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.
EGGW/Luton will be closed for 27 nights from 0000L to 0530L daily, starting Monday, November 6th and ending the morning of Sunday, December 3rd, 2017 for runway resurfacing.
So, late night and early morning arrivals and departures won’t be possible.
Standard operations will be practiced outside of these hours, with little to no disruption expected during daytime.
So, last week we told you that Iraqi Airspace was about to re-open to international overflights. It still is, though the bit where it was going to happen this week is no longer true.
The FAA were about to hit ‘publish’ on a Notam this past Monday, which would have enabled US airlines to start overflying Iraq again. The text of this Notam included:
But then, a military operation by Iraqi forces to take control of Kirkuk from the Kurds the same day, created concern as to overflight safety. Kirkuk sits pretty much underneath the UM860 airway on the map below.
So for now, do nothing and wait. It seems the situation is de-escalating, and we expect now that the Notam may be issued as early as next week.
Once that happens, we’d expect other countries to follow suit and allow overflights in the same way, meaning that these two airways will become busy again.
Keep an eye out, we’ll let you know.
Aircraft Operators using the Iridium Satellite service for ATC comms should be aware of an equipment issue that has prompted a ban by a number of Oceanic ATC agencies in the last few days
Right now, Chile (SCIZ), Japan (RJJJ), Anchorage (PAZA), Oakland (KZAK), New York (KZNY and KZWY) have all told operators not to use Iridium for CPDLC or ADS-C. Until the fault is fixed, in those regions you’ll have to either use HF for ATC comms, or use another SAT provider. Auckland (NZZO) and Brazil (Atlantico SBAO) have so far only applied the ban to CPDLC alone. Nothing has been published yet by Gander (CZQX), Shanwick (EGGX), Reykjavik (BIRD) or Santa Maria (LPPO) – although we’re keeping a close eye on them for any update.
Here’s what happened:
On Sep 12th, an Alaskan Airlines flight had a failure of their CMU (Comms Management Unit) that caused the Iridium connection to stop working. An ATC message was sent to the aircraft but not delivered. On the next flight, the CMU power was reset and corrected the issue, and the pending message was delivered. The CMU did not recognise the message as being old, and so it was presented to the Flight Crew as a control instruction. FSB understands that this aircraft took the climb instruction and executed the level change, climbing 1000 feet .
Another flight, operated by Hawaiian out of Oakland, had a similar problem. This aircraft had both Iridium and Inmarsat on board, and during the flight switched over to Inmarsat as the provider. An ATC message was routed via Iridium, but didn’t reach the aircraft before the switch. Some 23 hours later, on the next flight, Iridium was activated again and again the ATC message presented as a “live” instruction. On this occasion, the crew queried the instruction and did not climb.
The problem in simple terms is that if ATC sends a CPDLC message like “Climb FL370“, which is obviously only valid for “right now”, but another crew gets the message hours later, then you have a very high risk of the new crew accepting that and climbing.
For now, Iridium has a plan to fix the ground side to not allow older SBD messages to be delivered, and they say they are testing it at the moment and expect to release it soon.
OpsGroup members will be updated directly on further news.
Notam copies below:
ANCHORAGE PAZA A0626/17 - USE OF CPDLC AND ADS-C VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WITHIN THE ANCHORAGE OCEANIC, DOMESTIC AND ARCTIC FLIGHT INFORMATION REGIONS (FIRS). SFC - UNL, 13 OCT 19:40 2017 UNTIL 13 NOV 00:00 2017 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 13 OCT 19:35 2017
NEW ZEALAND AUCKLAND NZZO B4985/17 - USE OF CPDLC (DATALINK) VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WI NZZO FIR. COMMUNICATION WI NZZO FIR IS TO BE VIA HF RDO ON THE APPROPRIATE SP6 FREQ. OPERATORS USING IRIDIUM SATCOM MAY CONTINUE TO USE ADS-C FOR POSITION REPORTING WI NZZO FIR. HF VOICE POSITION REPORTS ARE NOT REQUIRED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED. 08 OCT 21:56 2017 UNTIL 08 JAN 21:00 2018 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 08 OCT 21:56 2017
