International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Category: Bullet Items (page 1 of 6)

Updated communication procedures for Hong Kong FIR

AIP SUP A09/18 details new communication procedures for air traffic entering the VHHK/Hong Kong FIR.

The key points:

  • Aircraft shall comply with the following communication requirements to obtain an air traffic control (ATC) clearance:
  • Pilot shall report the aircraft callsign, position (with reference to reporting point), level (including passing and cleared levels if not maintaining the cleared level), transponder code, and other pertinent information (e.g. speed assigned by last ATC, tracking if it differs from the flight plan route) in the initial call before entering Hong Kong FIR.

Also a small change: the requirement for pilots to report the estimate time exiting Hong Kong FIR on first contact with Hong Kong Radar as stipulated in AIP Hong Kong ENR 1.1 paragraph 2.2.4 will no longer be applicable and is hereby cancelled.

Don’t forget to file MACH number in NY Oceanic Airspace

KZWY/New York Oceanic FIR last month published a NOTAM requiring Flight Plans to be submitted with MACH crusing number, rather than TAS in Field 15A for the flight plan. So far, most operators are not doing this. But you should!

This includes flight departing TXKF/Bermuda.

A0178/18 – ALL ACFT ENTERING THE NEW YORK OCEANIC FIR (KZWY), INCLUDING THOSE DEPARTING BERMUDA (TXKF) , MUST FILE A MACH NUMBER INSTEAD OF A SPEED OF KNOTS IN THE EXPECTED CRUISE SPEED FIELD (FIELD 15A) OF THEIR FPL. 03 MAY 17:08 2018 UNTIL 31 MAR 23:59 2019. CREATED: 03 MAY 17:09 2018

Reports are that compliance so far has been low.

So why do it?

NY ARTCC tell us:

This minor adjustment enables the ATC computer system to effectively probe flight plans and proactively offer more favorable routes and/or reroutes.

Help ATC out! Thank you.

 

Just about nowhere to land in London at night this summer

Jet noise! It seems that Londoners are sick of it. Corporate operators watch out; London basin airports of EGGW/Luton, EGSS/Stansted, EGKK/Gatwick, EGLL/Heathrow, EGKB/Biggin Hill, EGWU/Northolt, EGLF/Farnborough and EGTK/Oxford airports are now effectively closed or restricted for overnight flights.

EGGW/Luton is the biggest hit with a curfew this summer: from 1 June to 30 September, arrivals/departures will be prohibited between 23-7 local time each night.

Over at EGSS/Stansted, where local authorities have already reduced the number of night-time slots for GA/BA to just 10 per week, new noise restrictions have also been introduced which mean that aircraft rated above QC1 are unlikely to receive slot approval at all during the night period:

Who’s to blame?

Local airlines, mainly the low-cost ones. Late arrivals have used up much of the cumulative noise footprint at both airports.

So, what’s left?
  • EGMC/Southend (40 miles away) & EGBB/Birmingham (115 miles away) are the only airports with no restrictions (thus far).
  • EGLL/Heathrow & EGGK/Gatwick: Pretty much a no-go zone for business aviation these days
  • EGLC/London City: closed from 1030pm to 0630am
  • EGWU/Northolt: closed from 8pm to 8am on weekdays
  • EGLF/Farnborough: closed from 10pm to 7am on weekdays
  • EGKB/Biggin Hill: closed from 11pm to 6.30am on weekdays, and 10pm to 8am on weekends
Who’s most affected?

Transatlantic crossings that plan to arrive in London late at night (after a morning departure from the US) or late-night London departures. Plan ahead and speak with your FBO so you don’t get stuck in a noisy bind.

Extra Reading:

Cape Town – No Fuel!

FACT/Cape Town is facing a fuel restriction, no fuel available as of now (20 MAR 2018). The reason for the restriction is not known, but we have reached out to several suppliers who have all confirmed the same information.

We’re checking up to find the reasoning, as well as an estimated date of availability.

If you have any additional information, you can reach out at team@flightservice.org

Sao Paulo’s second airport to regain international status… for nine days

For the first time in over twenty years, the city’s second airport, SBSP/Congonhas, will be open to international flights, from 9-18th March 2018.

This is happening as the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2018 will be taking place in Sao Paulo from Mar 13-15, and as space is limited at the main airport, SBGR/Sao Paulo International, the authorities think they’ll need extra space for attendees’ aircraft. So at SBSP/Congonhas, only BA/GA will be accepted, and nothing larger than 737BBJ / A319ACJ.

