International Ops 2018

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Tag: French ATC Strike

How to survive a French ATC strike

There’s a normal pattern to French ATC strikes – controllers who are unhappy about a range of issues (mainly salaries and labour reforms) announce they plan to take industrial action, Eurocontrol puts a plan in place to mitigate the disruption as best as possible, and airlines start cancelling flights – sometimes voluntarily, other times under the instruction to reduce their schedules.

The Notams that get published prior to these strikes are often the same, and tend to be fairly vague. That’s because they never know exactly how many staff will go on strike until the day itself, when they look around the control room and count the number of empty seats.

Generally though, the smaller airports tend to have the harshest restrictions applied, often with periods where no ATS services are provided at all. During the really big strikes, the larger airports can get hit pretty hard too, and when Notams start getting published saying “MINIMUM SERVICE GUARANTEED”, that’s when you know that things are getting serious – as that basically means that only 50% of FPLs are being accepted (the absolute minimum allowed under French law, regardless of whether or not a strike is taking place).

Each French ATC strike is different, but there are some things that are pretty much the same every time. Here is what you need to know, in order to survive!

Before the strike starts…

For the most accurate pre-tactical info on French ATC strikes, the Eurocontrol page is the best place to go. They will always publish the latest updates in the “Network Headline News” section at the top of the page. They even host teleconferences prior to the strikes, where a bunch of their ATC personnel jump on a call with airlines and other interested parties to discuss what they think will happen, and what plan they have come up with to mitigate disruption.
https://www.public.nm.eurocontrol.int/PUBPORTAL/gateway/spec/

During the strike…

For real-time updates of any airspace issues once the strike has started, keep an eye on this handy French ATC webpage: http://dsnado.canalblog.com/

For smaller airports, best check the Notams directly, as they might get forgotten about in the deluge of information that gets published and endlessly updated for the other larger airports.

Reroutes…

The advice about reroutes during French ATC strikes seems to be almost exactly the same every time. Always double-check the latest info on the Eurocontrol page just in case something is slightly different, but here’s a break-down of what to expect…

TANGO Routes
(Don’t know what these are? Read “The Three Sisters” for more info!)

All the Tango Routes are subject to higher than normal demand when strikes are on.

All flights intending to route to/from Canaries, Madeira and mainland Portuguese and Spanish destinations via the Shanwick Oceanic Control Area (OCA) are usually requested to flight plan via published routes T9, T213 or T16.

Westbound traffic to North/Central American destinations intending to enter the Shanwick OCA via entry points LASNO, TAMEL or OMOKO are usually requested to FPL via BEDRA in order to avoid those entry points associated with Tango routes.

Similarly, westbound traffic to North/Central American destinations and intending to enter the Shanwick OCA via entry points BEGAS, DIXIS, BERUX or PITAX are requested to FPL via PASAS.

Three other things to remember:
1. During the strike period, ATC normally won’t let you cross from one Tango Route to another.
2. If you’re entering the Shanwick OCA, you must have HF radio.
3. For oceanic clearance during the strike, you need to make sure you request your oceanic clearance 40 minutes before entry to the ocean.

Re-routes through Algeria
If you want to avoid French airspace by flying through DAAA/Algeria instead, you can do so – and until the end of the strike, you won’t have to get an overflight permit. Just make sure you send a new FPL (plus any subsequent DLA messages) to DAAAZQZX and DTTCZQZX addresses, as they will not have received the original FPL.

Depending on where you’re flying to/from, here’s what you need to do:

1. All traffic overflying DAAA/Algeria airspace with destination within the LECB/Barcelona FIR must file via point LUXUR at FL300 or above, and at only EVEN flight levels. (Traffic with destination LEPA/Palma via LUXUR should FPL UM134-LUXUR-GENIO-UN859-OSGAL with STAR OSGAL.)

2. All traffic departing from the LECB/Barcelona FIR and overflying DAAA/Algeria must file via point SADAF at FL310 or above, and at only ODD flight levels.

