 2018: One of our biggest missions in OPSGROUP is to share risk information and keep operators aware of the current threat picture. The latest Unsafe Airspace Summary is now published, and available to members here as a PDF download (Unsafe Airspace Summary 20MAR2018, edition LIMA).

The main changes since the last summary are below. For a current risk map, refer to the Airspace Risk map in your member Dashboard.

The situation in Afghanistan remains similar. On March 13, Germany added wording to maintain FL330 or higher,  still recommending against landings at Afghan airports.

Germany also issued updated NOTAMs for Mali, Iraq, and South Sudan. All warnings remain as previous, unchanged from the prior NOTAMs.

PBCS PITA – here’s the latest Rumours and Facts

Well, we’ve been up all night on this one. PBCS is a bit of a minefield right now. But, very cool to get so much OPSGROUP input on this – about 100 replies. We have straightened out the Rumours vs Facts below, and this is our best shot at the present picture of PBCS.

Don’t take any of it as total fact, but we have redacted the best picture from the various experts in the group (and there are some great people – we should say a big THANK YOU!).

Got corrections? Comments below …

Oh for the days of HF and a dodgy INS accurate to about 6 miles. Anyhow ….

Results after OPSGROUP input – updated March 16th, 2018

RumourFact
PBCS is being delayed for a year.ICAO set the roll-out of PBCS as March 29th. It’s up to each individual country to implement. Each country is setting the requirements for their operators differently. The FAA requires a new A056. EASA operators mostly don’t need any new paperwork. There is no delay for the introduction of PBCS (but read on for the FAA extension).
FAA - A056 update requirement is being delayedTrue. What is being extended is the A056 LOA authorization renewal deadline, to June 30, 2018 for private (Part 91) operators only. Notice N 8900.445 has now been updated, and is available here: http://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/notices/n8900_455.pdf
If you don’t have PBCS, you can’t fly the NAT TracksTrue and false. Here’s the deal: After March 29th, you need PBCS to operate between FL350-390 on PBCS tracks. If you don’t have PBCS, you can operate only on those tracks FL350-390 that are not PBCS tracks. You can also cross, climb/descend, or route via an entry/exit point that is part of a PBCS track, but that’s it.

There will only be three PBCS tracks until 28th March 2019 (or the filing of PBCS designators reaches the 90% mark, but that’s not likely to happen before then). The NAT OTS Message each day will tell you what the PBCS tracks are. Got it? Cool.
I need a new LOA A056 even if I don’t have or need PBCS [N-reg aircraft]True. All US operators with datalink need a new A056. Let’s write this bit carefully: After March 29th, if you don’t have a new A056 - you definitely cannot use PBCS tracks (since you haven’t yet listed PBCS on your A056).

However, with the new extension to June 30, 2018 for private operators (Part 91), you can use datalink until then - meaning you are not going to be excluded from the NAT DLM airspace other than PBCS tracks. We think we have this bit right - lots of discussion on this one.
There is a backlog of A056 applicationsYes, there is a backlog, best guess is around 1000 applications sitting at the FAA across the country. And this is why the deadline for A056 is being extended to June 30th, 2018 (see above).
Honeywell FMS has a problemTrue. There’s a list of aircraft that won’t be able to get PBCS approval (corrected list below). The Falcon 8X and G650 are OK. Honeywell is working on a fix. Rumoured to take 4 months. Until Honeywell fixes this issue, the FAA will not grant PBCS approval for aircraft carrying the mentioned FMS.
Boeing aircraft have a problemTrue. There are issues with the FMS’s of B747 (Legacy FMC), and B777 AIMS 1. Additionally, some B737 NG’s and MD11’s cannot be PBCS approved at present due to FMS issues.
There needs to be an AFM Statement of Compliance (Aircraft Flight Manual).True. For Bombardier aircraft, they are working on validating the current FANS 1/A+ system with the latest FAA guidance and will update the AFM to state the aircraft PBCS capabilities. The expected date of approval is May 2018 and is conditional on the aviation authorities. For other manufacturers, no info as yet.

