International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: Iraq

Iraq ATC strike – update

At 0800 local this morning, Iraqi controllers returned to work. For the last few days, Iraqi ATC had been on strike for better pay, effectively closing the Baghdad FIR and intermittently Baghdad and Basra airports. An 80nm in trail requirement has been removed. Military controllers, pictured above, who had been running ORBI/Baghdad Airport have completed their duties.

Local ATC controllers tell us that the strike is over – they are running what they call ‘ops normal’ for two weeks, before they will/may strike again as negotiations continue. Inside word is that a number of local controllers have been fired, and Serco were providing most of the staff to cover the centre. Baghdad FIR Control Centre and Iraqi Airports are running normally – for now.

We are still expecting the FAA to remove the restriction for US operators using the Baghdad FIR, this is a separate issue. No further news on that just yet.

Baghdad FIR still reopening – but wait a little

So, last week we told you that Iraqi Airspace was about to re-open to international overflights. It still is, though the bit where it was going to happen this week is no longer true.

The FAA were about to hit ‘publish’ on a Notam this past Monday,  which would have enabled US airlines to start overflying Iraq again. The text of this Notam included:

  • An amendment to the existing Iraq restriction
  • An authorisation for US airlines and operators to overfly Iraq at or above FL260

But then, a military operation by Iraqi forces to take control of Kirkuk from the Kurds the same day, created concern as to overflight safety. Kirkuk sits pretty much underneath the UM860 airway on the map below.

So for now, do nothing and wait. It seems the situation is de-escalating, and we expect now that the Notam may be issued as early as next week.

Once that happens, we’d expect other countries to follow suit and allow overflights in the same way, meaning that these two airways will become busy again.

Keep an eye out, we’ll let you know.

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Iraq Airspace to re-open for overflights

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.

 

ORER and ORSU: Closed to International Ops

The Iraqi CAA will ban all international flights to/from ORER/Erbil and ORSU/Sulaimaniyah starting from Friday 29th Sep. 

From then on, those airports will only be open for Iraqi carriers and domestic ops.

Tensions around the Kurdish autonomous region of Iraq are rising following a referendum on independence.

The Iraqi govt has demanded that the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) hand over control of its two international airports – ORER and ORSU. Until the KRG comply with this request, the international ban on flights to these airports is set to continue.

At the request of the Iraqi govt, Iran had already closed it’s airspace to ORER/ORSU traffic earlier this week, and Turkey was considering implementing the same ban.

The KRG are now deciding whether to give up control of their airports or lose their international flights. Should it be the latter, then from now on anyone attempting to travel to the region will have to transit via Baghdad.

We will update as more information becomes available.

 

 

 

 

 


					
		

Unsafe Airspace – a summary

With the events surrounding the shootdown of MAS17, risk assessment of potentially unsafe airspace has given far greater weighting to the situation on the ground. Access to reliable information to determine the ever-changing risk level, is by nature of it’s inherent uncertainty, challenging.

Today we published International Ops Notice 02/16 – “Unsafe Airspace”.

Three levels of airspace risk are used in our assessment.

  • LEVEL 1. Moderate risk – No Fly
  • LEVEL 2. Assessed risk
  • LEVEL 3. Caution

The countries that issue the most relevant updates for unsafe airspace are:  The US (FAA) – through FDC Notams and SFARs, the UK (NATS) – AIP and Notam, Germany (DFS) – Notam, France (DGAC)- AIC. In general, the Civil Aviation Authorities of the countries whose airspace is determined to be unsafe are unlikely to issue reliable guidance.

Five countries are currently included in the LEVEL 1 – Moderate Risk category: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and Yemen.

The basis for inclusion is the highly unstable current events on the ground, and in all cases the ground factions having access to RPG’s, Surface-Air missiles. We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. All countries have multiple warnings, and your country of registry is likely to have issued specific instructions not to penetrate these airspaces.

Download the full notice.

References:

ION0216 Shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Midweek Briefing 04MAY: New US CBP Airport, Iceland ATC Strike continues

New US CBP Airport 04MAY A new US Customs facility opened in KMTH/Marathon on 20APR, to facilitate increased traffic to Cuba. Read the article.