3. All traffic departing from LEPA/Palma to any airport in DAAA/Algeria must file max FL290 over point SADAF. Departures from LEPA/Palma must also file SID MEBUT: MEBUT-NINES-UM134-OLMIR-UN861-SADAF at FL290.

4. Entering GMMM/Morocco via DTTC/Tunisia and DAAA/Algeria:

  • Route: DOPEL UM126 KAWKA UG14 CSO UA31 CHE should be used. DAAA/Algeria ATC will tactically approve direct routing to ALR where possible.
  • Route: DOPEL DCT LUXUR SADAF CHE cannot be planned.

5. Entering DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia then LIRR/Italy from GMMM/Morocco:

  • Route: CHE UA31 CSO UG14 KAWKA UM126 DOPEL shall be used. DAAA/Algeria ATC will tactically approve direct routing from ALR where possible.
  • Route: Traffic between DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia via SADAF-KAWKA at FL300 and above (only even flight levels).

Re-routes through Tunisia
Tunisia also let operators fly through their airspace when there’s a French ATC strike on, without having to get a permit. Just make sure you copy your FPL (plus any subsequent DLA messages) to DTTCZQZX and DTTCZRZX.

Even when there’s no strike going on, there are a bunch of routes you can use through DTTC/Tunisia airspace that do not require overflight permission. These are:

a) Traffic between DTTC/Tunisia and DAAA/Algeria via DOPEL-LUXUR at FL310 and above (only ‘odd’ flight levels)

b) Traffic between DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia via SADAF-KAWKA-DOPEL at FL300 and above (only ‘even’ flight levels)

During the strike, they also open up routes connecting LMMM/Malta with DAAA/Algeria, for flights from Europe to Africa and South America. For that, you should file FPL using following routes:

  • Route: PAN – BIRSA – ELO (after ELO traffic can fly DCT GHA) at FL195-465 to be filed for traffic destination West Africa and South America, or
  • Route: PAN – RALAK – EBA at FL195-465 to be filed for traffic destination South/South West of Africa.

French ATC Strike March 2018

A French ATC strike is due to take place from 18z on Mar 21 until 05z on Mar 23, and it looks like it’s going to be a bad one.

En-route regulations are expected to applied across all sectors – which means big delays pretty much everywhere for overflying traffic. Minimum service will be guaranteed only at the following airports:

LFPG/Paris Charles de Gaulle
LFPO/Paris Orly
LFSB/Basel
LFST/Strasbourg
LFLL/Lyon
LFLC/Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne
LFMN/Nice
LFML/Marseille
LFKB/Bastia
LFKC/Calvi
LFKJ/Ajaccio
LFBD/Bordeaux
LFBI/Poitiers–Biard
LFBL/Limoges
LFBO/Toulouse Blagnac
LFRG/Deauville–Normandie
LFRS/Nantes
and overseas airports

For all other airports, ATS services may not be provided at all at certain times – and you’ll probably need to check the airport’s own Notams for any signs of that.

For real-time updates of any airspace issues once the strike has started, keep an eye on this handy French ATC webpage: http://dsnado.canalblog.com/

And click here for everything else you need to know about how to survive French ATC strikes!

French ATC Strike November 2017

The ATC strike seems to be winding down. The only en-route regulations still in place are in the LFBB/Bordeaux and LFRR/Brest sectors in the West. At the airports, some delays of around 30-40 minutes are expected between 17-19z, but generally the situation seems to be stable.

Impact

Here’s the situation for en-route traffic across the various sectors:

LFBB/Bordeaux: Whole airspace regulated with moderate to high delays.

LFRR/Brest: Whole airspace regulated with moderate to high delays.

LFEE/Reims: No regulations for en-route traffic, but expect delays at both the LFSB/Basel and LFST/Strasbourg TMA’s.

