November 29, 2017: One of our biggest missions in OPSGROUP is to share risk information and keep operators aware of the current threat picture. The lastest Unsafe Airspace Summary is now published, and available to members here as a PDF download (Unsafe Airspace Summary 29NOV17, edition JULIETT).
The main changes since the last summary are below. For a current risk map, refer to the Airspace Risk map in your member Dashboard.
North Korea. On November 3rd, the FAA published Notam 23/17, which now prohibits US operators from entering any of the Pyongyang FIR. replacing SFAR79 and previous advice to ‘exercise caution’. The situation remains tense, and as highlighted by FSB in September, the western portion of the Japan FIR is a risk area due to multiple missile re-entries into the same portion of Japanese airspace.
The conflict in Mali is onging. Germany added a new specific warning for GAKL/Kidal on 15 Nov, in addition to GATB/Timbuktu and GAGO/Gao.
Saudi Arabia is now at Level 2 – assessed risk. Due to military activity related to the involvement in Yemen, it is suggested to avoid the southwestern region of the Jeddah FIR. On Nov 4 a missile launched from Yemen reached Riyadh Airport. Saudi sources say missile was intercepted, this is not yet confirmed. Threats have been made by Yemen of further strikes.
The situation in Afghanistan remains similar. On November 15, Germany removed wording to maintain FL330 or higher, no altitude advice now exists, but they recommend against landings at Afghan airports.
On October 12th, GCAA announced the changes to the OMAE FIR. They’ve got it all detailed in the latest AIRAC (AIP link below).
The major change–all aircraft require RNAV1 with GNSS to operate in the Emirates FIR, starting December 7th. This is a change from the previous RNAV5. With that, you can expect changes to SIDs, STARs, all ATS routes, holding procedures, communication frequencies, and others. It’s a major overhaul to anticipate for the expected increase in traffic.
We’ve got for you:
–AIP Link (you can find all the specifics to the changes here)
–UAE ENROUTE CHART
TRIGGER NOTAM - PERM AIRAC AIP AMDT NR 13/2017 WEF 07 DEC 2017
RNAV 1 WITH GNSS OPS RQMNTS MANDATED
RNAV 1 ROUTES ADDED
STD ROUTINGS AMD
CONDITIONAL ROUTES ADDED
ENR HOLDINGS ADDED
WAYPOINTS ADDED, DELETED AND AMD
OMR-51 LOWER LIMIT AMD
ADDED FREQ FOR EMIRATES FIR.
07 DEC 00:00 2017 UNTIL 21 DEC 23:59 2017.
ORBB/Baghdad FIR Overflights of Iraq may be permitted to resume as early as next week, allowing international carriers access again to several previously heavily used routes through the eastern side of the Baghdad FIR.
In May of this year, SFAR 77 – banning US operators from operating within Iraqi airspace – lapsed, and was replaced by Notam KICZ 10/2017 – which had much the same wording.
However, on October 3rd, Iraq issued a new Notam (A0477/17) – with a new restricted area in the northwest of the FIR, from Surface to FL460. The previous restricted areas 601 and 701 were withdrawn.
This re-shuffling of restricted airspace paves the way for two major international air routes to be reopened, UM860 and UM688 – which were realigned in April for this purpose, allowing operators additional route options through the Middle East to Europe and vv.
FSB expects an official announcement shortly, and will update operators further. OpsGroup members will be notified directly.
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.
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.
- Iran Conflict Zone/Overflight risk warnings at safeairspace.net
Icelandic volcano Katla has been raised to colour code Yellow by the Icelandic met office.
Katla lives beside Eyjafjallajökull, the volcano that closed much of Europe’s airspace for a week or so in 2010.
Colour code yellow means that there is increased activity, but no eruption … as of yet.
It doesn’t mean that an eruption is ‘expected’ either, but given the proximity of Katla to the site of the major eruption in 2010, there may be correlation. Icelandic scientists have also said that an eruption of Katla is overdue.
For now, keep an eye on updates at http://en.vedur.is/weather/aviation/volcanic-hazards/
Katla’s last eruption photographed in 1918
Today Flight Service Bureau has published ION05/16 – an updated Unsafe Airspace Summary, with new warnings for Turkey, and Iran, and a new map at safeairspace.net. This replaces 04/16 issued in August.
Turkey: 23SEP16 Germany B1289/16 Do not plan flights to LTAJ due potential ground to ground firing in the vicinity of LTAJ/Gaziantep Airport.
Iran: 09SEP16 FAA Notam KICZ 19/16 Exercise caution within Tehran FIR due military activity.
New information in the PDF is marked with a I beside it. Please distribute the PDF to anyone you like, we are keen to make sure as many operators as possible are aware of the risks.
The latest in our series of Lowdowns is: The South Atlantic – EUR/SAM Corridor. We’re seeing increased traffic on this route due to the Olympics, and the requirements for HF, ADS-C, CPDLC, and RNP are summed up here.
We publish these Lowdowns on a regular basis to help out International Operators, and they are sent directly (free) to members of OPSGROUP.
If you’d really like this one, just email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or – join the group at opsgroup.co and you’ll get them all as they are published.