International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: Ethiopia

OPSGROUP featured on Al Jazeera

As a group of 4000 pilots, dispatchers, and controllers, we stand for safety ahead of commerce. Al Jazeera interviewed our founder, Mark Zee, about the current risk in Ethiopian airspace created by the ATC strike, and why we care so much about getting the truth out to our members.

 

ATC Strike over, but nine Ethiopian Air Traffic Controllers remain in jail

5th September, update:

As of this morning, most controllers have returned to work. Some concessions made by ECAA. Addis ACC and TWR are again staffed with qualified controllers, so the safety situation, for now, is restored. However, 9 remain in jail. Returning controllers were forced to sign an ‘admission’ of illegal strike action in return for amnesty. IATA In Flight Broadcast Procedure requirement for Addis FIR remains in place, meaning you must broadcast on 126.9 as in other areas of concern in Africa. Further as we get it.

 

4th September:

Last week we were one of the first to expose the attempted ATC Strike cover up by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority.

As a reminder, untrained and uncertified foreign controllers, retired and local non-operational ATC personnel are being used to control air traffic over Ethiopia. 

It is a catastrophic misjudgement, creating a safety risk in the Addis FIR and at Ethiopian Airports for pilots and passengers alike.

Here are some more updates since our last article:

  • On August 29, The International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association (IFATCA) penned a letter to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. You can read it here.
  • The neighbouring controllers in Kenya warned that flights in and out of Addis Ababa are not safe. You can view their letter here – specifically they warned that the ‘possibility of air misses’ is real.
  • The ECAA over the weekend rejected concerns regarding the safety of Ethiopian airspace, specifically calling the claims from Kenya as “outright lies.”  The ECAA has said that ATC are operating “in accordance with ICAO Annex 1 provisions.” They did not deny however that foreign and retired ATC are being used.
  • The ECAA also outlined that the national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has “awarded” veteran Air Traffic Controllers,  who are performing their national obligation.
  • However on Monday, the local state affiliated broadcaster, Fana BC, reported that the Federal Police Commission had detained nine individuals on suspicion of attempting to disrupt international flights and coordinating a strike that began last week. This has been quickly condemned on social media, as many locals called on the government to resolve the issues raised by the ATCs rather than resorting to intimidation.

The ECAA claims that “some” of the striking controllers have returned to work.

Major airlines and uninformed passengers continue to fly into and over Ethiopia and this continues to be a major safety risk.

Do you have more to add this story?  Please, let us know!

Ethiopia risking flight safety to cover up ATC strike

  • Ethiopian ATC on strike, no Notams, government hush up
  • OPSGROUP alert for the  Addis Ababa FIR
  • Airspace risk – unrated controllers, some foreign and unfamiliar


Air Traffic Controllers are on strike in Ethiopia
, and Ethiopia would prefer that you don’t know this. We, as OpsGroup, would prefer that you do.

Ethiopia would also prefer that it has no impact on the flight operations of its national carrier, Ethiopian Airlines. Therefore, they have drafted in foreign controllers to replace the strikers, issued no Notams, hushed any publicity, and proactively declared ‘operations normal’ (complete with bizarre, hand drawn airplanes).

European airlines – and frustrated passengers – will watch with great interest, thanks to their own ATC strike woes: regular stoppages by French, Italian, and Greek controllers have this summer, once again, been the source of massive cancellations, reroutes, and delays. Has Ethiopia found the golden elixir, the magic solution to a long-running problem? Is this how to handle a strike by your nations’ Air Traffic Controllers?

It absolutely is not. It is a catastrophic misjudgement, creating a safety risk in the Addis FIR and at Ethiopian Airports for pilots and passengers alike. Ethiopian airspace, this week, is most definitely not ‘operations normal’ – it is unpredictable and unsafe, staffed by unrated, inexperienced controllers, many from abroad – evidenced already by alarming reports of close calls from adjacent Area Control Centers – read on.

The facts are this: faced with an upcoming strike by ATC, Ethiopian Airlines – now Africa’s largest airline –  formed what in the boardroom might have seemed a workable plan: Recruit a bunch of controllers from other countries, fly them in to Addis, and have them do the work of the striking staff.

