International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: Libya

A330 hit by gunfire at Tripoli

If you needed any more reason not to operate to Tripoli, here it is – a Libyan Airlines A330 hit by gunfire at HLLM/Mitiga airport during an exchange of fire between local militia in the district directly south of the airport on Oct 19.

Both airports in Tripoli are focal points for fighting. Given their strategic value, they periodically serve as headquarters for various local militias.

HLLT/Tripoli has been more or less completely closed since mid-2014, when at least 90% of the airport’s facilities were destroyed in fighting between local militias. Since then, international flights to and from Tripoli have been using HLLM/Mitiga instead. Technically, HLLT/Tripoli is now only available for VIP, emergency and ambulance flights; but in reality, it should be avoided at all costs.

HLLM/Mitiga is the old military airfield, which is now being used for civilian traffic, since the closure of HLLT/Tripoli. We last reported on the fighting that took place here back in July, where 5 people were killed and 32 injured. Mitiga was also forced to close on a number of occasions in October 2017 due to the violence.

A number of countries already have blanket warnings in place against operating to Libya, and they all say pretty much the same thing: avoid the entire country – don’t land at any airport, don’t even overfly.

So we suggest you ignore whatever gets pumped out on the HLLL FIR Notams about airports being “AVAILABLE H24 FOR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AND EN-ROUTE DIVERSIONS”. (You can read that nonsense by clicking here.)

Libya remains categorised as a Level One country (Do Not Fly) at

Libya: it’s simple – don’t land, don’t overfly.

There has been a flurry of activity in Libya of late. The people with their hands on the AFTN printer for Libya have been putting out all kinds of information, advertising availability of aerodromes and the Tripoli FIR. All are welcome!

Don’t be too hasty.

Libya is still a desperately unstable country. A Notam published today (A0070/17) indicates that HLLM/Mitiga is open and available “H24 for International Flights and Diversions”.

We’d love you to come visit, they say. What the Notam doesn’t mention is that two weeks ago, 5 people were killed and 32 injured during fighting at the airport.

As a matter of update on the Libyan ATM situation, we can inform operators that there are regular outages in the provision of ATC services especially at the main airports due to security or technical failure issues.

The main ACC in Tripoli is also subject to severe limitations with no radar service and limited provision of CNS/ATM services in most of the HLLL FIR airspace.

Overflight through HLLL FIR is only approved by the Libyan authorities on one southbound route from RASNO-LOSUL but even this is subject to severe limitations and a degree of confusion as to who is actually authorizing flights to transit the airspace.

There are several NOTAMs issued by adjacent States prohibiting overflights on certain entry/exit points creating further complications.

Here’s a simple guide for you from FSB:

  1. Don’t overfly Libya or enter the Tripoli FIR, and don’t land in Libyan airports.
  2. Refer to 1.


Libya remains categorised as a Level One country (Do Not Fly) at


Fighting at Tripoli Airport, 5 killed

July 5, 2017 – HLLM/Tripoli Mitiga : Intense fighting at the Airport yesterday, with 5 people killed and 32 injured. The fighting is ongoing between rival members of the Buni Brigade militia, which controls the airport terminal building. It is understood that there had been a falling out over the distribution of the income the militia earns from goods and passengers passing through the terminal.

Operations were switched to Mitiga from HLLT/Tripoli International in 2014, after that airport was severely damaged in the heavy clashes that broke out across the capital in mid-2014 and closed to all operations.

Also yesterday, July 4th, the first flight in three years to land at HLLT/Tripoli International arrived from Addis Ababa, which was a non-scheduled flight operated by Libyan Arab Airlines. There is no indication yet that HLLT is open again for regular traffic.

Libya remains categorised as a Level One country (Do Not Fly) at


HLLL Tripoli FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Libya

Feb 1st, 2017 HLLL/Libya has issued state guidance to areas that they believe to be active Conflict Zones. While we list the entire country as Level 1 – Avoid” at, it is nonetheless noteworthy as this type of notification from a ‘Conflict Zone state’ is rare. The 3 areas with coordinates, are below.

Area 1:- 3116N01610E 3108N01707E 3030N01700E 3042N01605E
Area 2:- 3251N02240E 3243N02246E 3239N02218E 3247N02216E
Area 3:- 3212N02002E 3209N02007E 3157N01953E 3154N02005E

These correspond to sites at Sirte, Benghazi, and Derna, left to  right below, with Sirte being the largest.





  • Libya Airspace/Overflight risk warnings  at

International Bulletin: Sharm El Sheikh reopens, New ICAO Phraseologies 10NOV

Sharm El Sheikh reopens 03NOV  HESH/Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt has reopened to international traffic, with a number of airlines starting services again on 01NOV. However, there are conflicting views on security at the airport, depending on your state of registry. Read article.

New ICAO Phraseologies 03NOV From 10NOV, new international aviation phraseology for SIDs and STARs is effective, but there’s a problem. Read article.

OEJN/Jeddah, Saudi Arabia On 27OCT, Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. The Houthis confirmed the launch via the Saba news agency, saying that the missile was targeting Jeddah International Airport (OEJN), not the holy city of Mecca, as some other news reports had claimed.

