Europe opens up more Free Route Airspace Dec 12th: Ireland was first in 2009 with the Shannon UIR, now more of Europe is moving towards this concept, the key principle of which is that you can flight plan from Entry point to Exit point in any FIR without using airways. Applies above FL245 and 24 hours a day. Read more and see a larger map below.

ATC Strikes – Peru and Algeria Dec 12th: Controllers at Lima Tower (above) and Area Control Centre were on strike from Friday (9th) 0700LT to Sunday (11th) 0700LT. In addition to the current restrictions at Lima for GA aircraft, this makes Peru one keep a cautious eye on over the next few weeks. Controllers in Algeria are also protesting conditions and sporadic strikes are expected throughout December. This will have a greater effect on landing than overflying traffic.

ULLI/St. Petersburg, Russia – Parking restrictions in effect this week, non-sched flights may be restricted to stays of 36 hours or less.

HKNA/Nairobi FIR, Kenya – Some ongoing comms issues on VHF Area frequencies – make position reports on HF 11300 or 8879 instead.

SKEC/Barranquilla FIR, Colombia – Procedural Flow Control in effect. Separation 10 mins between aircraft same level and 5 mins at different levels. Delays/reroutes possible. Similar restrictions in Bogota FIR as well, all due to SAN radar being out of service.

UKOO, Odesa, Ukraine – Radar will be released for maintenance on 14 December, procedural control in effect.

VABF/Mumbai FIR, India – just in case you were thinking of going to visit the Taliban, read this re-issued NOTAM from the Indian authorities. “UNLESS SPECIFICALLY PERMITTED BY DGCA, NO ACFT IS PERMITTED TO ENTER INDIAN AIR SPACE IF DURING THE COURSE OF ITS FLIGHT, IT HAS MADE A LANDING OR IS GOING TO MAKE A LANDING AT ANY PLACE IN THE TALIBAN CONTROLLED AREAS OF AFGHANISTAN. THIS IS IN PURSUANCE OF OPERATIVE PARAGRAPH 11 OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1333. ANY VIOLATION OF THIS PART OF THE RESOLUTION WOULD LEAD TO DENIAL OF FUTURE PERMISSION TO FLY INTO INDIAN AIR SPACE”

VDPP/Phnom Penh, Cambodia – change to operating hours – with effect 09 December the aerodrome will be open from 2300Z-1900Z daily.

OSDI/Damascus, Syria – an unusual one, but important to repot. Syria has banned the use of iPhones – don’t take yours off the airplane – it will be confiscated.

Italy Various public transport strikes planned for 15 and 16 December. Check with local handler for details.

Russia
As part of the massive AIRAC cycle of changes for 17NOV, one item not noticed by many was the supposed removal of the requirement for GA traffic overflying Russia to obtain a permit. According to the AIC, international traffic overflying or landing using international routes and airports would need FPL notification only, and once no rejection message was received within 2 hours, the flight was good to go. We have continued to obtain permits for our customers as there have been numerous rejections without a permit number. What’s your experience?