These aircraft have Honeywell FMS’s that have the Latency Problem:

  1. All NZ-2010 Equipped Aircraft – NZ-2010 (NZ6.1)
  2. Bombardier Global Express/XRS/Global 5000 – IC-810 (NZ6.1)
  3. Dassault F900C/EX (Primus 2000) – IC-810 (NZ6.1)
  4. Dassault F900DX/EX/LX (EASy II) – EPIC (NZ7.1.2)
  5. Dassault F2000DX/EX/LX/S (EASy II) – EPIC (NZ7.1.2)
  6. Dassault F7X (EASy II) – EPIC (NZ7.1.2)
  7. Dornier 328-100 Turboprop – NZ (NZ6.2)
  8. Gulfstream GV – IC-810 (NZ6.1)
  9. Gulfstream G450 – EPIC (NZ7.1.2)
  10. Gulfstream G550 – EPIC (NZ7.1.2)


Latest Links:

United States – for N-reg aircraft


Canada 

Europe

NAT Region
Happy PBCS’ing!

The NOTAM Goat Show 2018

We’re on the hunt for prize Notams. 

In every definition of a Notam that exists, including the ICAO one, it includes these words: “the timely knowledge of which is essential“. Unfortunately, many Notam-creators’ sense of the essential shows a clear failure to understand the term . This is CNN’s version of fake news at it’s worst.

Now, we recently found one that listed peak goat-grazing times near the airport, so we thought we’d run a NOTAM Goat Show. And there will be prizes. We’re looking for the worst: the most irrelevant, the most useless, the most boring, the most unreadable. All those crappy Notams that are part of the 100 page print out you get in your flight briefing.

Send us your worst! goatams@fsbureau.org

There will be prizes, and as fun as all this is, you actually are helping to solve the problem of Bullshit Notams. We’re working on it.

 

It’s nice to meet you.

Yep, there is. It’s called OPSGROUP. We’re a big mix: pilots, dispatchers, controllers, managers, tech specialists, aviation authorities – all with one thing in common: International Flight Operations.

Back in 2016,  we figured out that great things happen when we solve problems together. Change is the biggest challenge, so we tell each other when we hear of something new. We keep each other safe by sharing information on risks.

Now we’d like you to get involved as well.

Why join us? Good question. Well, because if you don’t, you’ll miss a change and look like a chump. We don’t want that. You might overfly Libya. You might divert to Cayenne. You’ll only find out about the new rules when your G650 is impounded. You’ll pick the wrong handler because you didn’t get to see that Airport Spy review on Santiago from another member. You won’t know about that exemption. You won’t have anyone to ask whether you should stop at Keflavik or Reykjavik.

Life managing International Ops is hard enough without trying to do it all on your own. And we want you, because the more smart people like you we have in the group, the stronger it becomes. Pick a plan for yourself, or your team, or your entire flight department. There’s 1650 people waiting to answer your questions. And to pick your brain.

Read the reviews from existing members, and see why everyone from Airbus to the British Antarctic Survey to United Airlines is in the group. (hint: we’re all doing the same thing, and it’s getting easier).

 

Join OpsGroup

 

 

Welcome Pack

On joining, we will send you, and each team member if you are on a team or department plan:
– a Welcome Email, explaining the group, together with your Welcome Pack:
– The full FSB Airports Database (value $375)
– The current full International Ops Bulletin
– Our Polar Ops Planning Guide
– Current NAT Plotting Chart (value $35)

Everything

You (and each team member, if you choose a team plan) will then also get:
– Immediate access to our OpsGroup Dashboard
– The weekly International Ops Bulletin every Wednesday
Slack access to talk to the group
Ask-Us-Anything – we answer your International Ops questions
– Airspace warnings and overflight risk summaries
– Access to Aireport – 2300+ Airport and ATC TripAdvisor style reviews
– Everything we publish – Guides, Lowdowns, Charts, Member Notes
– Tools and Maps
– All previous content since the group started
See examples of all the above

Joining Process

2 straightforward steps:
– Choose an Individual, Team, or Department plan
– We send you everything you need to get started by email

You can cancel anytime you like, before the next billing period.

New members – that’s you – are welcomed several times a year. The current status is notified on this page. To make sure that new members are fully supported, and the existing group retains its high quality, we limit joining to window periods during the year.
If we’re closed, you can join the waitlist to be notified of the next opening window.

 

Join OpsGroup

ATC, CAA, Airports, Rulemakers – join our OPSGROUP Slack community

OPSGROUP is an international community of Pilots, Dispatchers, Controllers and Aircraft Operators. We have 4000 members across 90 countries, responsible for managing and operating Airline, Corporate, Private and Military flights. Members share information and work together to make International Flight Operations easier.

Every day in different channels in slack – an app that allows live discussion –  there are discussions on the latest rule changes, airspace rules, airport , big weather, incidents, events – anything that might make your day more interesting, especially if you don’t know about it.

