International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: FAA (page 1 of 2)

Why are you still getting the Ruudy6 wrong? Stop at 1500!

If you’re departing Teterboro any time soon, make sure you stop at 1500 feet – and have a good look at the rest of the RUUDY 6 departure. That’s the message from NY ATC, and the Teterboro Users Group.

The FAA has reported over 112 pilot deviations on the KTEB/Teterboro RUUDY 6  SID.

The Teterboro Users Group has asked us to remind all pilots that strict compliance is required, especially vertically.

“The most common error being a climb straight to 2000’ without honouring the requirement to cross WENTZ at 1500” – Capt. David Belastock, President, TUG

This week the FAA issued the following notice which explain the issue and the serious consequences of non-compliance, namely the reduced vertical separation with KEWR/Newark arrivals:

Teterboro Airport SID Deviations

Notice Number: NOTC7799

The Ruudy Six departure continues to incur both lateral, but in particular, vertical pilot deviations. Due to the proximity of Newark and other area airports it is imperative to follow the RNAV(RNP1) departure procedure to Performance Based Navigation (PBN) standards. Do not drift left off course to avoid noise monitors. Do not climb above 1500 until passing Wentz intersection. There is only 1000 feet of separation with overhead traffic at Wentz. When issued the clearance to “climb via the SID” all altitude restrictions must be complied with as depicted on the chart.

Attached are excerpts from the Aeronautical Information Manual and the Controllers handbook explaining the Climb Via procedure. An expanded explanation is in chapter 4 and 5 of the AIM.

Further information can be found on the Teterboro Users Group website http://teterborousersgroup.org and in KTEB Notice to Airmen (Letters to Airmen section)

There has been an extensive education campaign underway for a long period including guidance material, pilot meetings, educational podcasts and even a FlightSafety International eLearning course. Despite these efforts, pilot deviations continue to occur.

A great guide has been created by Captain Belastock and its very useful for any crews operating out of KTEB.

Know of any other procedures with unusually high non-compliance?

Let us know!

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.

 

Who is still flying over Syria?

We have reported recently on the complex airspace picture and dangers associated with the ongoing Syrian conflict.

Most major carriers have taken the advice of numerous government agencies to avoid Syrian airspace altogether; the FAA going as far as calling on all operators flying within 200 nautical miles of the OSTT/Damascus FIR to “exercise caution”.  Today, the only airlines flying over the airspace are locally based Syrian airlines, Iraq Airlines and Lebanon’s Middle Eastern Airlines.

These MEA overflights are of interest. The airline is a member of the SkyTeam alliance and has codeshare agreements with several high-profile airlines (Air Canada, Air France, etc.) Despite the repeated warnings of the ongoing dangers associated with overflights of this conflict zone, the airline has chosen to schedule more than half-a-dozen flights over the airspace each day.

Some of these flights have the usual codeshare practise of other airlines booking their passengers on MEA flights. Our research shows that Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways (Oneworld Alliance) and Royal Jordanian Airlines (Oneworld Alliance) passengers are still being booked on MEA flights to/from Beirut; likely unbeknown to their customers of the increased flight risk. All three airlines continue to service Beirut with their own aircraft, but all three avoid Syrian airspace, naturally accepting the best advice to avoid the area completely.

Something isn’t right here: no warning anywhere about these flights being flown over Syria.

So why is it safe for passengers to overfly Syria on an MEA flight, but not on any of the other airlines? And more importantly, why is MEA still operating over Syria anyway?

It looks like Kuwait Airways will be the next codeshare partner of MEA, so it will be interesting to see whether the issue of the overflight of conflict zones will be discussed.

As always, keep an eye on our Safeairspace map for the latest worldwide updates.

Last minute ATC grab in Congress

On Friday Apr 27, the US House of Representatives approved a long-delayed bill to authorize funding for the FAA, after GA advocates had mobilized earlier in the week to fight-off a last-minute attempt to privatize US ATC.

Late on Tuesday Apr 24, Republican Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced a “managers amendment” to the proposed five-year FAA funding bill.

His amendment called for two things:
1. Remove the US ATC system from the FAA and instead make it part of the Transportation Department.
2. Allow it to be run by a 13-member advisory board made up mainly by airlines.