LFFF/Paris: No regulations for en-route traffic, but arrivals are currently being regulated at LFPO/Paris Orly.

LFMM/Marseille: No regulations.

For real-time updates of any airspace issues, keep an eye on this handy French ATC webpage: http://dsnado.canalblog.com/

Reroutes

TANGO Routes
Low delays on T9 and T213 – these are available for suitably equipped aircraft. Read “The Three Sisters” for more info on those. For oceanic clearance on Tango routes during the strike, you need to make sure you request your oceanic clearance 45 minutes before entry to the ocean.

Re-routes through Algeria
If you want to avoid French airspace by flying through DAAA/Algeria instead, you can do so – and until the end of the strike, you won’t have to get an overflight permit. Just make sure you send a new FPL (plus any subsequent DLA messages) to DAAAZQZX and DTTCZQZX addresses, as they will not have received the original FPL.

Depending on where you’re flying to/from, here’s what you need to do:

1. All traffic overflying DAAA/Algeria airspace with destination within the LECB/Barcelona FIR must file via point LUXUR at FL300 or above, and at only EVEN flight levels.Traffic dest LEPA/Palma via LUXUR should FPL UM134-LUXUR-GENIO-UN859-OSGAL with STAR OSGAL.

2. All traffic departing from the LECB/Barcelona FIR and overflying DAAA/Algeria must file via point SADAF at FL310 or above, and at only ODD flight levels.

3. All traffic departing from LEPA/Palma to any airport in DAAA/Algeria must file max FL290 over point SADAF. Departures from LEPA/Palma must also file SID MEBUT: MEBUT-NINES-UM134-OLMIR-UN861-SADAF at FL290.

4. Entering GMMM/Morocco via DTTC/Tunisia and DAAA/Algeria:

  • Route: DOPEL UM126 KAWKA UG14 CSO UA31 CHE shall be used. DAAA/Algeria ATC will tactically approve direct routing to ALR where possible.
  • Route: DOPEL DCT LUXUR SADAF CHE cannot be planned.

5. Entering DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia then LIRR/Italy from GMMM/Morocco:

  • Route: CHE UA31 CSO UG14 KAWKA UM126 DOPEL shall be used. DAAA/Algeria ATC will tactically approve direct routing from ALR where possible.
  • Route: Traffic between DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia via SADAF-KAWKA at FL300 and above (only even flight levels).

Re-routes through Tunisia
Tunisia also let operators fly through their airspace when there’s a French ATC strike on, without having to get a permit. Just make sure you copy your FPL (plus any subsequent DLA messages) to DTTCZQZX and DTTCZRZX.

Even when there’s no strike going on, there are a bunch of routes you can use through DTTC/Tunisia airspace that do not require overflight permission. These are:

a) Traffic between DTTC/Tunisia and DAAA/Algeria via DOPEL-LUXUR at FL310 and above (only ‘odd’ flight levels)

b) Traffic between DAAA/Algeria and DTTC/Tunisia via SADAF-KAWKA-DOPEL at FL300 and above (only ‘even’ flight levels)

During the strike, they also open up routes connecting LMMM/Malta with DAAA/Algeria, for flights from Europe to Africa and South America. For that, you should file FPL using following routes:

  • Route: PAN – BIRSA – ELO (after ELO traffic can fly DCT GHA) at FL195-465 to be filed for traffic destination West Africa and South America, or
  • Route: PAN – RALAK – EBA at FL195-465 to be filed for traffic destination South/South West of Africa.

 

French ATC strike updates

Several ATC unions have called for a national strike, affecting French airports and airspace from Monday evening at 1700UTC (Oct 9) through Wednesday at 0400UTC (Oct 11).

All FIRs are experiencing high delays.

Impact expected to the FIR’s per current  (10OCT) information are as follows:

 

LFRR/Brest Experiencing high delays

LFFF/Paris All sectors experiencing delays with highest delays in the west. Situation is starting to show signs of improvement.