We have multiple channels discussion International Operations across the world.

So, to make our discussions better – and get more input from the official side – we are inviting controllers – Tower, Approach, Enroute, CAA’s, FAA’s, Airport operators – to join and be there to see what operators want to know from you.

We are inviting YOU to join the discussion. If you’d like to connect directly with the pilots and operators using your airspace, airport, or trying their best to follow your new rules, then you will find being part of the Slack discussion useful. And in turn, our members will be most happy to have you on board to ask questions now and again.

How it works

You’ll get a login that matches what you do, so it’s easy for group members to see who you are. If you’re a controller at Shanwick, then we might use @shanwick_atc, or if you’re the Ops manager for Sydney airport, then you’ll become @SYDAirport. If you’re the second person there, then we’ll call you @SYDAirport-Tim, or whatever. If you’re at Eurocontrol, then maybe @eurocontrol_ops. If you’re at the Slovenian CAA, then @SloveniaCAA. And so on.

You can view slack in your browser, download the App for your phone, or one for your Mac or PC. Either way, you’ll get immediate access to our group of 4000+ members, and can interact with them.

Win Win

You get to talk to your airspace users, customers, and rule-followers, and see what’s going on. And they get to talk to you. It’s an informal environment, so we don’t expect any official responses or need to use bureau-speak. Just help folks along their way. There’s no charge to join in this way – we are happy to have your input and knowledge!

OPSGROUP

There is no obligation to join the group as full member, but you are most welcome to – you’ll get a full weekly International Ops Briefing, daily updates, access to Airport Spy, Guides, Lowdowns, Charts – for the full rundown on that click here.

Invitation

Joining our slack discussion group is by invitation from the FSB Team. If you haven’t received an invite, pop your details in here and we’ll let you know.

Apply for Slack Access - ATC, Airports, CAA's, Rulemakers


 

 

This map shows the world of Overflight and Landing Permits – and the requirements

This map shows every country in the world and their requirements for Overflight Permits and Landing Permits. For overflying aircraft, the yellow countries will want  you to have a permit, and the black ones don’t. That’s for routine flights at least, if you’re on a Special Airworthiness or missing an engine, then pretty much everyone will want one.

Click on a region and you’ll get that …

And then click on the individual country to figure out what kind of overfly clearance you need.

 

OPSGROUP 2018 is open – new members welcome – 20 reasons to join

Opsgroup2018 is open to new members.

Read OPSGROUP: The Power of the Group – and then see below for more reasons to join us.

01  You will be smarter and saferOPSGROUP makes International Flight Ops easier.
02  Safe Airspace. Learning lessons from MH17, we share risk information, with a big map.
03  Change. It’s not just a constant, it’s accelerating. OPSGROUP tells you the critical stuff.
04  Members. There are 4,000 of us – each a pilot, dispatcher, controller, or ops person.
05  Full Bulletin. Once a week, all the International Ops changes in one simple bulletin.
06  Ask Anything. Every intl ops question you have, answered – by the group, or the team.
07  Bulletstream. Daily news briefing in bullet point format – just the critical ones.
08  Guides. All the FSB regional guides, like our NAT Ops guide, free.
09  Charts. The FSB NAT Plotting Chart, free – and others as we make them.
10  Slack. Talk live with us and other members on #todaysops.
11  George. We built a bot. He’s George, and he answers your Ops questions.
12  Lowdowns. Country guides for the most popular tech stop and ad-hoc airports.
13  Infographics. Making new stuff easier to understand, like the Circle of Change.
14  Dashboard. All the OPSGROUP tools live here – you get your own login.
15  Airport Spy. We sneakily share our reports on ATC, Handling, and Airports worldwide.
16  It’s not all AIC’s and Notams. We do fun stuff too. We promise to keep it interesting.
17  Plain English. We translate the Fedspeak into words we all know.
18  Email Alerts when big things are going down – ATC strikes, severe weather, incidents.
19  Discount in the Flight Service Store – 15% off for members.
20  The Future. We’re just getting started – OPSGROUP is 20 months old. Help us grow!

 

Choose a plan and join OPSGROUP

 

2018 Edition: New NAT Doc 007 2018 – North Atlantic Airspace and Operations Manual

For the latest changes and updates on the North Atlantic, including our most recent Guides and Charts, use our NAT reference page at flightservicebureau.org/NAT.

2018 version – NAT Doc 007

The 2018 version of NAT Doc 007, North Atlantic Airspace and Operations Manual, was published in January 2018 by ICAO/NAT SPG.