“Both of these provisions were drafted in the dark of night, without any opportunity for public debate,” said NBAA.

After last minute lobbying by GA advocates, the two contentious items in the bill were removed.

While Shuster agreed to remove the measures, he reiterated that he “strongly believe[s] Congress must pass real air traffic control reform” and that he sees that happening “somewhere down the line.”

“We are pleased to see this legislation pass the House,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “While the bill is not perfect, a long-term reauthorization is critical to advancing our shared priorities. Equally important, this bipartisan bill will modernize, not privatize air traffic control. We are grateful that members of Congress heard their constituents’ concerns about ATC privatization, and reflected those concerns in bringing this legislation to final passage.”

Saudi – Yemen Airspace Update

In Short: Avoid Yemen & Southern Saudi airspace, and monitor risk for OERK/Riyadh. The armed conflict continues with regular ballistic missile launches from Yemen.

Once again there is increased missile activity in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, with a reported 35 missiles launched from rebels in Yemen this year. 14 of these were in April – about the same amount as August 2016 and December 2015, but most are now being shot down by Saudi Patriot missiles; only 3 have struck Saudi soil this year.

OERK/Riyadh continues to be on the radar for the Houthi’s. Of most concern, an F-15 was hit by a SAM over Yemen on 21 March, fired from OYSH. There is definitely a risk to operations in Saudi airspace, even outside the Scatana area.

So far the only missile attack known to have resulted in any casualties was on Mar 25, when seven ballistic missiles were fired toward Saudi Arabia from within Yemen. Yemeni forces said they were targeting OERK/Riyadh Airport and other sites in the capital. The Saudi government said that all seven missiles were intercepted and destroyed, although one person died and two more were injured by falling fragments of one missile over a residential neighbourhood in Riyadh.

Much of the information comes from state media and cannot always be independently verified. As the propaganda campaign continues, a New York Times investigation suggested that at least one of the most high-profile attacks from 2017 may not have been “shot-down” or intercepted by Saudi defense systems at all.

 

The conflict and insurgency on the ground remains complex and volatile. Safeairspace continues to provide up-to-date information for both Saudi and Yemen airspace.

Yemen is still at FSB Risk Level: One – DO NOT FLY – We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. The FAA and several other agencies have amended their advice and the current airspace advice map looks like this at present:

SCATANA rules are active in the southern part of Saudi Arabia, due to the current Saudi-led Intervention in Yemen.

This NOTAM, published by authorities in Yemen for the OYSC/Sanaa FIR, can definitely be taken with a grain of salt:

A0026/17 – ALL YEMEN AIRPORTS EXCEPTS TAIZ HODEIDAH AND MUKALLA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS ARE AVAILABLE AND READY TO HANDLE ALL FLIGHTS INTENDING TO FLY TO OR FROM YEMENI AIRPORTS ALSO SANAA ACC IS COMPLETELY READY TO PROVIDE ATC SERVICES TO ALL FLIGHTS OVER FLY SANAA FIR AND BASED ON THE DECLARATION OF DECISIVE STORM TERMINATION WE CONFIRM THAT SANAA FIR AND YEMENI AIRPORTS ARE SAFE EXCEPT THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE. 03 APR 18:00 2017 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 01 JUL 15:24 2017

Extra Reading:

Kenya airspace threat downgraded

The FAA has revised its warning for Kenyan airspace – the area to ‘exercise caution’ is now limited only to that airspace east of 40 degrees East longitude below FL260 (i.e. the border region with Somalia, and 12nm off the east coast of Kenya). Prior to this, their warning applied to all airspace in Kenya below FL260.

Published on 26 Feb 2018, the warning maintains the same wording to clarify the type of weapons and phases of flight that the FAA is concerned about, specifically:

  • fire from small arms,
  • indirect fire weapons (such as mortars and rockets), and
  • anti-aircraft weapons such as MANPADS.

The scenarios considered highest risk include :

  • landings and takeoffs,
  • low altitudes, and
  • aircraft on the ground.

The updated guidance is intended for US operators and FAA License holders, but in reality is used by most International Operators including EU and Asian carriers, since only four countries currently provide useful information on airspace security and conflict zones.

The Notam uses FL260 as the minimum safe level, though we would suggest, as usual, that a higher level closer to FL300 is more sensible.