The first batch of foreign controllers came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a small group described by the local controllers, unsurprisingly, as mercenaries. When the strike started at 7am this past Monday morning, they were ready to go. Not content with stopping there, the requests from ECAA – the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority – for more external controllers went out thick and fast, like an Ambien fuelled shopping spree on Amazon. 30 requested from Sudan, 24 from Kenya. More from Zimbabwe, Malawi. Finding those requests rejected, and resistance from other ATC agencies, the biggest request yet: 120 controllers from ASECNA.

The plan, commercially, is understandable. The wish to keep their airplanes flying is not endemic to Ethiopian Airlines. British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet, have all made very public their frustrations with ATC strikes. An association, A4E, was formed to fight the problem at European level.

But here’s why the Ethiopian solution doesn’t work.

And as a former Air Traffic Controller, and Airline Pilot, I can tell you why.

Air Traffic Control is complex. That’s not a secret. On average, it takes a controller three months to gain a ‘rating’, or qualification, for a specific piece of airspace; that’s how long it takes to become comfortable with the 4D picture in front of you to provide a flawless ATC service. More complex airspace could take six months.

You have to learn each corner of your bit of sky. Learn the rules of the sector, learn the agreements you have with other centres about how you will receive and present traffic at the boundary. But the most important thing you learn is how the traffic flows.

ATC is not an aerial traffic battle whose landscape changes each day. It is not a web of complex contrails that, seen from the ground, appear to merge and diverge at random. The traffic flow is a largely predictable set of events, where the same airlines are operating on the same routes – providing a basis for us, as controllers, to learn the patterns of the flow, and to learn a trick for every trajectory.

This is key. It’s been 15 years since I worked the North Atlantic flow in Shannon, but I remember the callsigns, the flows, and how to handle them, like an indelible challenge and response game in my mind.

Shamrock 37J, airborne Shannon” : “direct to Strumble, climb him to 270”.
“Belfast departure for Tenerife” : “stop him low, get him under the NAT traffic”.
“Two converging at LIFFY” : “Drop the Speedbird, he’s for Manchester”.

Humans learn patterns. This is how ATC works. We fill a bucket full of “stuff we’ve seen before”, leaving us free to concentrate on the few things we haven’t. This is the flow. If you watch 737’s fly up the Hudson on a hot summer morning, this is the La Guardia flow. Not an inch left or right. Heading into Amsterdam? “Direct to Pampus, down to FL70”.  One after another.

This is why we need three months to learn the airspace. For the flow. And this is why, when I found myself in New Zealand, learning to operate as an Air Traffic Controller far away from Shannon, I was floundering, like one of those dreams where you running but standing still. I am a controller, but I can’t control. I don’t know the airspace, and I don’t know the flow. Slowly, over the months, geography takes shape, traffic patterns show themselves, situations become seen. I start to get a sense of distance and time on my scope – or scopes, because New Zealand is long and thin I have to reorientate my thinking north-south, rather than east-west, as in Shannon. Out of the mist of training, I am a controller again, but it takes time. A lot of time.

Ultimately, I can reach the point where I can do my job – the real job of an Air Traffic Controller – to be familiar enough with the airspace and traffic that I have “the picture”. The full situational awareness, with most climbs, descents, speeds, and vectors being routine and familiar, means I can spot the something that’s off, wrong, going to develop into a conflict, and do so intuitively, like a sixth sense. Air Traffic Control is an art, it’s a dance. You don’t do it by complex calculations in your head, you don’t need a computer. It’s the visual in front of you – radar or tower – coming to life in your brain, you feel it, and the solution becomes instinctive.

And this is why you can’t bus in a set of replacement controllers, shuffle them down the corridor into the radar room, and up the stairs to the tower, and expect a safe, efficient, and orderly flow of traffic.

Controllers know the power of the strike. In most countries, it is used rarely, and fairly. They understand the impact on airlines and passengers. There are many other forms of industrial action a controller can take – like a training ban, an overtime ban – before reaching the point of actually stopping work.