Download the original document here (PDF, 5mB), and see also:



2018
 is off to a flying start again with NAT changes – these are the latest important changes. These are also published in the latest edition of NAT Doc 007, January 2018.

  • PBCS From March 29th 2018, PBCS is a requirement for the NAT Tracks between FL350-390 – RCP240 and RSP180. Read more about PBCS in our article.
  • RLAT  From January 4th 2018, Shanwick and Gander increase the number of RLAT tracks – most tracks between FL350-390 will now be RLAT – 25nm separation between them.

And there will be more! Keep an eye on the FSB NAT Changes page, we’ll keep it updated.

 


Feb 2nd, 2018: FSB updated the full NAT Crossing Guide “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow“.

– What’s different about the NAT, changes in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, NAT Quick Map
– Routine Flight Example #1 – Brussels to JFK (up at 5.45am)
– Non Routine-Flights: No RVSM, No RNP4, No HF, 1 LRNS, No HLA, No ETOPS, No TCAS, No Datalink – what you can do and where you can go
Take a look.


North Atlantic 2018 Operational Changes – Shanwick, Gander, Iceland, Santa Maria, New York – and the NAT HLA

We’ll use this page for NAT changes, including EGGX/Shanwick, CZQX/Gander, BIRD/Iceland, ENOB/Bodo, LPPO/Santa Maria, and KZWY/New York Oceanic East.

2018

2018 is off to a flying start again with NAT changes – these are the latest important changes. These are also published in the latest edition of NAT Doc 007, January 2018.

  • PBCS From March 29th 2018, PBCS is a requirement for the NAT Tracks between FL350-390 – RCP240 and RSP180. Read more about PBCS in our article, and check out the NAT Circle of Change for an easier graphical representation.
  • RLAT  From January 4th 2018, Shanwick and Gander increase the number of RLAT tracks – most tracks between FL350-390 will now be RLAT – 25nm separation between them.

And there will be more! Keep an eye on this page, we’ll keep it updated.


The NAT used to be simple. Fill your flask, fire up the HF, align the INS and away you went.

Now, it’s a little more complicated. Basic Instruments are not enough. Use this quick and dirty guide from FSB to figure out where you are welcome on the NAT, depending on what equipment and training you have. Valid January 31, 2018.

Free for OpsGroup, otherwise email us at team@fsbureau.org if you’d love a copy but aren’t a group member. Do tell us why!

 


2017

Lots of important changes in 2017

  • SLOP – Offsetting is now mandatory. Choose 0, 1, or 2nm right of track. We think 1 or 2 is best. Consider the recent A380 story.
  • TCAS 7.1: From January 1st, 2017, TCAS 7.1 is required throughout the entire NAT region.
  • Cruising Level: Effective 2017, you no longer need to file an ICAO standard cruising level in NAT airspace.
  • Gross Nav Error:  is now defined as greater than 10nm (used to be 25nm)
  • Contingency Procedure: Published January 2017, a new turn-back (180) procedure is introduced – turn back to parallel previous track by 15nm.
  • Datalink Mandate Exemptions: Phase 2B of the Datalink mandate started on December 7, 2017 (FL350-390). Exempt: Radar airspace, Tango Routes, airspace north of 80N, and New York OCA.

2016

  • Confirm Assigned Route Introduced August 2016, you will see this message when you enter NAT airspace with datalink, and you should reply with the planned route in NAT airspace. Designed to catch errors.
  • NAT HLA The airspace formerly known as MNPS. Changed February 2016. NAT HLA = NAT High Level Airspace. Now includes Bodo Oceanic, and aircraft must be RNP 4 or RNP10. Previous MNPS approvals good through 2020.

2015

  • RLAT Started December 2015, spacing on the NAT Tracks reduced to “Half Track” (30nm) for 3 core tracks. RLAT=Reduced Lateral Separation Minima. Next phase (ie. all NAT Tracks 350-390) now planned for December 2017.
  • SLOP Offsetting right of track by 1nm or 2nm became Mandatory.

 


Feb 1st, 2018: FSB updated the full NAT Crossing Guide “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow“.

– What’s different about the NAT, changes in 2018,2017, 2016, 2015, NAT Quick Map
– Routine Flight Example #1 – Brussels to JFK (up at 5.45am)
– Non Routine-Flights: No RVSM, No RNP4, No HF, 1 LRNS, No HLA, No ETOPS, No TCAS, No Datalink – what you can do and where you can go
Take a look.

 


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