International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Category: Briefings (page 1 of 14)

OpsGroup NYC Notam Summit – April 4th, 2017

JOIN US IN NYC

Tuesday, 4th April 2017- Manhattan, New York

 Ops Group Meetup and Notam Summit

We’ve never done this before, but we’re going to run our first OpsGroup meetup.  Emails and slacks are all fine, but human contact is where it’s at.  Come along and meet us and other awesome members of the OpsGroup!

Location: Secret downtown location in Manhattan, we’ll meet at 9am-ish on Tuesday morning, 4th April.  By 10am we’ll have kicked off into International Ops  2017 with Mark, NAT chats with Dave, Antarctica fireside stories with Jamie-Rose, and then move on to looking at stupid Notams and how to fix them.  You should come!

Here is the deal:

0900 You arrive. So will others. We will mostly be pilots, dispatchers, ATC’s and flight dept managers but whatever your specialty is, come along.

930-ish We’ll start with the International Ops Chats- NAT ops, Antarctica, 2017 changes, and your questions.

1100 We’re probably still going with the International Ops Chats

1130 We’re onto talking NOTAMS by now

1300 Powerpoint has overheated, we’re done. Off to Lunch

1330 We’ll be having a late lunch. Join us for chats and beers, war stories, jokes, or head home instead- whatever you like.

1500 That’s All Folks. We can recommend: A visit to Concorde, go see a show on Broadway like School of Rock, go see the Nicks v Bulls, visit the Comedy Cellar, or get your Uber back to the Teterboro Holiday Inn.

Afterwards, tell us what you thought: team@ops.group

Antarctica Fireside Chat

Jamie Rose McMillen from the FSB Int’l Desk is going to tell us some good stories from her six years living on the Ice.  Find out how International Ops works in Antarctica and McMurdo Station. Join us in NYC!

International Ops 2017

There have been a city-full of changes to the International Ops world so far in 2017.  A380 wake, no devices, BOE changes, ATC strike, Conflict Zones, 767 shooting, the end of Soviet QFE approaches. Mark will answer questions. Join us in NYC!

North Atlantic Changes

Dave Mumford will run through the new rules on the NAT, and answer questions from the My First Atlantic Flight guide. Just don’t ask him about the new contingency procedure. Join us in NYC!

NOTAMS

Judging is finally complete in the Notam Goat Show.  After we present the winners, we will have a good old fashioned competition, with prizes, and then get into the main event: How do we fix the Notam problem?

Join us in NYC!

COME TO NEW YORK!

RSVP

The problem of Bullshit Notams

 

This article created a firestorm of engagement – several hundred emails and 127,000 people that visited the blog. Most of it was overwhelmingly positive. Some of it wasn’t. Please read my follow up in response.

 

It’s absolutely ridiculous
.

We communicate the most critical flight information, using a system invented in 1920, with a format unchanged since 1924, burying essential information that will lose a pilot their job, an airline their aircraft, and passengers their lives, in a mountain of unreadable, irrelevant bullshit.

Yes CASA Australia, that’s you. Yes, Greek CAA, that’s you. And you’re not alone.

In an unintended twist of irony, the agencies seeking to cover their legal ass are party to creating the most criminal of systems – an unending flow of aeronautical sewage rendering the critical few pieces of information unfindable.

This is more than just hugely frustrating for each pilot, dispatcher, and controller that has to parse through it all; it’s downright dangerous.

If you’re a pilot, you’ll either have already experienced this, or you’re going to – you stuff something up, and then be told: “but there was a Notam out about that”. Sure enough, there it is in black and white (and in big capital letters). Do you think that “but there were 100 pages of them” is going to be a valid defence?

 

Well, it should be. The same agency conducting your post-incident interview is busy on the other end stuffing the system full of the garbage that prevented you from seeing it in the first place.

There are three parts to the problem: the system, the format, and the content. The system is actually quite amazing. The AFTN network connects every country in the world, and Notam information once added is immediately available to every user. Coupled with the internet, delivery is immediate.