Commerce will always find a way to continue. Safety is different, and delicate. It must be nurtured and protected. When the two collide head on – the commerce of keeping an airline flying, vs. the safety of an established, effective Air Traffic Control system – safety must take precedence. Here, safety means accepting the strike, as is – and working with the controllers, quickly, to find a solution. Let them be heard.

 

We’ll keep this page updated with the latest situation on the Ethiopian ATC strike. Reports that we have received so far are as follows:

  • Controllers in adjacent ACC’s are reporting lack of adherence to Letters of Agreement – seeing aircraft with 4 minutes instead of 10 minutes separation.
  • RA reported by Kenya ATC between two airlines on Wednesday.
  • Kenya and Sudan reported loss of separation and poor coordination and transfer of traffic at their FIR boundaries with Ethiopia.
  • Retired and Management controllers, who appear to have never rated or validated in position, are also being used, though unqualified for Addis.

We were first alerted to this issue by a Fox. Many of you know that we are Fixing Notams. The lack of Notams in this situation, is an exceptionally clear example of point 1 in the “Why” of the Notam Problem. Sometimes, we can’t trust the state to tell the truth. And this is a clear example.

Thankfully, our network of Foxes – undercover ATCO’s, pilots, and dispatchers –  is growing, and reporting on things just like this, so that we can tell you what’s really going on. Keep reporting.

Further reading

  • Tell us anything additional we should know – news@ops.group
  • Monitor #ops-alerts in your member Dashboard, and Slack.
  • Contact the author: Mark Zee.

 

International Bulletin: Winter is Coming, Updated Canada Requirements

Winter is coming 09NOV With the clocks changing, it’s a reminder that we’re not far away from the snowstorms, deicing delays, cancelled flights, airport shutdowns, and those big invoices for de-icing fluid. Our new author Frank Young has an article.

Updated Canada requirements 09NOV From tomorrow, November 10, an eTA is now mandatory for flights to Canada (for most people), and there’s an update to flying to Canada with a previous conviction. Read the article.


BIKF/Keflavik Long a destination for flight certification testing (because it’s cold and windy), will not accept test flights until February next year, thanks to runway renovation work.

ZZZZ/Worldwide Last week we ran a story about the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseolgies. In short, some countries are implementing, and others aren’t. We’re going to make a list of who’s doing what, so that you as an operator or pilot will have some idea. Can you help us? What is your country doing? Tell us at bulletin@fsbureau.org.

LTBA/Istanbul At about 0100 local time on 6 November, two people on a motorcycle opened fire outside Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, prompting a temporary closure. Reports indicate that authorities apprehended both suspects and did not find additional weapons or explosives on their persons. Officials briefly placed the airport on lockdown but reopened the facility at about 0130. The incident reportedly did not affect flights, and the gunfire harmed no civilians or police officers.

CZZZ/NAT Region The FAA has recently determined that time estimates provided by pilots in oceanic CTAs are less accurate than expected, particularly when adverse weather causes pilots to deviate from the planned course. These inaccurate estimates can compromise the separation of aircraft. Have a read.

YMML/Melbourne Be aware of recent hoax ATC calls. Someone with a handheld radio has been making “go-around” transmissions on the Tower frequency, and at least one aircraft has responded. Airservices says there have been 15 such transmissions in the last few weeks.

CZZZ/Canada The NBAA has issued useful updated info for flying to Canada with previous convictions – Canada is known for refusing entry based on DUI charges. Today, November 9, is also the last day that you can enter Canada without an eTA.

PWAK/Wake Island – an ETOPS alternate – is closed on 11NOV for Veterans Day. They do say they will attend with 30 mins notice, so maybe two ETOPS circles are required for that day. Check other US ETOPS alternates on this date also.

UCZZ/Kyrgyzstan Since 4 November, if you’re staying for longer than 5 days, you must register with the local authorities.

PKMJ/Majuro is downgraded to Cat 6 until November 23, which may affect some operators using this as an ETOPS alt.

EGNX/East Midlands airport has some weekend closures for the next six weeks.

VIZZ/India announced on 8 November that 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes will cease to be legal tender as of 0000 local on 9 November 2016.

EVLA/Liepaja (one of Latvia’s three international airports) is now closed to all operations. They say they will be open again in Spring 2017. Fingers crossed.

