International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Category: FIR

Countries with bans on flights to Israel

Which countries have banned both direct flights and overflying traffic to/from Israel?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. Here’s the answer:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen.

These countries do not officially recognise Israel, and prohibit flights going to/from Israel from using their airspace.

The one exception we’ve spotted is Sudan, who do allow Ethiopian Airlines to use their airspace for their Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv flights:

But for everyone else wanting to do private or non-scheduled flights to/from Israel, Sudan airspace is off-limits.

For anyone wanting to get from Israel to Asia, there is a narrow corridor available down the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and across the Indian Ocean. This takes advantage of the fact that most countries operate with a 12NM rule – that is, if you’re in their FIR, and you’re 12NM away from the landmass, you don’t need a permit.

Israel’s national carrier El Al operates a couple of scheduled flights on this basis – one to Mumbai, and another to Bangkok:

There is no airway down the Red Sea between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, so you have to fly a direct route between the FIRs. As reported by an Opsgroup member, here’s how it works:

FL290 for southbound traffic, and FL300 for northbound. ATC at both Cairo and Saudi FIRs are used to that. When departing from Israel and going southbound, after losing radar contact with Cairo, you are on your own. Report on Africa VHF freq that you are "over International waters southbound / northbound etc." Listen to Saudi control and try to call them - but do not expect an answer. You will need to maintain your own separation visually, although the Saudis will see you on their radar and they are used to jets flying there. Keep your landing lights on 'pulse' for any opposite traffic. Contact Asmara (Eritrea) control 10NM before entering their FIR. Use SAT phone if no one answers on VHF.

On the reverse side, Israel only allow overflights of their airspace to Royal Jordanian Airlines, and only when departing from or flying to the following airports: CYUL/Montreal, EHBK/Maastricht, KDTW/Detroit, KORD/Chicago, LTAC/Ankara.

Although it’s technically possible for other operators to apply for an overflight permit, it can take up to 30 days, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll get approved unless you’re operating some kind of diplomatic or state flight.

More information:

  • For direct flights to Israel, you can only operate from certain authorised airports. See the list of airports here.

  • If you want to know exactly how to get your landing or overflight permits, check out our Permit Book – this tells you how to get a permit for each and every country in the world!

  • Does anything in this article look wrong to you? Let us know, so we can fix it!

NAT Expanded data link mandate

It’s time for everyone’s favourite topic – DATA LINK MANDATE! New things are happening on December 7th. Don’t worry, we’ll help.

Right Now, if you’re using the NAT tracks, between FL350-390, you’re mandated to use data link services. Simply put, you must be equipped with CPDLC and ADS-C (FANS 1/A ready and able).

On December 7th 2017, the data link mandate will expand to the entire ICAO NAT Region between FL350-390, with a few exceptions. We’ve got the image below showing you the area. White routes are exempt, as well as the grey border areas (we like the Big Fish).

Exemptions:
-Everything north of 80°North
-New York Oceanic East FIR (was previously all of NY Oceanic)
-Routes T9, T213, T13, T16, T25. (see: The Tango Routes)
-The Blue Spruce Routes (white lines)
-Areas that currently have radar, multilateration (is this a word?) and/or ADS-B. (the grey areas)
Note: If any of the NAT Tracks go into the grey areas, you won’t be exempt while on the tracks.

Be ready, January 30th, 2020, all of the NAT ICAO Region will have the Data Link Mandate, above FL290, including the Tango Routes as well as those little grey areas.

To figure out where you are welcome on the NAT, depending on what equipment and training you have, check out our quick and dirty guide here.

For more details about the datalink mandate, you can read the UK AIC in full here.

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Cathay crew witness missile re-entry from North Korea

Crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight witnessed the re-entry of North Korea’s latest missile near their position late last week. The CX893 service from San Francisco to Hong Kong on Nov 29 was over Japan at the time when North Korea launched its missile.

The crew reported: “Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location.”

Here’s Cathay Pacific’s full statement:

“On 29 November, the flight crew of CX893 reported a sighting of what is suspected to be the re-entry of the recent DPRK test missile. Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC according to procedures. Operation remained normal and was not affected. We have been in contact with relevant authorities and industry bodies as well as with other carriers. At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters. We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves."

