International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Category: News Item (page 1 of 17)

What do you Sphinx about this new airport?

We love new airports … and we have a cool one tell you about in Giza, Egypt – known as Sphinx International Airport (SPX, HESX)!

It looks like it’s undergoing a “soft” opening of sorts. Word from handlers we have spoken to on the ground confirm it’s open for business (for the most part).

Here is the info we have so far:

  • ICAO code: HESX
  • IATA code: SPX
  • PCN: 87
  • Runway dimensions: 3650M x 60M
  • The airport is open from Sunrise to Sunset. No night lighting installed as yet.
  • There is no CIQ yet. But it’s coming soon – so it’s not an airport of entry presently.
  • Airport features a general and business aviation terminal, with its own dedicated CIQ unit. The VIP terminal and Royal Lounge are open. A complete fleet of GSE is in place.
  • Jet A1 Fuel is available via Misr Petroleum Company tankers. No Hydrant System yet.
  • Airport features 8 parking stands currently.
  • Most likely the airport will be slot coordinated preserving control on capacity until the new terminals launch.
  • Night stop parking is accepted with a requirement to re-position aircraft to parking bays after passengers disembark.

Some extra info from the local agent:

“The airport has already launched, but not in it’s full capacity as the contracted constructor is still finishing up the exteriors. In addition the check-in software has not been installed, meaning commercial schedule flights haven’t started yet. However the airport is accepting business and general aviation flights during opening hours and with pre-notification of 48 hours.”

Parking spots are well equipped and overnight parking is possible. The airport is only seeing a handful of movements at present and is not busy.

The airport is best suited for those wishing to visit Cairo West or Giza City with the expected launch of commercial flights on 30 June.

Have you landed there yet? Let us know if you have any updates.

p.s. Fun fact- The Great Sphinx of Giza when translated from Arabic to English means: The Terrifying One; literally: Father of Dread. So……Safe landings 😉

Extra Reading:

  • AD 2.HESX-v2 – AIP Information on HESX – Sphinx International Airport.

24-hour Italy ATC strike confirmed for July 5th

A 24 hour strike by Italian ATC has been confirmed to FSB by ENAV, set for the entire day of July 5th, from midnight-midnight.

This is different to the normal Italian strikes which are usually 4 hours in length and only affect specific airports, exempting overflights and intercon arrivals. This strike is likely to have bigger impact, but we’re waiting on details. More to follow.

Frustration with new Curacao FIR billing system

We have previously reported on TNCF/Curacao FIR denying airspace entry if you haven’t prepaid your navigation fees.

Since then, more of our members have reported that the Dutch Caribbean – Air Navigation Service Provider (DC-ANSP) have been charging navigation fees for flights filed but not operated. If there was a mistake on the flightplan or a new one needed to be filed the DC-ANSP has charged the fees for both and refused to issue refunds. To make matters worse, it’s been reported that they are charging $50 to review the matter! Poor form!

From 1 Jan 2018, DC-ANSP switched billing systems – from direct payment to IATA to a new online system provided for by IDS. It’s pretty high tech and fancy. Maybe too fancy if they are charging for flights that didn’t happen….

High tech new billing system!

DC-ANSP’s motto is “We guide you home safely!” – maybe they should add …. “but only when you prepay.

Have you had a similar experience? Let us know!

Dash 8 set on fire in Papua New Guinea, airport closed indefinitely

AYMN/Mendi has been closed indefinitely after protesters set fire to and destroyed an Air Niugini Dash 8 aircraft, which had just arrived from Port Moresby. The protest was in response to a court ruling confirming the election of the Southern Highlands governor William Powi.

Radio New Zealand reported:

“(Initially) the local police station commander Gideon Kauke had said police were guarding the aircraft to ensure there was no further damage, after its tyres had been flattened.

But he said his team of about ten police couldn’t contain a mob of uncountable numbers, particularly after missiles were thrown, forcing them to retreat; “we were guarding the plane but compared to them we were outnumbered and they came in all directions, all corners. Missiles were thrown, bush knives were thrown.”

Mr Kauke said some of the protestors, who continue to behave menacingly in Mendi as their numbers build up, were carrying guns. He said the protest was in response to a court ruling in Waigani confirming the election of the Southern Highlands governor William Powi.”

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs is cautioning all to “reconsider your need to travel” to the regions affected by the unrest and to also “exercise a general degree of caution” for the whole of PNG.

The local NOTAM says it all.

A0773/18 – AD CLSD TO ALL ACFT OPS DUE CIVIL UNREST. 14 JUN 05:35 2018 UNTIL 13 JUL 06:00 2018 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 14 JUN 05:52 2018

Additional reporting indicates that the aircraft was shot at on landing, deflating the tyres.

Are you currently in PNG and can fill us in on more? Please comment below, or email us.

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Further reading

  • About OpsGroup – the heart of International Flight Operations
  • Feb 20, 2018 – new members being accepted, read why.
  • Join OpsGroup – single and team, Flight Department memberships available.

 

Escape from Teterboro .. FL400 or above

Skip the line up at Teterboro! The FAA has launched an initiative to allow some high-performance business aviation aircraft an escape route during SWAP events to mitigate delays at KTEB and KHPN. The goal is to offer flights that are filed to cruise at FL400 and above an exclusive route that would get them above the airline traffic. This route may add a few extra miles but will minimize ground delays.

As the FAA is required to test the route for ATC automation and familiarity, they are seeking pilots willing to participate in this test as early as this weekend, preferably in the morning, before traffic demand peaks. Aircraft participating in the test would be routed over GREKI and then on to westerly or southwesterly destinations.

If you’re willing to participate in the test this weekend, please at your earliest opportunity contact FAA Deputy Director System Operations, East-North Warren Strickland: warren.strickland@faa.gov

If you’re unable to participate in this weekend’s test, please advise Warren of other dates that may work for you.

 

 

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.

 

New 19-state Upper FIR planned for Africa

Africa has inched closer to achieving a broad Upper Area FIR  following the move by 19 regional states to adopt an airspace agreement at the end of May.

Ministers of Justice and the Attorney Generals from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) adopted the legal instrument on common airspace in Lusaka.

The regional airspace agreement aims at achieving a seamless upper airspace for the region which will lead to enhanced competition in air travel and efficiency.

Zambia Minister of Justice, Hon. Given Lubinda, who opened the May meeting said the COMESA seamless airspace programme will contribute to bringing down high costs.

“The draft legal instruments aimed at the implementation of the COMESA Seamless Airspace programme speak to this.”

 

Extra Reading:

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:
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