The format is, at best, forgivable. It’s pretty awful. It’s a trip back in time to when Notams were introduced. You might think that was the 1960’s, or the 50’s. In fact, it’s 1924, when 5-bit ITA2 was introduced. The world shifted to ASCII in 1963, bringing the Upper and Lower case format that every QWERTY keyboard uses today, but we didn’t follow – nope, we’ll stick with our 1924 format, thank you.

Read that again. 1924. Back then, upper case code-infested aeronautical messages would have seemed impressive and almost reassuring in their aloofness. But there weren’t in excess of 1 million Notams per year, a milestone we passed in 2013. The 1 million milestone is remarkable in itself, but here’s something else amazing: in 2006, there were only 500,000. So in seven years, Notams doubled. Why? Are there twice as many airports in the world? No. Twice as many changes and updates? Possibly. But far more likely: the operating agencies became twice as scared about leaving things out.

And so onto the culprit: the content. The core definition of a Notam is ESSENTIAL flight information. Essential, for anyone tasked with entering information into the Notam System, is defined as “absolutely necessary; extremely important”. Here’s a game you can play at home. Take your 100 page printout of Notams, and circle that ones that you think can be defined as essential. See how many fit that bill.

So why is all this garbage in the system? Because the questions that the creators of Notams ask are flawed. The conversation goes like this:

– “Should we stick this into a Notam?”
– “Yeah, we’d better, just in case”.

How many are actually asking, “Is this essential information that aircrew need to know about ?”. Almost none. Many ‘solutions’ to the Notam deluge involve better filtering, Q codes, and smart regex’s. This overlooks the core problem. It’s not what comes out that needs to be fixed, it’s what goes in.

Even in 1921, we had much the same problem. Obstacle, 18 feet high, several miles from the runway.

Nobody cares. Unless you’ve parked the Eiffel Tower on the threshold, leave this stuff for the AIP. And nobody cares about kites either. Nor about goat-grazing times. We don’t care if your bird scarer is U/S. We don’t care if there’s a cherry-picker fixing a bulb somewhere. We don’t care when you’re cutting your grass.

Nor do we care about closed taxiways. The only way I can get onto a taxiway is with an ATC clearance, and ATC will not clear me onto a closed taxiway.

We care if the airport is going to be closed when we get there. If we’re going to have to divert because the runway is shut. If someone might shoot at us. If there are new rules. We care about the critical items, but we won’t see them as things stand.

And so, about here is where a normal editorial piece might end with “we hope that the authorities improve the system”, and sign off.

 

But not here.

We’re in the business of doing things here at FSB, not just talking about them.

Last year we wrote a few pieces about the Greece vs Turkey Notam battle. This month we did a group look at Briefing Packages, and it was astonishing to see how many pages of this diplomatic drivel still appeared in all our members’ Briefings. All in all, on average 3 full pages of every briefing for a flight overflying Greece or Turkey contained this stuff.

So, we sent Greece a polite AFTN message on behalf of all of us.


That’s just one piece of a thousand-piece puzzle, and it would be nice to think that one piece at a time we could fix the sytem. Let’s get real. It’s a monster, and it’s out of control.

We don’t think that we can fix the Notam system.

But, we can think about a different solution. And that’s exactly what we’re doing right now in OpsGroup. With almost 2000 members, we can make a difference. Watch this space. Or, if you want to help take action, send your thoughts to goatams@ops.group.

 

 

 

China updates: ZBAA, ZBTJ, ZSAM

1. From now until the end of June, ZSAM/Xiamen airport will closed daily between 0010-0610 local time, and business flights will not be allowed to land or take-off between 0700-0900 local time daily as per the CAAC’s regulation (the same regulation applies to over 20 other airports in China including ZBAA, ZSSS, ZSPD, ZGGG and ZGSZ).

 

2. China’s “two sessions” begins this week – two big political conferences (CPPCC and NPC) that are held every year. ZBAA/Beijing gets busier than ever.