North Korea’s missiles are larger, and can fly further, than the other missiles we’ve previously seen. Over the past year, most of these missiles land in the Sea of Japan, well inside the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (Japanese airspace). But as we see with this latest test, there is clearly a danger of some of these missiles not re-entering the atmosphere intact – meaning that a debris field of missile fragments passes through the airspace, not just one complete missile. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you read this: our article on why North Korean missiles are now a real threat to Civil Aviation.

This latest test is also significant because of its unprecedented altitude – 4500km (2800 miles). Experts seem to agree that if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, the missile would have been capable of traveling around 13000km (8100 miles), meaning it could have struck anywhere in the mainland US.

If you’re operating in the region, we recommend avoiding the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR entirely and avoiding the affected areas over the Sea of Japan. For more info, check out Safeairspace.

French Guiana ATC strikes continue

There seems to be no end in sight for the French Guiana ATC strikes. Here’s the current situation:

SOOO FIR: the entire airspace will be uncontrolled from 00-11z until further notice (extended beyond 01Dec).
That means there will be no ATC staff on duty during these times. Basically, during the closure, there’s a contingency plan in place: so if you want to cross this bit of airspace, there are now very specific routes and levels you have to fly at. Check these carefully prior to ops, and make sure you’re at the right flight level before crossing the FIR boundary. Once you’re inside the FIR, don’t change your speed or level.

To read the contingency plan in full, with all the published routes and what to do, click here.

TTZP/Piarco ATC (who control the FIR to the north) have said that everything has been running smoothly so far with this contingency plan, and they haven’t had any problems with directing overflying traffic from TTZP to SOOO.

SOCA/Cayenne Airport: the airport will be limited between 0100-1100Z until further notice.  This means you can’t file as an alternate, and if you’re arriving or departing during these times, you’ll need to call ATC for PPR at +594 35 92 72, or +594 39 93 02. 

We’ll keep this page updated with the latest news as we get it.

EGGX Shanwick FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Oceanic

Because Shanwick is the only true Oceanic FIR in the NAT region, we’ll use this page for NAT changes, including CZQX/Gander, BIRD/Iceland, ENOB/Bodo, LPPO/Santa Maria, and KZWY/New York Oceanic East.

Coming up soon …

  • Dec 7, 2017: Datalink Mandate expands All NAT Region airspace will now require Datalink between FL350-FL390. There are exceptions, namely: North of 80N, Surveillance airspace (Radar and ADS-B, and there’s a map), New York Oceanic, and Tango Routes.
  • Jan 4, 2018: RLAT Next Phase. The Half-Tracks will be expanded from the three that now run each day, first by one additional track, to a max of four RLAT tracks – between FL350-FL390.  This is different to the initial plan foreseen, which was that all tracks would be RLAT at these levels. Further expansion will depend on demand. Jan 4 is the earliest day that this might happen, but because they will be decided tactically, it’ll be the first busy day after Jan 4.
  • March 29, 2018: RCP RSP required on the NAT Tracks between FL350-390.

 

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 December 7, 2017.

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

Feb 15th, 2017 In the first six weeks of 2017 there have been some important changes on the NAT/North Atlantic. These are published in the latest edition of NAT Doc 007, January 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: Announced January 2017, new exemptions for Phase 2B of the Datalink mandate, which will start 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 15th, 2017: FSB published the full NAT Crossing Guide “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow“.

– What’s different about the NAT, changes in 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.

 


National Italian ATC Strike (cancelled)

Update: 1800Z / 24October

Good news–the strike scheduled for October 27th has been cancelled, no disruptions in ATC services to be expected.  All FIRs have issued NOTAMs accordingly.

Italy ATC Unions have announced a strike on October 27th, which is a Friday (big surprise there). As of now, the strike is expected to take place from 1100-1500UTC.

Negotiations are ongoing, and we have our contacts in Italy keeping us updated to any developments and impact to operations.

ENAV has confirmed the strike could affect:

Milano, Roma, and Brindisi ACCs, ATS and MET at a large chunk of Italian airports, the flight planning data office, ground communications, weather forecasting units…it’s a large strike.

 

 

Read up on the full NOTAM below, and we’ll get the updates here when they’re posted.