Iceland ATC Strike continues 04MAY Icelandic controllers are in a pay dispute with Isavia, leading to multiple strike actions at BIKF/Keflavik and BIRK/Reykjavik. Last week BIKF was closed overnight at short notice. Read the article.


EHAM/Amsterdam and other Dutch airports will observe a two minute silence on ATC frequencies today, 04MAY, from 1800-1803Z. ATC will arrange traffic flow so that no aircraft will land or taxi during this period, meaning likely delays, albeit for a short period.

SECU/Cuenca, Ecuador remains closed after an E190 slid off the main runway on 29APR, latest estimate is no reopening before 06MAY.

CZZZ/Canada Visa-exempt foreign nationals can enter and exit Canada by air without an Electronic Travel Authorization until 29SEP2016. After that date, these travelers will need to obtain online authorization to visit.

BIZZ/Iceland Multiple ATC Strike actions for BIRK and BIKF are ongoing, check NOTAMS and with handler for latest. Read article.

TFFR/Guadeloupe has ongoing main runway closures due to WIP, current shown are 04MAY 0200-1015Z, 17MAY 1000Z- 18MAY 1600Z. Only helicopters will be allowed to operate during these periods.

UIBB/Bratsk has a fuel shortage until 31MAY, non-scheduled movements are by PPR only.

NWWW/Tontouta has an ATC staff shortage and requires slots for arrival until 31MAY, Tel +687 352437. Work on 11/29 is also ongoing, check NOTAMS for any current outages, which will close the airport.

EGGX/Shanwick is trialling transferring westbound flights direct to a HF frequency rather than via an initial VHF frequency, using CPDLC. The default frequencies will be HF 5649 H24, 2872 0000-0900 and 1800-2400, and 8879 0900-2100.

PAZA/Anchorage has published new procedures Eff 28APR for User Preferred Routes within the PAZA FIR, refer A0075/16.

SVZZ/Venezuela changed timezones on 01MAY to UTC-4. In addition, all public offices, including public ministries, will only operate on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.

TTZP/Piarco FIR is trialing ADS-C and CPDLC with ident TTZP until 31MAY. Flights entering the FIR east of 57W should log on 15 minutes prior to the boundary with TTZP.

UHSS/Yuzhno has advised that B777 aircraft are limited to 310T during the summer period.

UIAA/Chita is only available as alternate for one specific airline (Aurora) between 0930-2100Z. Outside these times ops normal.

WSZZ/Singapore has introduced a fingerprint clearance system to verify the thumbprints of arriving and departing travelers ages six and above at select immigration checkpoints. The system will be progressively implemented starting at the manned immigration counters of sea and land checkpoints, followed by air checkpoints until full implementation is completed in the months ahead. Travelers should be prepared for slightly longer immigration clearance times at manned checkpoints, especially during the initial implementation stage of the project.

YZZZ/Australia Border Force employees have been banned from taking industrial action at airports for three months; the threat of ongoing strike action caused much concern for operations in March.

RJTT/Haneda the airport authority has changed the number of slots available for general aviation aircraft. Effective 25APR, slots for GA during the daytime (0600-2259 local) will be increased to 16 total for arrival and departure (from eight in the past). Note that there are no slots restrictions for night time operations (2300-0559 local).

CYVR/Vancouver will have one of its main runways 08R/26L closed nightly between the hours of 05-13Z 08MAY-02SEPT for construction. During the day (13-05Z) the runway will have the ILS on 08R/26L out of service, along with no approach lighting on runway 26L.

SLZZ/Bolivia Certain medications prescribed for personal use are treated as narcotics in Bolivia, with severe penalties for import or export without a valid prescription from a doctor; make sure you carry a letter from a doctor describing the medical condition and any prescribed drugs and that they are in their original containers and clearly labelled.

EBBR/Brussels has partially reopened the departure hall, which has remained closed since 22MAR. 110 Check-in counters will be open in the airport departure hall along with an additional 36 counters that are housed in temporary buildings. The EBBR airport authority expects this will bring the airport up to 80% of capacity.