Even at the best of times, ZBAA only allows 24 hours maximum parking time for foreign GA, so expect to get sent to ZBTJ/Tianjin for parking: an Airport of Entry that regularly takes overflow traffic from Beijing.

As the nearest airport from ZBAA, ZBTJ is also accepting more ferry flights at the moment – the ZBTJ airport authority has been told to continue to do so until 30th April.

 

3. Be aware it’s going to become more and more common this year for Chinese immigration to record fingerprints of foreign travellers who enter China via international airports.

Big changes to US Border Overflight Rules

There are multiple changes to the US Border Overflight Exemption process effective 2017. Unusually, there is no official notification of the changes from either CBP or DHS, and so you may find that even the Customs Officer on arrival does not know about them.

New US Border Overflight Exemption rules March 2017

The March 2017 changes may be the start of the end for the Border Overflight Exemption, since most requirements from the CBP perspective are transferred to eAPIS: notably, the fact that individual aircraft are no longer listed on the Approval Letter.

We were first alerted to the changes by an OpsGroup member, and have spoken with a lot of different DHS and CBP officials. From these conversations, we’ve put together our summary of the situation below.

Noteworthy is that at many Airports, the front line CBP officers were not aware of the new rules. CBP have said: “This is new not only to you but to most of the Officers in the field. Your pilots need to know what it says because they will be getting questions when they land.”

What is a Border Overflight Exemption?

  • If you operate a flight to the US from south of the 30th parallel, you must land at the first airport you come to.
  • To avoid this, you can apply to CBP for a Border Overflight Exemption (BOE)
  • With that in hand, you can fly to any airport with customs.
  • So, on to the changes:

Effective March 1st, 2017 :

  • A full list of the changes to the process is in Notes to Members #23 in your OPSGROUP dashboard.
  • We recommend you carry this in the aircraft as well, for any CBP official not aware of the new rules.

 

 

 


You can request membership of OPSGROUP to receive the full version delivered every Wednesday, along with all OPSGROUP member benefits: Members Questions, Group Discussions, Slack, free maps and charts (normally $25),  Full access to aireport for group reviews of handlers and airports, regular alerts for critical international ops info,  complimentary Airports Database (normally $375), Full access to safeairspace.net including updated risk alerts,  and guidance and help when you want it on any International Operations topic (that last one is really useful!). Read 125 different member reviews.

 

 

Fresh warnings as FAA clarifies weapons risk in Kenya, Mali airspace

Feb 27th, 2017: The FAA has issued fresh warnings for Kenyan and Malian airspace, warning US operators of the potential dangers in operating through both the Nairobi and Malian FIR’s.

Published on Feb 26th, the new advice also adds new language with clarification of the type of weapons and phases of flight that the FAA is concerned about, specifically:

  • fire from small arms,
  • indirect fire weapons (such as mortars and rockets), and
  • anti-aircraft weapons such as MANPADS.

The scenarios considered highest risk include :

  • landings and takeoffs,
  • low altitudes, and
  • aircraft on the ground.

The FAA uses the same wording for both Kenya and Mali. Additionally for Mali, the Algerian CAA has concurrently published airspace closures along their southern border due to the conflict, and the FAA’s background notes on the Mali conflict still stand.

The updated guidance is intended for US operators and FAA License holders, but in reality is used by most International Operators including EU and Asian carriers, since only four countries currently provide useful information on airspace security and conflict zones.

The Notams both use FL260 as the minimum safe level, though we would suggest, as usual, that a higher level closer to FL300 is more sensible.

These updates have been notified through SafeAirspace.net, a collaborative and information sharing tool used by airlines, business jet operators, state agencies, military, and private members of  OPSGROUP.