LAZZ/Albania has been experiencing heavy rains, high winds and flooding throughout the country, causing road blockages, school closures, and disruptions in ferry services. The army has been mobilized for rescue and relief operations.

LFLL/Lyon If you’ve been using LFLL as an alternate at weekends, you’ll have to cut that out from December 10th, they don’t want weekend diversions of non-sched flights.

EGKK/Gatwick has advised of a new series of rail strikes that will run through to January next year.

MHTG/Central America FIR reminds operators that a CENAMER notification by AFTN is required for all flights planning to enter the airspace.

MTZZ/Haiti The US has published updated advice for Haiti: U.S. citizens are advised not to travel to the southern peninsula of Haiti, commonly referred to as the “southern claw.” The U.S. Embassy has currently banned unofficial travel to the southern peninsula and allows official travel only after consultation with its security office. There is widespread devastation throughout the southern claw with the most affected areas on the western tip of the peninsula. Travelers can expect difficult travel conditions with roads made impassable by landslides, damaged roads, and bridge failures. There is also widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including gas stations and cell towers, loss of electricity, and shortages of food and potable water. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to the southern claw in spite of these risks should carry sufficient water, food, fuel, and medicine to last longer than their anticipated stay. The security environment around the southern claw is fluid and uncertain.

LFOB/Paris Beauvais is closed overnight from 2200 to 0600Z, for 14-25 November inclusive, due to stuff.

HAZZ/Ethiopia On November 8, the Command Post – the body tasked with implementing Ethiopia’s state of emergency – lifted the restriction imposed on foreign diplomats, which restricted them from traveling more than 25 mi/40 km outside of Addis Ababa. The Command Post also lifted and revised several other state of emergency provisions; however, the changes are minor and are not likely to affect the current situation. The curfew and communication restrictions remain in place

NFTF/Tonga Fua’amoto (the main airport) has new operating hours – these are, in UTC: 1600 SUN TO 0530 MON, 1025 MON TO 0800 TUE, 1600 TUE TO 0530 WED, 1000 WED TO 0800 THU,0900 THU TO 1200 THU, 1600 THU TO 0530 FRI, 1600 FRI TO 0800 SAT. They’ll accept div traffic outside these hours, call +676 22 608 – but prefer no surprises on Sundays.

OMAA/Abu Dhabi will see heavy traffic for the Grand Prix on November 27, avoid if possible.

SBZZ/Brazil The office that processes Foreign Civil overlight and landing permits has updated hours of operation: Mon-Fri 1230Z-2230Z.

SBCT/Curitiba airport would like 4 hour PPR notice for non-scheduled flights, and request that you call them on 55-41-3381-1478 to arrange that.

SPJC/Lima, Peru has an upcoming APEC meeting 14-21 November, with a decent increase in traffic expected, and a few restrictions. They’ve also warned pilots to pay attention to radios and transponder codes to avoid them sending up the jets – good advice.

TVSV/ET Joshua Airport is closed due to flooding.

VECC/Kolkata Radio has a new HF frequency: 8861, with hours 1330Z-0130Z. Use this if 6556 or 10066 isn’t working for you.

CZQX/Gander is going to auto-send you a “Confirm Assigned Route” message from 01DEC, on entry into their OCA – if you are FANS 1/A equipped. If you’re not sure how to feel about that, read our previous article.

LCCC/Nicosia There’s a good deal of mil activity – UN, and Russian – in the Cyprus region at the moment. Read the LCCC and surrounding FIR Notams carefully. Oh, and if you’re not up to date on your Greek-Turkish FIR dispute, add LGGG and LTBB to that. As 2016 draws to a close, enough regional history has been published for an entire novel. This weeks Notam series covers the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty.