 

DUE TO STRIKE OF PART OF OPERATIONAL PERSONNEL FOLLOWING AIR NAVIGATION SERVICES MAY BE AFFECTED:
1) LIBB, LIMM, LIPP AND LIRR ACC/FIC
2) ATS AND MET OBS PROVIDED BY ENAV, AT:
LIBD LIBF LIBG LIBP LIBR
LIEE LIEO LIMA LIMC LIME
LIPH LIPK LIPO LIPQ LIPR
LIRI LIRN LIRQ LIRU LIRZ
3) ATS/AIS/MET AND COM PROVIDED BY
- NOTAM OFFICE (NOF-AFTN LIIAYNYX)
- ATS REPORTING OFFICES WITH CENTRAL BRIEFING OFFICE CAPABILITY 
(ARO-CBO ROMA-AFTN LIRFZPZX AND ARO-CBO MILANO-AFTN LIMLZPZX) NOTAM IN FORCE
- INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION CENTRE (ICC-AFTN LIIDYFYX)
- CENTRALIZED AUTOMATED FLIGHT PLANNING DATA OFFICE (AODO-AFTN LIIRZEZX)
- GROUND GROUND COMMUNICATION MONITORING UNIT (CME)
4) METEOROLOGICAL FORECASTING UNITS (UPM ROMA-AFTN LIJRYMYX AND UPM MILANO-AFTN LIJLYMYX).
REMARKS:
A) ACCORDING TO ITALIAN LAW 146/90 AND 83/2000 THE PROVISION OF ATS WILL BE GRANTED TO:
- STATE/HEAD/FFR/MEDEVAC/HOSP/HUM/SAR/ATFMX AND EMERGENCY FLIGHT
- OVERFLYING FLT AND STATE AIRCRAFT
- INCOMING INTERCONTINENTAL FLT
- FLT TO/FM ITALIAN ISLANDS AND DEP INTERCONTINENTAL AS IDENTIFIED BY CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY
- ALL OTHER FLT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY 
B) DURING STRIKE ATS/AIS/MET MAY BE PROVIDED TO ADDITIONAL FLT ACCORDING TO RELEVANT 
FLOW CONTROL MEASURES FOR LIBB LIMM LIPP LIRR ACC ISSUED IN DUE TIME BY EUROCONTROL DNM (DIRECTORATE NETWORK MANAGER)
C) AVAILABILITY OF AIR NAVIGATION SERVICES PROVIDED BY ATS/AIS /MET/COM 
UNITS WILL BE ANNOUNCED BY SPECIFIC NOTAM

Qatar – What We Know

There have been many reports of countries cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar.  We’ll leave the speculation to the media, we want to break down what it means for operators and aircraft owners.  Just the facts.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Libya, Yemen, Maldives, and Mauritius have all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

As of now, only Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and UAE have placed flight restrictions on flights to/from Qatar. No known restrictions (beyond those known for Libya and Yemen anyhow) for the remaining countries mentioned in reports.

The new regulations are quite clear. You cannot overfly or land at any airport in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, or UAE with a Qatari registered aircraft. If you have a non-Qatari registered aircraft, and need to operate to/from Qatar and use the mentioned countries airspace you’ll need special approvals from the authorities below:

Saudi Arabia GACA:
+966115253336
special@gaca.gov.sa

Egypt ECAA:
+202 22678535
+202 24175605
AFTN: HECAYAYX

UAE GCAA:
+971 50 642 4911
avsec-di@gcaa.gov.ae

 

No special exemptions have been mentioned by Bahrain, but they’ve given the following routing for those effected by the restrictions:

UT430 OUTBOUND VIA RAGAS
UR659 INBOUND VIA MIDSI

Due to the situation, Iran has published special routing schemes for transitioning their airspace, as they’ll get quite busy:

Qatar to Ankara:
FL150-FL190, RAGAS-UT430-LAGSA-UL223-TESVA/ALRAM

Qatar to Muscat and Karachi FIR:
FL150-FL19, expect climb after KIS
RAGAS-M561-ASVIB (To Karachi)
RAGAS-M561-KHM-BUBAS (To Muscat)

Ankara to Qatar:
Between FL240 to FL300, ALRAM-UT36-MIDSI

Muscat to Karachi to Qatar:
Between FL240 to FL260, N312/A453-MIDSI

Also, if flying from Ankara to UAE (except OMAA), use the below routing:
BONAM-L319-RADID-M317-KUPTO-G666-ORSAR

The situation is fluid, and we will update this post as we continue to collect news.

