Europe – Big Freeze Feb 11: Exceptionally low temperatures continue across Europe, causing not just Airport delays but also significant road closures, and public transport delays and cancellations. There are numerous flooding areas in Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, and Hungary. Ice has halted shipping on the Danube. Temperatures have reached as low as -36 Celcius in parts that would normally not see much below -10. Met forecasters expect the temperatures to continue below normal for the rest of the month.

Iraq – Landing Permits Feb 11: The Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) has ended a monopoly situation in the country, where the granting of exclusive rights to a private company to manage landing permits resulted in a reported increase in cost from $200 to $6-$8,000 per flight. As of Feb 1st, applications can now be made directly to the ICAA or to Iraqi Airways. See our “Permits” section below for more details.

EGSC/Cambridge, UK Execujet has opened it’s first FBO inthe UK at Cambridge, near London.

OLBB/Beirut FIR Minimum separation between radar identified traffic on same track and level is now set at 20nm.

LCLK/Larnaca, Cyprus will be closed 15-26 February on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 2200-0225.

LEMG/Malaga, Spain Airspace structure changes introduced on Feb9th, reduction in capacity 09FEB-15FEB. ATC Procedures have also changed.

LLBG/Tel Aviv, Israel will be closed: Every Friday between 1600-2055 through 23 March, and Daily for takeoff due to noise abatement between 2200-2300 through 29 March for aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 300,000 KGs and above and whose destination is the Far East.

VABB/ Mumbai, India will be closed daily between 0600-1100 on 25 February and 3, 10, and 17 March.

TKPN/Nevis has no fuel available.

EDMM/Munich ACC Changing to a paperless strip system in the East sector. Operational Trials with capacity reduction of 20% will happen in the early hours of Feb 11, 21 and 28. Go live date is March 3rd.

SPIM/Lima, Peru Operators take note of this message from the Airport Company “NON SCHEDULE FLIGHTS (CARGO, CIVIL OR MILITARY) OPERATORS MUST COORDINATE FLIGHT PLANS 24 HOURS BEFORE ETA SPIM WITH AIRPORT ADMINISTRATION (LAP) EMAIL COORDINACIONESFPL@LIMA-AIRPORT.COM”

ITALY – 11FEB Tax Update

By now, if you operate a Private Jet, you will have read with concern the situation with the new tax in Italy. We did publish in our Int’l ops bulletin late January that it was unlikely to be an issue for some time – in the last 10 days or so we’ve revised our stance on that and are recommending to reposition out of Italy to avoid staying longer than the 48 hours mentioned. We recommend a reposition to Croatia – LDZR, LDDU, LDSP or Greece – LGKR, and then come back to collect pax/owners after their stay in Italy.

There is an unverified rumour as of Friday 10th Feb that Foreign Operators are going to be exempt from the tax, and that it will apply to Italian operators only. This is only a rumour, so stay tuned for further updates – we expect some more clarifications next week, as the NBAA, EBAA and AOPA are all involved in seeking a clearer picture.
IRAQ – Change to process for Landing Permits (Thanks to Ian Sheppard [AIN Online])

Last week, the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) dissolved an exclusive flight permit contract enjoyed by Palm Jet, following protests from the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) that the agreement made operating business flights into Iraq prohibitively expensive. The contract had been in place since 2010 and meant Palm Jet had a monopoly, for a proposed 12-year term, over all rights to fly in and out of the country. After Palm Jet took over, the permit cost rose from $200 to $6,000 for aircraft with fewer than 10 seats and $8,000 for those with 10 seats or more.

Working with the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), MEBAA raised the issue with ICAO–a tactic that apparently worked. Iraq’s Ministry of Transport is now advising that operators that want to fly into the country apply through normal channels: the ICAA or Iraqi Airways. “This puts Iraq into the scale of normal operations,” said MEBAA founding chairman Ali Al Naqbi. “Business aviation is an important component in the development of the Iraqi economy, but it would not work if extortionate charges were being applied by a single company. It had to stop.”
LIBYA – Overflights – from our Special Bulletin on 01FEB

LIBYA Weds 01FEB – After several months of discussions, Libya has reopened it’s airspace to overflights. This will come as major relief to operators flying North/South routes across Northern Africa, as the Tripoli FIR represents one of the largest pieces of airspace in the region, and having to avoid it since February last year has meant significantly increased track miles and fuel costs.

A joint NOTAM issued by Malta and Libya, A0058/12, clears the way for flights on seven specific routes in each direction, North and South. It is important when flight planning to note that only these seven routes are available, as there are still a number of CNS/ATM limitations facing the Libyan controllers.

The airspace is open with effect 0001Z on February 1st.

Requirements are as follows:

– An overflight permit is required with 72 hours prior notice to the Libyan CAA
– Flight Plan filed via one of the routes listed below
– Use the IATA IFPB 126.9 in addition to comms with Tripoli or Benghazi control

Southbound Routes | entry via ABRAM, LOTIN, ELIMO or BONAR
1. VIA ABRAM M727 ZAW UM77 HAMRA UG655 SEB
2. VIA ABRAM M727 GRT A403 SEB
3. VIA ABRAM M727 ZAW UM77 DEKIL
4. VIA LOTIN UL12 DHR UM215 TONBA
5. VIA ELIMO M732 DOLFI UM732 DITAR
6. VIA BONAR M620 BNA R2 DITAR
7. VIA BONAR UN99 DAYFA B21F ORNAT

Northbound Routes | via GARIN, TUMMO, DITAR or ORNAT
1. GARIN UP126 LUMED
2. GARIN UM214 SEB A403 KDR M740 SARKI
3. TUMMO A403 KDR M740 SARKI
4. DITAR R2 BNA M621 OLMAX
5. DITAR R2 BNA M622 INDOT
6. ORNAT B21F DAYFA B21 INDOT
7. ORNAT B21F MB N68 OLMAX

FAQ | Libya FIR changes
When does this go into effect?
The airspace is technically already open, but you need minimum 72 hours advance notice to obtain the Overflight Permit. So on paper, the first overflight could be made on 04FEB at 0000Z.

Does this apply to all traffic?
Yes, whether commercial or private flight, these routes are available to all traffic overflying Libya.

What if I want a route that isn’t published?
It’s not available. You must file and fly via the routes that are listed above.

What about flights crossing east/west across Africa?
The vast majority of traffic, particularly outside the Hajj season, is North/South over Libya. Taking into account the equipment and manning limitations that ATC has in Tripoli, these routes have been published to allow this bulk of traffic access to Libyan airspace. By keeping traffic to these routes, it will allow controllers to apply the separation standards required. Traffic routing east west would complicate this at the moment.

Are the frequencies the same as before?
To a large extent yes, but there is the additional recommendation that you monitor 126.9 and make position reports using the IATA In Flight Broadcast Procedure.

When are further routes likely to be available?
Probably not for some time. Although Libyan Airspace reopened in October to landing traffic, it has taken 4-5 months to reach this point where overflights are permitted.

Are there any time restrictions?
No, the routes published today are available H24 from this point onwards.