NZZC/New Zealand published a change to SID procedures today, and our brain hurts. We’re not sure if this is related to the 10NOV ICAO SID/STAR changes, or .. something else. If you’ve got it deciphered, let us know. THE STANDARD INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE (SID) SPECIFIES IN BOTH DIAGRAMMATIC AND NARRATIVE FORM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: THE DIRECTION OF TURN, HEADINGS, TRACK, DISTANCES, SIGNIFICANT POINTS AND ALTITUDE REQUIREMENTS. WHERE TRACKING TO OR FROM A NAVIGATION AID IS NOT POSSIBLE, DESIRED TRACKS ARE SHOWN AND DUE ALLOWANCE FOR WIND IS TO BE MADE. AIRCRAFT ARE TO CONTINUE CLIMBING THROUGHOUT THE SID UNLESS IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHED ATC MAINTAINS, DEPARTURE MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDE (MSA) OR AS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. WHERE CONTINUOUS CLIMB TO THE END OF THE SID IS NOT REQUIRED A DEPARTURE MSA MAY BE DEPICTED ON THE RELEVANT CHART. THE DEPARTURE MSA REPRESENTS THE LOWEST ALTITUDE FOR OBSTACLE CLEARANCE ALONG THE ENTIRE DEPARTURE ROUTE (INCLUDING TRANSITIONS). IT REMAINS THE PILOT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MEET SUBSEQUENT ENROUTE MSA/MINIMUM FLIGHT ALTITUDE (MFA)/MRA/MEA REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE AFTER SID TERMINATION. DEPARTURE MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDES DO NOT ENSURE CONTROLLED AIRSPACE CONTAINMENT.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia has issued an extension of the policy that requires all aircraft with a destination in Yemen to first land in OEBH/Bisha – through to 08FEB next year. The only exceptions are the UN, Red Cross, and MSF.

VHHK/Hong Kong is going to move to a new ACC and ATC Tower towards the end of this month. There will be delays. The actual date hasn’t yet been notified, we’ll let you know when we hear.

View the full International Bulletin 09NOV2016

Midweek Briefing: Oceanic and Remote Procedures Update, Rome Airport Closed Friday

Oceanic and remote procedures updated: 12OCT The FAA this week issued a significantly updated version of their “Oceanic and Remote Airspace” procedures document. There’s a lot of good stuff here, even if you’re not operating an N-reg. Take a look at the PDF.

Rome Airport to close Friday 12OCT A reminder that LIRA/Rome Ciampino will close fully from Friday, for two weeks, as a result of urgently required runway maintenance. You can use LIRF/Fiumicino instead, but with significant restrictions.


LLBG/Tel Aviv starts winter runway maintenance work on 01Nov until 17Nov – Runway 21 will become primary landing runway, associated restrictions, not available as alternate during this time – check AIC 3/16.

LOWI/Innsbruck starting December 14th, the airport will introduce parking restrictions for private flights every week from 1800Z Weds until 1800Z Sunday.

TXKF/Bermuda Tropical Storm Nicole is approaching, expect some disruption and check before using as an alternate over the next few days.

HAZZ/Ethiopia The Ethiopian government has declared a six month State of Emergency from 9 October 2016. While details of emergency arrangements are not formalised, measures to restrict communication, movement and political expression are expected. Carry identification, avoid all large gatherings and protests, monitor the media for details on the application of the State of Emergency and follow all instructions issued by local authorities.

SPIM/Lima radar will be off the air on Friday from 19-21Z for repairs, procedural control, expect enroute delays.

EGGX/Shanwick. An exercise to test to the Volcano eruption response is underway, you may see multiple references to an eruption in Iceland – it hasn’t happened, it’s just a test. Stand down. Katla is also back to code Green.

UZZZ/Russia Karymsky volcano in the Kamchatka peninsula is active with colour code Orange, check before operating.

OKAX/Kabul FIR continues to have comms issues in the north east portion of Afghanistan airspace, VHF comms are not working on 118.3 or 128.5. There are some “Nordo” procedures, refer to AIP ENR 1.6-1.

MUFH/Havana has a couple of new entry points to the FIR – FUNDI and IKBIX – but they’re not for use yet, so don’t.

OPRN/Islamabad If operating to OPRN, be aware that on Saturdays and Mondays ATC will be practising non-radar procedural approach from 0500-0900Z until the end of the year.

SPJC/Lima has overnight parking restrictions from 14-21NOV, check with Airport company or handler prior to operating.