UZZZ Russia FIR’s 2017 Operational Changes

Because there are about 6000 Russian FIRs, we don’t have a page for each. All Russian updates will appear here.

Feb 22nd, 2017 Russia is finally transitioning to QNH. Check this article.

HLLL Tripoli FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Libya

Feb 1st, 2017 HLLL/Libya has issued state guidance to areas that they believe to be active Conflict Zones. While we list the entire country as Level 1 – Avoid” at safeairspace.net, it is nonetheless noteworthy as this type of notification from a ‘Conflict Zone state’ is rare. The 3 areas with coordinates, are below.

Area 1:- 3116N01610E 3108N01707E 3030N01700E 3042N01605E
Area 2:- 3251N02240E 3243N02246E 3239N02218E 3247N02216E
Area 3:- 3212N02002E 3209N02007E 3157N01953E 3154N02005E

These correspond to sites at Sirte, Benghazi, and Derna, left to  right below, with Sirte being the largest.

 


 

 

More:

  • Libya Airspace/Overflight risk warnings  at safeairspace.net

OIIX Tehran FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Iran

Feb 1st, 2017 Traffic is getting far busier through the Turkey-Iran FIR boundary (Europe-Asia main flight route). ALRAM is the new “corner” for avoiding Iraq. Here’s updated flight planning  guidance from Turkey for Jan-March 2017 – use these when planning your ATC route (refer LTAA A5716/16). We’ve translated the Notam a little for clarity, here’s the highlights:

1. SRT-ALRAM segment of UG8  – use FL330 or higher.
2. ULTED-ALRAM segment of UT36 – use FL330 or higher.
3. Going via UG8 or UT36, to leave Tehran FIR via ALRAM, at FL320 and below: Route EZS-UG81/UL124-VAN-BONAM-UMH. Check Iran AIP Sup 93/15 for more.
4. ALRAM-BAYIR segment UT888 minimum FL330. If entering LTAA/Ankara FIR via ALRAM lower than FL330, then route UMH-BONHAM-UI124/UG81-VAN-UI124-UG81-BAYIR.
5. VAN-BONAM segment of UG81 and UI124 can be used bidirectional below FL330.
6. ULTED-NINVA segment of UM688 – use FL330 or higher.
7. Entire R/UR21, SRT-KABAN segment of M/UM860, and ULSAB-KABAN segment of UT334 closed FL180-FL310.
8. UT332 – use FL330 or higher.
9. UT301 totally closed.
10. UT333 closed FL180-FL310 inclusive.

 


IOB Bulletins

31AUG 2016 OIZZ/Iran has approved the use of its airbases by Russian fighter aircraft; Russia has notified intention to launch missiles in the direction of Syria from the Caspian Sea fleet. The Russian Air Force has deployed six Tu-23M3 BACKFIRE bomber aircraft and multiple Su-34 FULLBACK strike fighter jets to Hamedan Air Base (OIHS/NUJ). FSBIOBXX

17AUG 2016 On August 16, Russian TU-22 bombers based in Hamedan, Iran, attacked targets in the Syrian towns of Deir Ezzour, Aleppo and Idlib. These were the first Russian airstrikes carried out from bases in Iran.

07DEC2015 German Authorities published a new Notam last week warning of a risk to flight for aircraft operating in the vicinity of OITT/Tabriz, OITL/Ardabil, and OIGG/Rasht. DFS, the German ATC agency, recommends overflying this general region at FL260 or higher. A6875/15.

13OCT 2015  On 06 OCT 15 the Russian military launched 26 Kalibr-class cruise missiles from 4 ships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria. These missiles were routed through the airspace of Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria, causing concern as to the safety of international air traffic crossing the missiles trajectory. Full notice.

 

More stuff:

  • Iran Conflict Zone/Overflight risk warnings  at safeairspace.net
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