EZZZ/Europe Bulgaria, Turkey and Romania will begin a project to interface their ATC systems so they can handle a significant build-up of airspace traffic in the Black Sea area. New routes are expected by mid 2016.

LEZZ/Spain The Spanish F1 Grand Prix is being held from 13MAY-15MAY and will bring heavier than normal traffic to LEBL/Barcelona and LEGE/Girona.

HEZZ/Egypt Individual travellers will in the future require a visa before entering Egypt. The exact date of the implementation of this rule is not yet determined. The visa must be applied for from the Egyptian embassy and the consulate generals before departure.

GVZZ/Cape Verde Aviation officials issued a statement announcing that national airports are open and operational. The statement was released following reports that flight operations had been suspended at the country’s airports.

ORZZ/Iraq Iran canceled all flights to Baghdad following a breach of the International Area by protesters on 30APR. The demonstrations have caused problems for pilgrimage flights to Baghdad, and those flights will operate instead to ORNI/Najaf.

VIDP/Delhi has opened a new ATC tower (which is the country’s tallest at 60 metres). VIDP will also be starting construction on a 4th runway this year and is expected to be completed by 2018 which will increase the airport arrival rate to 105 landings an hour, and will mitigate the common airborne holding.

View the full International Bulletin for 04MAY 2016

Monday Briefing: North Atlantic Changes, Caspian Sea Missiles

19OCT2015 Flight operations in the NAT region will see significant changes in around three weeks time, including new ‘half-degree’ NAT tracks, new Entry Points in Gander and Shanwick OCA’s, and several procedural changes. A Special Bulletin with plotting chart, summarising the changes, will be issued by Flight Service Bureau next week.

19OCT2015 Last week 26 cruise missiles were launched across International air routes in Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Iran, with reports suggesting 4 did not travel as intended. The risk to aircraft operators is summarised in our International Ops Notice 10/15, see below for details.


RPHI/Manilla FIR, Philippines Typhoon Koppu has maintained its strength as it continues to move northward with slightly increasing forward speed along the shores of Ilocos Sur, Luzon. Current location (1200Z Monday) is to the west of RPLI/Laoag Airport. It is forecast to weaken to a Tropical Storm within 24 hours. No reports of airports affected so far.

OMDW/Dubai World hosts Dubai Airshow 08-12NOV. Landing Permit required for all flights, 3 days processing, standard documents and requirements. Slot required for OMDW, window +/- 5mins. Show details at www.dubaiairshow.aero

OPRN/Islamabad, Pakistan closed 1300-1800 daily due runway works 18-28OCT.

SEXX/Ecuador A new DGAC resolution now effective permits non-scheduled aircraft to land without a Landing Permit as long as the aircraft is operating under private ops, will not stay longer than 72 hours in Ecuador, and visits only one location in Ecuador. The official document is here (in Spanish).

VHHH/Hong Kong with effect 25OCT (IATA Winter 2015) will amend slot issuing procedures to give priority to operators with higher capacity aircraft, and where same types conflict for the same slot time, lower noise levels.

LIXX/Italy ATC Strike confirmed for 24OCT (Saturday) 0800-1600, service will be provided to Overflights and Intercontinental flights only.

LTXX/Turkey Traffic operating through the south eastern part of Turkish airspace to/from Tehran and Baghdad FIRs should check Notams for restrictions. Several restrictions up to FL310 due to military operations.

EGXX/Shanwick Large scale Military Exercise ‘At Sea Demonstration’ ASD15 affecting OEP’s ERAKA and GOMUP starts on 19OCT.

LFxx/France Datalink implemented from 22OCT LFRR/Brest and LFBB/Bordeaux ACC from 0900L. Initial phase, no ACL (Clearance via CPDLC), and aircraft must be on Eurocontrol whitelist. Ref France AIC A22/15.

VNXX/Nepal continues to experience shortages of fuel due to a halt in shipments coming from India. Available fuel for domestic airlines is rapidly decreasing, and authorities worry that domestic flights will soon be unavailable. The Nepalese government has requested that international airlines carry return fuel or refuel at airports en route, as Tribhuvan International Airport (VNKT/KTM) has no available fuel.

View the full International Ops Bulletin for 19OCT2015.

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