LFEE/Reims All sectors experiencing delays with highest delays in the East and North

LFBB/Bordeaux Some high delays and with no ease forseen

LFMM/Marseille High delays all around. Regulations will be in place until a least 2359UTC

The following routes are available:
Tango 9 Global and Tango 213 Global, UM30 and UZ180 are fully available.
T9 is still dealing with alot of delays.

Airports:

LFPG/Paris DeGaulle and LFPO/Paris Orly are experiencing delays and there is a 30% capacity reduction in both airports plus at the following airports:

LFOB/Beauvais, LFLL/Lyon, LFML/Marseille, LFMN/Nice, LFBO/Toulouse and LFRS/Nantes
LFSB/Basel – unconfirmed as of yet but may be used as an alternate
LFPB /Paris-Le Bourget will not be affected.

 

Expect high impact. Ops over or to France are best avoided today.

We will continue to post any further information here as soon as received.

Cayenne FIR: ATC gives up

SOOO/Cayenne FIR:  French Guiana ATC has finally given up the ghost – they’ve now implemented their contingency plan for their airspace, due to continued strike action.

If you want to cross this bit of airspace, there are now very specific routes and levels you have to fly at. Once you’re inside the airspace, don’t change your sped or level. All the details have been published in the Notams – check these carefully!

Week-long ATC Strike announced: France

This is different to last years Summer of Strikes – where we had 12  French ATC strikes, but almost all were for 48 periods. This new strike is posted for a Monday-Friday, starting at 6am on Monday 6th March and running through to Friday evening, taking out the LFRR/Brest and LFBB/Bordeaux FIR’s.

Brest and Bordeaux FIR’s cover the west of France, meaning this will squeeze the offloaded traffic into Paris, Reims, and Marseilles FIR’s. As usual, our advice is to avoid overflying France if possible. We look forward to the day we can announce French Strikes are over (like the joy that Iceland brought us) but for now … no end in sight.

So, if you want some different options for getting around the Bordeaux FIR:

  • For north-south flights The Tango Routes – via Shanwick
  • For east-west flights try to file further north, into Belgian/Eurocontrol/German airspace, or come south into Barcelona/Marseilles
  • Read the Eurocontrol NOP for any relief routes accepted by other ACC’s
  • And, here’s a map :

Reroutes via Tunisia, Algeria

Tunisia and Algeria regularly open up their airspace to reroutes during French ATC action – and will likely do so again for this strike.

  • Tunisia (DTTC FIR): Overflight permit is required (AFTN direct DTTVYAYX)
  • Algeria (DAAA FIR): Overflight permit not required during this strike but copy FPL to DAAAZQZX and DTTCZQZX

Reroutes via Shanwick Airspace

Read our earlier post on this: http://flightservicebureau.org/the-three-sisters-shanwicks-tango-routes/

A teleconference will be held by DSNA (in French) on Wed 1st March at 1400 UTC.

Login details:
Call: +33 1 48 50 50 80
Pin Code: 34835821#

Keep an eye on the Eurocontrol NOP for updated info.

French ATC strike this weekend – Number 8

Notification has been given by French ATC Unions of a Three Day Strike this coming weekend from Friday-Monday, starting at 0400Z Friday 03JUN. This is Strike number 8 this year, and if it goes ahead, promises to be a disruptive one.

As with all previous strikes, reroutes if you are overflying will be important.

Highlights:

Reroutes via Tunisia, Algeria

Tunisia and Algeria regularly open up their airspace to reroutes during French ATC action – and will likely do so again for this strike.

  • Tunisia (DTTC FIR): Overflight permit is required (AFTN direct DTTVYAYX)
  • Algeria (DAAA FIR): Overflight permit not required during this strike but copy FPL to DAAAZQZX and DTTCZQZX

Reroutes via Shanwick Airspace

Read our earlier post on this: http://flightservicebureau.org/the-three-sisters-shanwicks-tango-routes/

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