OAKLAND KZAK A4306/17 - FOR ACFT EQUIPPED WITH IRIDIUM SATCOM, USE OF CPDLC AND ADS-C VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WITHIN OAKLAND CENTER OCEANIC AIRSPACE. COMMUNINCATION WITH KZAK MUST BE VIA HF FOR IRIDIUM USERS. 13 OCT 19:49 2017 UNTIL 31 DEC 23:59 2017. CREATED: 13 OCT 19:54 2017
NEW YORK KZNY A0334/17 - USE OF CPDLC AND ADS-C VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WITHIN NEW YORK CENTER OCEANIC AIRSPACE. 13 OCT 19:27 2017 UNTIL 30 DEC 08:00 2017. CREATED: 13 OCT 19:38 2017
NEW YORK KZWY A0502/17 - USE OF CPDLC AND ADS-C VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WITHIN NEW YORK CENTER OCEANIC AIRSPACE. 13 OCT 19:27 2017 UNTIL 30 DEC 08:00 2017. CREATED:13 OCT 19:36 2017
BRAZIL ATLANTICO SBAO N0095/17 - FOR ACFT EQUIPPED WITH IRIDIUM SATCOM, USE OF CPDLC IS PROHIBITED WITHIN ATLANTICO CENTER OCEANIC AIRSPACE. FLIGHT CREWS CAN LOG ON SBAO TO ALLOW THE USE OF ADS-C FOR POSITION REPORTING. COMMUNICATION WITH SBAO MUST BE VIA HF. IF USING ADS-C POSITION REPORTING, HF VOICE POSITION REPORTS ARE NOT REQUIRED UNLESS SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED. 15 OCT 12:00 2017 UNTIL 13 JAN 12:00 2018. CREATED: 15 OCT 01:22 2017
JAPAN FUKUOKA RJJJ J7236/17 - FOR ACFT EQUIPPED WITH IRIDIUM SATCOM, USE OF CPDLC AND ADS-C VIA IRIDIUM SATCOM IS PROHIBITED WITHIN FUKUOKA OCEANIC AIRSPACE. COMMUNINCATION WITH RJJJ MUST BE VIA HF FOR IRIDIUM USERS. 16 OCT 10:08 2017 UNTIL UFN. CREATED: 16 OCT 10:09 2017
ORBB/Baghdad FIR Overflights of Iraq may be permitted to resume as early as next week, allowing international carriers access again to several previously heavily used routes through the eastern side of the Baghdad FIR.
In May of this year, SFAR 77 – banning US operators from operating within Iraqi airspace – lapsed, and was replaced by Notam KICZ 10/2017 – which had much the same wording.
However, on October 3rd, Iraq issued a new Notam (A0477/17) – with a new restricted area in the northwest of the FIR, from Surface to FL460. The previous restricted areas 601 and 701 were withdrawn.
This re-shuffling of restricted airspace paves the way for two major international air routes to be reopened, UM860 and UM688 – which were realigned in April for this purpose, allowing operators additional route options through the Middle East to Europe and vv.
FSB expects an official announcement shortly, and will update operators further. OpsGroup members will be notified directly.
We got a ton of useful reports in the last few days from OPSGROUP members that have been to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Because they’ll be useful to the wider Ops community, we’ll share them there.
Here are the reports:
TJBQ/Aguadilla 29SEP (G550)
o Prior to departure local POI advised we needed to request the LOA A529
o Were advised that military is increasing presence and slot system may be set in the next couple of days
*Arrival to TJBQ*
o Staged in Orlando the night before
o Crossed the southern end of the MIA FIR at 17,000/squawk 1200 VFR
o Contacted tower on published frequency with no issue
o Runway/taxiways had no issues
*Western Aviation (WASCO)*
o FBO is up and running on generators but have no phones/radios
o Utilized a contact on the ground with a sat phone to arrange arrival
o Fueler advised they have approximately 200,000 gallons of Jet A
o Front desk accepted credit card payments (not sure when they will post)
o Security guard at the door of FBO to ramp
o Were able to have truck driver escorted onto ramp to load supplies
o Some reports of supplies being confiscated but we did not have any issues
o Gas/water/basic commodities are very scare
o Power lines are down along the roads/in the roads so be cautious
o Departed later in the day VFR to 6500’
o Issued a transponder code by center and our ATC clearance to destination airport
o Area radar was back up and running but the terminal was not
TJIG/Isla Grande 28SEP (Falcon 900)
We didn’t get FSDO approval but then again we are Part 91. I couldn’t say for 135 folks. The tower was open at Isla Grande today which should definitely improve things. There were still some planes having to go VFR an hour out of San Juan, but we found that filing the FAA recommended routes got us all the way there IFR.