This will also serve as a trial period to check if the airport could regain its international status on a permanent basis. Scheduled international flights stopped operating from Cogonhas back in 1985, and the airport finally lost its international status in 2008.

The airport’s runways were resurfaced last resurfaced back in 2007, but were not extended because of the rapid growth of Sao Paulo, which has now completely surrounded the airport. The longest runway is 1940 meters, and the airport is open from 07-23 local time, seven days a week.

Kenya airspace threat downgraded

The FAA has revised its warning for Kenyan airspace – the area to ‘exercise caution’ is now limited only to that airspace east of 40 degrees East longitude below FL260 (i.e. the border region with Somalia, and 12nm off the east coast of Kenya). Prior to this, their warning applied to all airspace in Kenya below FL260.

Published on 26 Feb 2018, the warning maintains the same wording to clarify 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 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 Notam uses FL260 as the minimum safe level, though we would suggest, as usual, that a higher level closer to FL300 is more sensible.

You can read the NOTAM in full on our Kenya page on SafeAirspace.net, a collaborative and information sharing tool used by airlines, business jet operators, state agencies, military, and private members of OPSGROUP.

More direct routings across Europe

Sectors of airspace over southern Germany are ahead of schedule with plans to bring in Free Route Airspace (FRA). With effect from 1st March 2018, FRA will be implemented in the EDUU/Karlsruhe UAC, EDWW/Bremen ACC , and EDMM/Munchen ACC above FL245.

By the end of 2019, most European airspace is expected to have implemented Free Route Airspace, with all airspace having this type of operations by 2021/2022.

We like the idea of Free Route Airspace – direct routing is the way of the future. We also like cool maps. Thankfully, good old Eurocontrol have provided us with some great ones, showing where Free Route Airspace currently exists, and where it will be implemented in the future:

For everything you could possibly want to know about FRA in Europe, check out Eurocontrol’s page on it here: http://www.eurocontrol.int/articles/free-route-airspace

Indonesia mandates ADS-B above FL290

Since the start of Jan 2018, all aircraft flying in Indonesian airspace at or above FL290 need to be equipped with ADS-B (Mode S Transponder and GNSS source position). Below that flight level, it remains optional.

Indonesian airspace is split into two FIR’s – WIIF/Jakarta and WAAF/Ujung Pandang:

To the north, Singapore have required the carriage of ADS-B on certain airways since 2013; and to the south, Australia have mandated ADS-B for all airspace above FL290 since early 2017. So there’s a vast section of connected airspace in the region where ADS-B is now required.

For flight planning, make sure you show the correct ADS-B designators in Item 10 of the FPL:

  • E – Transponder — Mode S, including aircraft identification, pressure – altitude and ADS – B Out capability.
    or…
  • – Transponder—Mode S, including aircraft identification,pressure-altitude,ADS-B Out and enhanced surveillance capability.
    together with…
  • B1  ADS-B “out” capability using 1090MHz extended squitter.
    or…
  • B2  ADS-B “out” and “in” capability using 1090MHz extended squitter.

Further reading:

New slot procedure at VIDP/Delhi

All flights to/from VIDP/Delhi Airport now need to get slots approved, and for international flights, you can only apply for these up to a maximum of 5 days in advance.

They’re calling these slots “Delhi Arrival Clearance Numbers” (DACN) for arrivals, and “Delhi Departure Clearance Numbers” (DDCN) for departures, and you can apply for them by emailing flight.data@gmrgroup.in and copying-in dial.aocc@gmrgroup.in.

Make sure you put your slot number in Item 18 of your FPL. If you miss your slot time by more than 30 minutes, expect to have to re-apply for a completely new slot.

Also, watch out for long stays – the maximum ground time for everything except scheduled flights is now 3 days, unless you go into a hangar.

Full details of these new rules can be found here.

Tel Aviv Airport closes as a precaution against attack

LLBG/Tel-aviv: Israel’s main airport briefly suspended operations on Feb 10, due to military clashes along the northern border with Syria.

Two Israeli pilots were forced to abandon their F-16 jet, which crashed near the border after being hit by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile. The jet was on a mission in which it struck an Iranian facility in Syria that had previously operated a drone which Israel shot down over its territory.

This resulted in all flights from LLBG/Tel-aviv Airport being grounded for around an hour starting at 9am local time, as a precaution against any further attacks. The airport is considered a strategic location that could be targeted during military conflict.

Here’s what Israel’s PM had to say about it:

This incident marks the most significant engagement by Israel in the fighting that has been taking place in neighbouring Syria since 2011. Israel has mostly stayed out of the conflict so far, but has recently become more concerned about the increased Iranian presence along its border.

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