This is the new wording in the latest FAA Notams on Mali and Kenya:

POSSIBILITY OF ATTACKS ON CIVIL AVIATION BY EXTREMISTS/MILITANTS.
AIRCRAFT MAY ENCOUNTER FIRE FROM SMALL ARMS; INDIRECT FIRE WEAPONS,
SUCH AS MORTARS AND ROCKETS; AND ANTI-AIRCRAFT CAPABLE WEAPONS,
INCLUDING MAN-PORTABLE AIR DEFENSE SYSTEMS (MANPADS).SUCH WEAPONS 
COULD TARGET AIRCRAFT AT LOW ALTITUDES, INCLUDING DURING THE ARRIVAL
AND DEPARTURE PHASES OF FLIGHT, AND/OR AIRPORTS AND AIRCRAFT ON THE
GROUND.

The NOTAMs in full are on our Kenya and Mali pages respectively.

References:

  • Kenya country information page at safeairspace.net
  • Mali country information page at safeairspace.net
  • OPSGROUP collaborative project

 

 

NAT Tracks example with RLAT – 2017

With the new (ish) RLAT Tracks, the standard NAT Track picture looks different these days. We thought we’d draw one out so you can see the RLAT Tracks. This example is the Westbound Tracks today, February 24th 2017. The RLAT Tracks are C, D, and E.

The neat plotting chart that this is drawn on is from Flight Service Bureau and available here.

Picture first (click for big version), Track message follows:

Westbound NAT Tracks 24th February, 2017.

 

 

 

232034 EGGXZOZX
(NAT-1/2 TRACKS FLS 310/390 INCLUSIVE
FEB 24/1130Z TO FEB 24/1900Z
PART ONE OF TWO PARTS-
A RESNO 56/20 57/30 57/40 56/50 JANJO
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
B DOGAL 55/20 56/30 56/40 55/50 LOMSI
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
C MALOT 54/20 55/30 55/40 54/50 NEEKO
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
D TOBOR 5330/20 5430/30 5430/40 5330/50 PELTU
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
E LIMRI 53/20 54/30 54/40 53/50 RIKAL
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
END OF PART ONE OF TWO PARTS)


232035 EGGXZOZX
(NAT-2/2 TRACKS FLS 310/390 INCLUSIVE
FEB 24/1130Z TO FEB 24/1900Z
PART TWO OF TWO PARTS-
F DINIM 52/20 53/30 53/40 52/50 TUDEP
EAST LVLS NIL
WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390
EUR RTS WEST NIL
NAR NIL-
REMARKS.
1.TMI IS 055 AND OPERATORS ARE REMINDED TO INCLUDE THE
TMI NUMBER AS PART OF THE OCEANIC CLEARANCE READ BACK.
2.ADS-C AND CPDLC MANDATED OTS ARE AS FOLLOWS
TRACK A 350 360 370 380 390
TRACK B 350 360 370 380 390
TRACK C 350 360 370 380 390
TRACK D 350 360 370 380 390
TRACK E 350 360 370 380 390
TRACK F 350 360 370 380 390
END OF ADS-C AND CPDLC MANDATED OTS
3.RLATSM OTS LEVELS 350-390. RLATSM TRACKS AS FOLLOWS
TRACK C
TRACK D
TRACK E
END OF RLATSM OTS
4.FOR STRATEGIC LATERAL OFFSET AND CONTINGENCY PROCEDURES FOR OPS IN
NAT FLOW REFER TO NAT PROGRAMME COORDINATION WEBSITE WWW.PARIS.ICAO.INT.
SLOP SHOULD BE STANDARD PROCEDURE, NOT JUST FOR AVOIDING WX/TURB.
5.80 PERCENT OF GROSS NAVIGATION ERRORS RESULT FROM POOR COCKPIT
PROCEDURES. CONDUCT EFFECTIVE WAYPOINT CHECKS.
6.OPERATORS ARE REMINDED THAT CLEARANCES MAY DIFFER FROM THE FLIGHT PLAN, 
FLY THE CLEARANCE.
7.UK AIP. ENR 2.2.4.2 PARA 5.2 STATES THAT NAT OPERATORS SHALL FILE
PRM'S.
8.FLIGHTS REQUESTING WESTBOUND OCEANIC CLEARANCE VIA ORCA DATALINK
SHALL INCLUDE IN RMK/ FIELD THE HIGHEST ACCEPTABLE FLIGHT LEVEL WHICH CAN
BE MAINTAINED AT OAC ENTRY POINT.
9.ALL ADSC CPDLC EQUIPPED FLIGHTS NOT LOGGED ON TO A DOMESTIC ATSU
PRIOR TO ENTERING THE SHANWICK OCA MUST INITIATE A LOGON TO EGGX BETWEEN 10
AND 25 MINUTES PRIOR TO OCA ENTRY.-
END OF PART TWO OF TWO PARTS)