You can read the NOTAM in full on our Kenya page on SafeAirspace.net, a collaborative and information sharing tool used by airlines, business jet operators, state agencies, military, and private members of OPSGROUP.

That MMEL thing: here’s an update

We expect an announcement soon from the joint FAA/EASA workgroup that will provide a solution to the long-running MMEL vs MEL debacle.

Last year, ramp checks on some US aircraft in France highlighted an important issue – EASA and the FAA have different interpretations of the ICAO standards regarding deferring aircraft discrepancies.

In the US, with FAA authorization operators can use a master minimum equipment list (MMEL) to defer repairing certain equipment. But in Europe, MMEL cannot be used in lieu of an MEL specific to each aircraft or fleet.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) began requiring all aircraft transiting European airspace to have an approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL) for each, individual aircraft. An MEL that references the MMEL was not acceptable.

This has been a pain for US operators, as to get an individual MEL approved under the Letter of Authorisation from the FAA takes time – but by not doing so, they run the risk of failing a ramp check in a European country.

However, it looks like an end to the problem may be in sight: we expect the FAA will soon issue a notice requiring international operators to obtain new D195 LOA’s, and in return EASA will halt any findings for a period of 12 months to allow for these new LOA’s to be issued.

RWSL: Red Means STOP!

As you may know, the FAA is working on Runway Status Lights (RWSL). It’s a new system that’s live at 20 airports in the US. Basically, you get a nice set of red lights (embedded in the ramp) that tell you whether it’s safe or not to proceed. These lights are installed (or placed or located) at the entrance of the runway and at the start of takeoff. If any of these lights are red, you don’t go. Simple as that.

Diagram of RWSL

These lights are fully automated and completely independent of ATC, which means they do not have a clue if the lights are red or not. This is intentional. If you get clearance from ATC, and you see red lights, the red lights take precedence over the controller. The FAA has issued SAFO17011, stating:

There have been several instances at RWSL airports where flightcrews have ignored the illuminated red in-pavement RWSL lights when issued a clearance by Air Traffic Control (ATC). Illuminated RWSLs mean aircraft/vehicles stop or remain stopped and contact ATC for further direction, relaying to ATC that the RWSLs are illuminated.

This system will be expanding throughout the United States, and you can read more about the system here: FAA Runway Status Lights.

Overflights without a full Airworthiness Certificate

For many countries, if an aircraft is operating normally, no Overflight or Landing permit is required. Sometimes, however, the aircraft will not meet full airworthiness requirements but is still safe to fly.

New deliveries, ferry flights to a new operator, maintenance flights, or positioning to storage, may all have special circumstances that normally result in the aircraft operating with a Special Airworthiness Certificate.

DSC00010

Special Airworthiness Certificates

The most common type of Special Airworthiness Certificate is a regular Ferry Permit. The FAA call this a ‘Special Flight permit’, EASA’s term is a ‘Permit to Fly’. It is issued by the Country of registration and allows an aircraft to be flown on a specific route and date, eg. for delivery, maintenance, transfer of ownership.

Other types of Special Airworthiness Certificate categories are Restricted (eg. modified special purposeaircraft like NASA’s 747SP with a telescope, or Pratt & Whitney’s 747 engine testbed), Experimental (like the Lockheed Martin X-55.

SAC

 

Special Permit (Flight Authorisation)

Every aircraft operating on a Special Airworthiness Certificate requires a Special Authorisation from each country being overflown or landed in. This is normally requested from the Ministry of Transport for that country, or the technical department of the Civil Aviation Authority. Official processing times are up to 20 days.

Specific to foreign operators flying to or over the USA, the FAA term for this is ‘Special Flight Authorization.

EU Blacklist – Special Permit

For Operators that are on the current EU Blacklist under Annex A (airlines that are banned from operating in the European Union) and Annex B (airlines that are permitted to operate in the European Union only under specific conditions), a Special Permit can also be obtained to allow flights that are required to operate to the EU for maintenance or other reasons. A separate permit is required from each EU country enroute.

Together with obtaining a Special Permit for each EU country overflown, SAFA must be notified, and the standard Eurocontrol FPL Alarming system must be deactivated for your flight.