TJRV/Ceiba 28SEP (Falcon 900)
We went into TJRV, about 30 miles SE of San Juan over the hills. There are no Jepp charts for it but Foreflight has an airport diagram. It’s a long runway with displaced thresholds. Frequency is 122.7. There’s a Millionaire there too. We thought it was uncontrolled but a Marine battalion came in and is staying at a hangar that Google has turned into a test facility. The Marines also opened up the old Naval base tower and gave us a clearance to land as we called giving us position reports so that was a bit surprising. Word is it that the military is going to use the airport to relieve stress on San Juan next week and private jets will be welcomed. Notams in the A/FD say to file TJSJ to use this airport but that backfired on us. We filed TJSJ and of course we didn’t have a PPR to go in so they held us at Ft. Lauderdale until we filed a new flight plan for TJRV. And that worked just fine. Hope this will help.
TJSJ/San Juan 28SEP (Falcon 900)
Getting the PPR for today into the international airport worked great. Very busy at Jet Aviation – but they were pretty efficient at getting us fueled.
TJBQ/Aguadilla 26SEP (G650)
Airport tower was operational on published frequencies. Full runway was in good shape. Off load was at FBO depicted on airport diagram near taxi way Charlie.Aircraft had to operate VFR reaching point ELMUC (TJZS FIR boundary) and cross it at 17000’ inbound to TJBQ. Cancellation of IFR was with MIA center once below FL180. Aircraft inside the FIR were passing advisory position reports on 123.45 and de-conflicted using standard VFR altitudes from ELMUC. Aircraft was able to reach the airport tower about 40nm out. Departure was VFR from the airport climbing to 16500 to point SAPPO. Once in contact with MIA ON 126.45 the crew was able to activate an IFR flight plan and climb. MIA was very busy with all the traffic requesting clearances inbound to the states but we were eventually able to accommodate. Fuel plan accordingly, in case of a delay in climbing.
TJIG/Isla Grande 26SEP (MJET)
We had no delays going into TJIG, where Millionaire is doing a great job with fast service and lots of fuel. Miami Center is using a few fixes: Sappo, Idaho and Elmuc as their transition points between IFR and VFR. You must go VFR (about an hour out) at these fixes and then contact San Juan approach 80 miles north of San Juan using their tower frequency, 119.4. Isla Grande traffic was using the ground frequency of 121.7 for advisories. The taxiway on the northeast side of the field past B4 is only wide enough for Kingairs and smaller so if you have to back taxi on RWY 9, try to exit on the southside or wait past B4.”
TJSJ/San Juan 25SEP (MJET)
No major issues at TJSJ, but heads-up as there are many VFR operations below FL180. IFR and VFR operations are occurring in close proximity. Ground services appear to be normal. TJSJ tower was very busy this afternoon with arriving IFR and VFR traffic, transitioning shoreline traffic and local helicopters. Be patient and vigilant and all will be well.
TJSJ/San Juan 25SEP (Falcon 7X)
To TJSJ expect to be asked to cancel IFR or remain IFR with some holding (our choice) by HARDE. Both options seem to work equally well for operators. San Juan TWR is operational and the airfield is in good condition. Departed VFR, received IFR about 100NM north with NY AIRINC. Fuel was available at Jet Aviation.
TJIG/Isla Grande 23SEP (CL30)
Airport is uncontrolled. No lights, and no US Customs. Expect to cancel IFR as soon as inside TJSZ FIR airspace. The TWR freq is unusable as of this morning. CTAF alternative is 121.7 Ground frequency.
South Puerto Rico Aero Service – (787) 844-5223 / CustomerService@SPRAeroservice.com
Million Air – (787) 289-2021 / email@example.com
Million Air – (787) 289-2021 . / firstname.lastname@example.org
The fuel issue that has been affecting flights out of Auckland has been rectified and it’s back to business as usual.
NCRG/Rarotonga and NFFN/Fiji, which had also been rationing fuel have also resumed normal ops.
Hopefully that is the last that we will hear on fuel issues out of Auckland.
Images from TJIG/Isla Grande in Puerto Rico. TJIG is 6nm from TJSJ/San Juan.
VABB/Mumbai Heavy rain is affecting flight ops at Mumbai airport for the second day in a row. The main runway (09/27) remains closed after a Spicejet aircraft skidded off last night and got stuck in mud, and it’s not expected to be open again until later today – once the aircraft can be recovered.
In the meantime, the other smaller runway is in use. Expect delays until the weather improves!
SOOO/Cayenne FIR: French Guiana ATC has finally given up the ghost – they’ve now implemented their contingency plan for their airspace, due to continued strike action.
If you want to cross this bit of airspace, there are now very specific routes and levels you have to fly at. Once you’re inside the airspace, don’t change your sped or level. All the details have been published in the Notams – check these carefully!