Germany issue new warnings, Manila may not ban GA after all

Germany issues new warnings 25JAN Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics. Read the article

 

Manila may not ban GA after all 25JAN RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

 


 

HEZZ/Egypt, HSZZ/South Sudan, ZKZZ/North Korea Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics.

RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

NTAA/Tahiti The airport is open again as of Monday morning local time, after closing due to flooding after torrential rains, but many taxiways remain flooded. Expect delays in handling and tech stops.

KZZZ/USA Announced yesterday and expected to come into force this week, is an immediate ban on US visas (and therefore US travel) for citizens from 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. This is distinct from the Visa Waiver Program ban in effect since January 2016.

GBZZ/Gambia FSB Risk Level changed from Level Three to “No Warnings” on Jan 24. New president has taken power. Parliament revoked State of Emergency. Situation calm.

SBZZ/Brazil In the last bulletin we had a headline about a Boeing 767 shot on approach in Brazil. A bullet was found lodged in the wing. Some updates to that story are here, and safeairspace.net’s Brazilpage is updated.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Don’t forget it’s New Year in Asia this weekend. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02 Feb.

EDDB/Berlin Brandenburg will now not open until 2018, as they found more problems with the fire system this week. This is a recurring story, which dates back to 2012. So, for the foreseeable, you’re stuck with Tegel and Schoenefeld.

LTFJ/Sabiha Gökçen (Istanbul) Due to insufficient capacity at LTFJ, applications for individual non-scheduled flights will be refused, and private/charter flights can only be operated at “non-busy hours”.

KBPI/Palm Beach is going to see some new TFR restrictions due to the proximity of Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate. If operating when he’s down here, you’ll have to depart from a gateway airport to PBI – those are TEB, HPN, IAD, MCO and FLL. NBAA has the details.

LSGG/Geneva EBACE is on from Monday, 22 May through Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Now would be a good time to get those slots booked if you’re planning to head over.

LFMN/Nice has a new procedure where ATC will alert crews to windshear.

MSLP/San Salvador‘s only runway 07/25 will be closed from 1600-1700 each day until Feb 3rd.

VGHS/Dhaka The UK Department for Transport (DfT) announced today that it recently carried out assessments of security at Dhaka International Airport. Following this, the DfT has assessed that security at Dhaka airport does not meet some international security requirements (they haven’t said which).

OMAD/Abu Dhabi (Al Bateen) is hosting the International Defence Exhibition in February, so will not be available to IFR traffic daily between 0600-0800Z until Feb 23rd. There are also restrictions on using it as an alternate.

DNAA/Abuja The latest on the Abuja closure is that it will be completely closed to all traffic from March 8th – April 19th.

SKCG/Cartagena‘s only runway 01/19 is closed daily 0530-1100Z until Feb 6th.

NVZZ/Vanuatu Health authorities have declared a dengue outbreak following a large increase in suspected cases in December 2016 and January 2017. Protect yourself against mosquito bites

WSZZ/Singapore is implementing the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseologies from March 2nd. Read AIP SUP 29/17.

LIRF/Rome Fiumicino is working on 16R until March, so 25 will be used for deps and 16L for arrivals. This means delays, especially if you want 16L/34R for departure – they say up to a 60 minute taxi time.

UKZZ/Ukraine amended the military boundaries of its airspace on Monday Jan 23rd, identifying the Donbas conflict zone region as a separate area. More details here.