FZZZ/Democratic Republic of the Congo: the security picture is uncertain following recent political protests and there have been calls for further protests in Kinshasa, including on 19 October; you should follow travel advice and monitor local media for updates

SPZO/Cusco will not allow overnight parking from 10-20OCT.

FOZZ/Gabon Following the results of recent elections in Gabon, further strikes or demonstrations could occur in the capital Libreville and in Port Gentil. Avoid demonstrations, large crowds and rallies as they may turn violent.

UAZZ/Kyrgyz Republic Multiple embassies located in Bishkek have issued warnings to their citizens of an increased threat of a terrorist attack in the Kyrgyz Republic, possibly involving kidnapping and hostage taking, against Kyrgyz authorities and foreign diplomats during October 2016.

TQPF/Anguilla has introduced a ban on visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a view to mitigating Ebola risk. Anyone who has been to those three countries in the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter.

VTSP/Phuket is suffering from ramp congestion, and will not allow non-scheduled flights to stay overnight until the end of the year.

WSSS/Singapore Changi has a couple of closures on 18 and 19 OCT due to a military exercise, check local Notams.

ZUUU/Chengdu has a new speed restriction inbound – fly 183 knots from IAF to IF, then 160 knots to 4nm. Notam U2748/16.

View full International Bulletin 12OCT2016

Midweek Briefing: NAT changes postponed, Matthew Airport Update

NAT changes postponed 05OCT Phase 2 of Reduced Separation on the North Atlantic NAT Tracks will not go ahead as planned, slowing down the rate of change in the NAT region. Read the article.

Matthew: Airport Update 05OCT The next 24 hours will dictate the impact that Hurricane Matthew will have on Florida, as it leaves Cuba and begins to track north through the Bahamas. Airports Update: for Haiti, MTPP/Port-au-Prince … Read the article.


DGAA/Accra, Ghana has a radar outage until Oct 19th in the southern area.

EGKK/London Gatwick has a Runway Occupancy Trial starting on 08OCT, all medium and large aircraft (A319 upwards) should plan to vacate at FR. Smaller aircraft vacate at E.

ENGM/Oslo has a fueler strike – plan to carry return fuel to avoid issues, until 10OCT at least.

OAZZ/Afghanistan Security reminder from Kabul: serious threats to safety and security exist in the city of Kabul and throughout Afghanistan. The threat of kidnapping is high. The potential also exists for protests to occur in Afghan cities at short notice. Militant groups usually plan attacks against locations and individuals with potential American connections, including: Afghan and U.S. government facilities, foreign embassies, military installations, commercial entities, non-governmental organization offices, restaurants, hotels, airports, and educational centers.Travel to all areas of Afghanistan remains unsafe due to the ongoing risk of kidnapping, hostage taking, military combat operations, landmines, banditry, armed rivalry between political and tribal groups, militant attacks, direct and indirect fire, suicide bombings, and insurgent attacks, including attacks using vehicle-borne or other improvised explosive devices.

MYZZ/Bahamas all Airports closed due to Hurricane Matthew with effect today until 1900Z on 07OCT.

YMHB/Hobart is extending the 12/30 runway, see AIC H30/16 for impact information.

FEFF/Bangui has an overnight airport curfew from 2200-0500Z until the end of the year.

DIAP/Ivory Coast It’s now possible to apply for a visa online; after registering and paying online, you can collect the visa on arrival at Abidjan airport.

LTZZ/Turkey The state of emergency will officially be extended until January 2017. The announcement came after a Cabinet meeting; President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also supported the extension. The state of emergency was put in place on 20 July following the 15 July attempted coup.

Typhoon Chaba While many eyes are on Hurricane Matthew, on the other side of the world Chaba is tracking north towards Japan after strongly impacting South Korea, however the system is weakening.

BIZZ/Iceland Volcano Katla downgraded to colour code Green, after last weeks concerns of elevated activity.

HAAB/Addis Ababa There are reports of anti-government protests taking place on the outskirts of Addis Ababa on Oct 4th. Unconfirmed reports indicate that protesters are attacking government property in the Akaki, Alem Gena, Burayu, Sebeta, Keta and Ayer Tena areas and that police officers have been deployed to the affected locations. Meanwhile, in the city center, shops have reportedly closed and there have been isolated reports of gunfire. Transportation to and from the affected areas has shut down.

