International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: French ATC

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.

 

Reroutes over France … not because of an ATC strike, this time

You’ll see lots of new acronyms being bandied about, like ERATO, EEE, a new DSNA ATM system in LFBB in accordance with SESAR … but in simple terms (our favourite words): France is changing from using paper strips to electronic strips for separating enroute aircraft, from November 17th, 2016.

Since more or less day one of Air Traffic Control, paper has been used to record where the airplane is, and then placed somewhat geographically in relation to the other airplanes that might affect it. Changes are written on the strip by hand, with a pen.

Like the picture above.

Because getting rid of any paper whatsoever is the most important thing in the world right now, there is a new electronic version of the same thing (and France is calling theirs ‘ERATO‘). Which looks a little like this:

elecboard

 

So, Bordeaux (LFBB) Center is first … starting today, November 17th. And because nobody is entirely sure how well this is all going to work, a whole bunch of traffic has to be rerouted away from Bordeaux, so that there aren’t too many aircraft per controller – both to allow them to learn, and in case it goes feet up.

Which means mass reroutes, and delays. There are contingency routes – which have become very familiar to operators after this years “Summer of Strikes” – the Tango Routes will be popular again.

Looking ahead, the plan calls for two weeks of fairly heavy reroutes, and then another two weeks of lower impact restrictions. They have said though, that normalisation won’t occur until after Christmas.

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 – especially on the Tactical page on the ATFCM Measures (Scenarios) portlet -and selecting the link Scenario List: ID RR*ERA
  • And, here’s a map – the red part is LFBB/Bordeaux FIR – don’t file through here:

lfbb-erato-map

The transition from paper to paperless has been going on for a while: Shanwick went ‘electronic’ in the mid 1980’s: this is what the enroute controllers’ screen looked like.

fdpssmall

 

Finally, here’s the ‘official version’:

DSNA, France’s air navigation service provider, is carrying out an in-depth modernisation of its en-route air traffic management system to cope with the increase of air traffic in France.

From November 17, 280 air traffic controllers at the Bordeaux Area Control Centre (ACC) will handle flights with a new-generation, stripless ATC system called ERATO Electronic Environment (EEE).

The EEE programme based on a SESAR solution has been co-financed by the European Union. EEE provides a modern work environment and innovative control assistance tools.

Nevertheless, as a prelude to any major ATC system implementation, capacities have to be temporarily reduced to allow each air traffic controller to master in real time operations all the new capabilities.

Delays in the south-west of France are therefore to be expected during two weeks. No flight cancellations have been requested by DSNA.

To minimise the impact on flight punctuality, DSNA, has developed a transitioning plan in close cooperation with the Network Manager (Eurocontrol), neighbouring air navigation service providers, and the most affected airlines and airport operators.

Eurocontrol traffic simulations shown that for this transition period, up to 500 flights will need to be rerouted each day to avoid the airspace under the responsibility of Bordeaux ACC.

Moreover, military activities in high altitude training areas will be limited. Regional airports will be impacted along with all flights from or to Paris from the south.

ERATO2Maurice Georges, CEO of DSNA, said: “DSNA staff is totally mobilised with the implementation of this major project. I appreciate the efforts made by the entire aviation community to ensure a successful commissioning of the Electronic Environment ERATO in Bordeaux.

“The transitioning phase ahead of us relies on high predictability for all flights and trustworthy collaborative processes with our customers and partners”.
This major technological step will enable DSNA to deliver a high level of performance. Within the framework of the FABEC and in line with our Single European Sky commitments, DSNA will thus meet new challenges ahead for safe and sustainable air transport.”

 

International Ops Bulletin
You are welcome to receive our weekly bulletin on upcoming Airport closures, Security issues, ATC restrictions, Airspace changes, and New Charts
Sent to you every Wednesday
Thanks, I'm already a reader.