 

View the full International bulletin 25JAN2017

International Bulletin: B767 shot on approach to Rio, Updated SafeAirspace Map

B767 Shot on approach to Rio 

18JAN A B767-300 was fired on last night during approach to Runway 15 SBGL/Rio de Janeiro. One 7.62mm bullet lodged in the left wing. Read the article.

Updated SafeAirspace Risk Map 

18JAN We have updated SafeAirspacewith information for Aircraft Operators on The GambiaNorth KoreaBrazilUkraine, and Turkey.


GBZZ/The Gambia State of emergency declared on 17th January. Foreign citizens being evacuated. Banjul International Airport (GBYD/BJL) and land borders remain open, for now. More at safeairspace.net/information/the-gambia.

UKZZ/Ukraine Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for Ukraine’s airspace. There are two risk issues in Ukraine. First: arms fire. Including MH17, multiple aircraft (the others all military) have been shot down since the beginning of the Donbass region war in 2014. The 10th ceasefire was declared in December 2016, but not holding. This risk is contained within the Dnipropetrovsk FIR – UKDV. The second issue affects the Simferopol FIR which is Disputed Airspace. (Ukraine:UKFV, Russia:URFV). In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The ATC Center is in Simferopol, Crimea, and is now run by Krymaeronavigatsiya. Russia claims the airspace. Ukraine refuses to recognise the change, and asks crews to talk to Ukrainian controllers in Dnipro/Odesa ACC instead of Simferopol ACC. Four routes are approved by EASA through the high seas portion of the airspace.

KIAD/Washington and area airports – guaranteed busy during the Presidential Inauguration this Friday, Jan 20. Updated restrictions here. Departure slots required for aircraft departing IAD between Friday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 22. Departure slots can be obtained through an IAD FBO of choice (Ross Aviation or Signature Flight Support). Slots will be divided equally between the two FBOs at IAD.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls on 28th Jan. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02FEB.

BGBW/Narsarsuaq A seasonal reminder that if you’re planning to use Narsarsuaq as a destination, alternate, or enroute alternate outside of the operating hours (MON-SAT 1000-1900z daily until 03APR), you must contact the airport in advance to apply for them to stay open for you:
Email: bgbw@mit.gl. Also make sure you file your ATC FPL including the AFTN address: BGBWZTZX.

EKCH/Copenhagen A copy of the AOC must accompany fuel release or expect an MOT charge of approximately $1.70 USD to be charged. Next destination must be shown on the fuel release or expect delays.

EGPH/Edinburgh, Scotland Until Apr 1st, you will need PPR to operate to Edinburgh, due to reduced parking capacity.

RPLB/Subic Bay will be closed for maintenance bewtween 0100-0800z until January 20th.

SKZZ/Colombia New Tower and ACC for Bogota. From 16th Jan – 15th Feb moving of Bogota’s ACC will take place. ATS/AIS/COM/MET/ATFM services transition process should not affect operations, however, due to the large change extent foreseen, some failures might occur in the process.  AIC 1/17 outlines contingency procedures in place

SVZZ/Venezuela has closed its land borders with Colombia and Brazil periodically in the last 12 months. Border closures occur frequently, often with short notice. The Venezuelan government will withdraw the 100 bolivar note (VEF 100) from circulation as of 20 January 2017.

LYBA/Beograd If you have any outstanding navigation fees in Serbia, better get them paid, or they’ll add a 9.88% interest charge.

HSSS/South Sudan Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for South Sudan’s airspace: Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights.

ZKKP/North Korea Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for DPRK North Korea’s airspace: The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operationseast of that line.

ZZZZ/Worldwide How have you been getting on with the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseolgies? In short, some countries are implementing, and others aren’t. What is your country doing? Tell us at bulletin@fsbureau.org.

 

View the full International Bulletin 18JAN2017

The Hidden Costs of Operating to China

China has always been challenging to operate to. Handling rates are prohibitively expensive, half the country’s airways are closed to foreign operators, and slots and parking at the major airports can often be impossible to obtain.