Processing Fees

The cost to obtain a Special Permit is different for each country, according to complexity and Civil Aviation and Ministry of Transport charges.

What’s the easiest way to file a request for a Special Permit? 

Many can now be done online through the Flight Service permit tool.

Special Permit

 

 

You can also contact service@fsbureau.org for any questions.

Pavlof Eruption wreaking havoc, Brussels Airport remains closed: Midweek Briefing 30MAR

Pavlof Eruption wreaking havoc 30MAR16 Volcano Pavlof erupted on Sunday and is currently on aviation colour code ‘RED’. It has caused havoc for North Pacific, Alaskan and Northern Canadian operations. The latest predictions have the ash upwards of FL400 and extending over Northern Alaska and Canada. You can find the latest information through the Alaskan VAAC.

Brussels Airport remains closed 30MAR16 EBBR is still closed with the possibility of opening later this week. Currently all commercial flights are still prohibited from operating into EBBR. Only ferry, emergency, SAR, State, general aviation and cargo flights are authorized with a slot that can be coordinated through the Belgium Slot Coordination website.


 

EZZZ/Europe The U.S. State Department along with numerous other countries have issued a Europe wide travel warning in response to the attack in Brussels. While extra vigilance should be exercised it is also a very generic response to a threat that has yet to fully understood from a commercial aviation perspective. If you would like to be kept up to date on specific travel alerts from the U.S. State Department you can sign up through their STEP program.

FAA/United States there have been 583 reported hazards from Aug 22/2015-Jan 31/2015 between aircraft and Drones. None of these incidents have caused any collisions or damage but extra vigilance must be exercised until the FAA can regulate the use of these drones in the terminal areas.

RPHI/Manila has issued an advisory for aircraft operating in the vicinity of the Bulusan Volcano and the Kanlaon Volcano due to an alert level 1 of activity. Flights operating in the vicinity are advised to avoid flying close to the summit.

LFXX/France a general strike has been declared for March 31st. Possible impact to airline operations. Please make sure you check with Eurocontrol or FIR NOTAMs for further restrictions.

FXXX/Nigeria The NNPC or Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has stated that steps are currently being taken to end the countries fuel shortage but may take upwards up 2 months. Please check with local handlers for the availability aviation fuel supply until the issue is resolved.

LXXX/Turkey has issued a nationwide terror alert and the Israeli Counter-Terrorism Bureau has advised for all of it’s citizens to leave the country. Extra vigilance should be exercised if operating to and from Turkey for the foreseeable future.

UXXX/Russia has stated that aviation authorities are intensifying it’s inspections of aircraft from Russian and International budget carriers in wake of the Rostov-on-Don accident.

DGAC/Ghana FIR issued NOTAM A0128/16 due to VHF freq 130.9 being not reliable for all Oceanic traffic entering ACCRA FIR from the South East due to maintenance. All traffic must contact ACCRA on HF 8903KHZ or logon to ADS-C/CPDC “DGAC” until positive VHF contact is established.

VNKT/Katmandu There have been a few reports that the Tower at VNKT has been reporting erroneous weather to pilots. One example of such a report  was “Tower informed us that there was some 3 km of visibility this morning but it to be less than 1.5 km while Kathmandu was engulfed by haze”. If you encounter any issues while operating into VNKT please send us a note to bulletins@fsbureau.org.

VIAR/Amritsar has suspended all night operations for 1 year due to the planned reconstruction of the airports runways.

VTBD/Bangkok Officials approved an expansion that will allow for more aircraft, passengers and vehicle parking. The plan also includes provisions to cut landing fees during off-peak hours at VTBD and VTBS in an effort to increase usage of both airports. The project includes plans to extend the runway, add office buildings, and create additional parking zones for aircraft. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2025.

Angola The Ministry of Health in Angola has reported an ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Luanda Province. The government of Angola requires all travelers older than 9 months to show proof of yellow fever vaccination on arrival. The CDC has a ‘Watch Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions’ advisory in place.

FAA/United States has issued Advisory Circular 00-30C. It describes the various types of CAT (Clear Air Turbulence) along with avoidance techniques and possible future forecast systems for helping Dispatchers and Pilots in the planning stages for proactive flight planning.

View the full International Bulletin for 30MAR2016

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