LGZZ/Greece Greek trade unions have announced strike action that is expected to cause disruption to a number of domestic flights between 4 October and 8 October.

FVZZ/Zimbabwe The UNIVISA system has been suspended. If travelling between Zimbabwe and Zambia more than once either way, you should get a double entry visa; due to the ongoing cash liquidity crisis, authorities have announced a series of measures designed to stem the flow of US dollars out of the country; take sufficient cash to cover your needs for the duration of your travel.

View full International Bulletin 05OCT2016

Midweek Briefing: End of Canada Leniency, Two hurricanes inbound Hawaii

End of Canada Leniency 31AUG Earlier this year Canada introduced a requirement for an eTA – like the US Esta. For a while, it was OK to travel without one. That’s ending in September … Read the article

Two hurricanes inbound Hawaii 31AUG Madeline is first, followed by Lester – both are tracking west towards Hawaii with landfall expected – should it occur – on Wednesday and Thursday. Read the article


LTCC/Diyarbakir, Turkey Kurdish militants fired rockets at Diyarbakir Airport in southeastern Turkey. The militants reportedly targeted a security check-point outside the airport lounge. All personnel were taken inside terminal building for safety reasons. No flights were disrupted, and there were no reports of casualties.

EHAM/Amsterdam It’s that time of year again, watch out for the migrating geese in Amsterdam at sunrise and sunset. They operate between 300 and 700ft without transponder.

VVVV/Hanoi FIR If you’re cutting a line through the Hanoi FIR on the W1 airway, you’ll be held down at FL290 unless you have RNAV5. ATC says so.

DNZZ/Nigeria Members of aviation unions staged rallies at four major airports in Nigeria to protest the planned concession of the facilities to private investors. Protests occurred at Abuja (DNAA/ABV), Kano (DNKN/KAN), Lagos (DNMM/LOS) and Port Harcourt. So far, the protests have not disrupted ops. Lagos has been suffering from some power outages lately as well.

SOCA/Cayenne, French Guyana has staff shortages, and from September 1st will not accept any diversions unless in an emergency. Do not plan SOCA as an enroute alternate. If inbound, with an ETA for SOCA 0200-1100Z, you need to call for an arrival slot. If you need it, ATC phone is +594 594 35 9372 or 9302.

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).

ORBB/Baghdad FIR/Iraq The Iraqi government has given permission to the Russian MoD to use its airspace in support of air operations in Syria. Russian media outlets are also reporting the Russian MoD has requested use of the FIR for the “passage of cruise missiles” as well, highlighting the potential for such activity to occur in the coming days from the airspace over the Caspian Sea.

LTZZ/Turkey Russia has lifted it’s ban on charter flights to Turkey.

HAZZ/Ethiopia Reports indicate that flights to HAGN/Gondar (GDQ) and HABD/Bahar Dar (BJR) have been indefinitely suspended. The suspension of flights comes amid ongoing unrest in Gondar and Bahir Dar, as well as in other cities in the Amhara and Oromia regions, over the marginalization of ethnic groups by the Tigray-dominated Ethiopian People’s Democratic Front (EPRDF) regime. Ethiopian government officials have not commented on the cancellation of flights to those cities or international flights to Addis Ababa, which has not been largely affected by the unabated unrest occurring in outlying regions.

WSSS/Singapore air quality has deteriorated to a Pollution Standards Index (PSI) of 105, due to the cross-border haze from Indonesian slash-and-burn fires. The agricultural practice, during which farmers burn a patch of land in order to clear land for new crops, creates haze, which then drifts through the region. Experts believe the level of pollution — which in 2015 cost the region more than 700 million US dollars in damage and severely disrupted the aviation sector — will be lower in 2016 due to a rainy dry season.

NFNA/Suva, Fiji is closed during September for runway repairs. Available wirh 30 mins PN in an emergency. Call them on 9906102.

SUEO/Montevidedo Air Traffic Controllers strike until end of September, closures and departure restrictions in place. Info is sketchy, got some updates? Let us know … bulletin@fsbureau.org.

View full International Bulletin 31AUG2016

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