But often the most frustrating thing about operating to China is just trying to work out what all the different charges are for. If you receive a big bill post-flight from a company called Tong Da Air Service, unfortunately it’s not a scam! These guys are the government-appointed agency in China who are responsible for collecting all the NAV fees for flights by foreign operators.

 

It’s important to know in advance what you will get charged here, as it’s not totally clear  without doing a bit of digging – and your handling agent will likely not include all these complicated fees when they provide you with handling quotes!

So when it comes to NAV fees in China, you will always get charged for four separate things:

  • En-Route Charge.
  • Terminal Navigation Charge.
  • Compensation Charge (the fee paid to the government for the permit)
  • Service Charge (Tongda Air’s charge for obtaining the permit)

 

Importantly…

En-Route Charge = this is charged for each individual flight

Terminal Navigation / Service Charge / Compensation Charge = these are charged per permit, and are always set costs.

 

So let’s say you fly RKSS-ZBAA-RKSS: you will need to pay En-Route Charges for each sector, and one set of Terminal Navigation / Service / Compensation charges.

Similarly, if your routing involves multiple domestic flights within China, (eg. RKSS-ZBAA-ZBTJ-ZSPD-RKSS) you only need one permit to cover all those stops,  which means you will only pay one set of Terminal Navigation / Service / Compensation charges. So far so good…

 

But let’s say you fly something like RKSS-ZBAA-VHHH-ZGSD: on this routing you will effectively be departing China when you go to VHHH, so you will need two permits – one for each stop in China (ZBAA and ZGSD). And because of this, you would need to pay two sets of Terminal Navigation / Service / Compensation charges!

 

china-map

 

So here’s how you work out the 4 charges:

 

1. En-Route Charge

There’s a very lengthy and complicated method of working this out, but the easiest thing to do is just use your flight-planning tool to tell you the answer. Most tools have this function – just make sure you click the button that says something like ‘overflight costs’ and find the section on the output of the flight plan that looks something like this:

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-13-34-35

(Showing costs for a B737 operating from ZBAA/Beijing to VHHH/Hong Kong)

 

2. Terminal Navigation Charge

MTOW                      Charges (RMB Yuan)

Up to 25                    990

26-50                         1060

51-100                      1060 + 21*(T-50)

101-200                   1920 + 23*(T-100)

above 201               3820 + 27*(T-200)

 

T = the actual MTOW rounded up to the nearest tonne

 

So for example:

an aircraft with a MTOW of 60T = 1060 + 21*(60-50) = 1270RMB

an aircraft with a MTOW of 110T = 1920 + 23*(110-100) = 2150RMB

an aircraft with a MTOW of 210T = 3820 + 27*(210-200) = 4090RMB

 

3. Compensation Charge

This will always be $3000.

 

4. Service Charge:

This will be either $1200 for landing permit, or $500 for overflight permit.

 

New Dangerous Goods regulations from Jan 1st

You can view the full list of changes here, but this list might be a little handier. From Jan 1st, the new edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (Edition 58) will be applicable.

  • Replacing the existing lithium battery handling label with a new multi-modal lithium battery mark to be phased in over two years, with a deadline of December 2018 (Figure 7.1.C)
  • Introducing a new Class 9 dangerous goods label specifically for lithium batteries, to be phased in over two years, with a deadline of December 2018 (Figure 7.3.X)
  • Many new and modified special provisions
  • Allowing shippers to assign a substance to a class or division different to that shown in the List of Dangerous Goods (IATA DGR 4.2), subject to approval by the appropriate national authority
  • Adding classification criteria for polymerizing substances into Division 4.1
  • Adding new UN numbers and Proper Shipping Names for “polymerizing substances,
  • liquid and solid, stabilized” (PI 459) and “polymerizing substances, liquid and solid requiring temperature
  • Updating Special Provision A104 for UN1230, Methanol that requires all packages containing methanol to bear a Division 6.1 toxic hazard label (in addition to the Class 3 flammable label)
  • Changing the documentation requirements for hazmat air shipments

Reference:

IATA DGR Changes from 1st Jan, 2017.

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