EHEH/Eindhoven has new procedures for PPR effective 30OCT – if you’re flying there, get PPR direct from the airport. You can read all the info on their new GA page. Oh, and there’s now a fee. €300 for PPR for a 21 ton aircraft, for example.

LFMN/Nice Runway 04R/22L will be closed during November.

WARR/Juanda Airport is closed due to works in progress except for helicopter medical evacuations from until 15NOV

UTZZ/Tajikistan Disagreement between Russia and Tajikistan may lead to operational restrictions between the two countries. Air traffic between Moscow and Dushanbe may be suspended from 08NOV.

FAZZ/South Africa Reports this week suggest that foreign nationals entering South Africa through any port of entry should expect delays up to four hours due to a new enhanced security measure that requires the capture of fingerprints and a photograph. OR Tambo in Jo’burg seems to be the worst offender.

BGKK/Kulusuk has updated opening hours: 1100-1900Z Tuesday to Saturday. They ask for 3 hours minimum notice PPR.

PLCH/Christmas Island Fuel is in short supply, notified as being only available for Scheduled service and emergency flights. PLCH is often used on Pacific crossings as an alternate, so any diversion would be considered an ‘emergency’, but check before actually planning a tech stop.

LEZZ/Spain Previously notified fuel strike now appears to be one provider only, so it looks like impact minimal.

DGAA/Accra ATC is having a few VHF issues, primarily on 126.7 – if you can’t reach them, call HF 8903 instead.

EDDT/Berlin Tegel will be busy 14-18 NOV due to state visits, they won’t accept GA/Private traffic during this time, but you can check specifics with them at

HLLS/Sabha, Libya The airport has been closed for over 2 years due to fighting in the area. A new Notam has been issued which officially extends the closure period to 26DEC, as talks continue between the authorities and local groups to find a way to re-open the airport.

LYBE/Belgrade Jet A1 not available through the airport fuel service provider until the end of the month. Make sure you get a confirmed fuel release through a third-party fuel provider before operating here.

LTZZ/Turkey On 29 October, the US Department of State ordered the departure of family members of employees posted to the US Consulate General in Istanbul due to security information indicating extremist groups continued aggressive efforts to attack US citizens in Istanbul. US Operators should consider ops into airports in Turkey carefully.

OMDB/Dubai Traffic was stopped for approx 1.5 hours on 29OCT due to a drone. The Airport closed from 1930-2050 LT, and some flights were diverted. OMSJ/Sharjah was also briefly closed due to the same drone. Unauthorized drones have halted airport operations in Dubai twice in recent months.

GMZZ/Morocco is busy from 4-20NOV, GA and non-sched traffic will see restrictions. Check their Notam A0896 from 01NOV. If you’re part of the event, put RMK/COP22 in your FPL. No long stays will be allowed.

WSSL/Singapore Seletar We’ve received crew reports of challenges with visual approaches into Seletar (there are no instrument approaches). There are unlighted obstacles on the approach to Runway 21. After dark, approaches are only possible to Runway 03. More importantly, noise rules will soon demand a challenging base turn, greater than 5 degrees, to a half-mile 3.5 degree final, to a 1% down slope runway. We welcome further comments (

LGZZ/Greece There will be a ferry strike between the Greek mainland and all Islands on 24NOV. No services will operate that day.

FTZZ/Chad Reports of nationwide public service strike including Airport operations at N’Djamena. The unions stated that the strike will persist until the government pays overdue wage arrears.

View Full International Bulletin 03NOV2016

Midweek Briefing: Taiwan ADS-B requirement, Costa Rica volcano

Taiwan ADS-B requirement 21SEP Yesterday, Taiwan pushed the requirement for ADS-B above FL290 for all aircraft, back to 2020 – as a fast approaching deadline of December this year was looming. Read the article.

Costa Rica volcano 21SEP MROC/San Jose, Costa Rica has reopened after the eruption of the Turrialba volcano on Monday. A risk of further closures continues. Read the article.

OPZZ/Pakistan Some airspace in the north of the country (Kashmir region) has been closed by the Pakistan CAA. Details are unclear but reports indicate Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral Airports are affected by the closure.

BIKF/Keflavik Departing KEF eastbound? Icelandic ATC would love you to file the following as a standard route: PIXUM PETUX ORTAV ODPEX, or 63N022W CELLO if you’re planning to cross 10W at GOMUP or south of.

EDDL/Dusseldorf has closed 05L/23R for a couple of days to remove a WW2 bomb. Some delays at peak times may result.

HLGT/Ghat, Libya Three foreign nationals were kidnapped along the road that leads to Ghat Airport on 19SEP, located in the Fezzan province along the southwest border with Algeria. The foreigners were construction workers employed by the Italian-owned Conicos company to service Ghat Airport. There are numerous armed militia and terrorist groups active in the area and the foreigners were said to be operating under discretion due to the security risk.

EDHL/Lubeck will closed on Oct 4th for repairs – all day.

ENGM/Oslo will introduce new RNP AR approaches in November, available to all runways. Auth from Norwegian CAA is required to use them.

FKKD/Douala now requires PPR 72 hours prior arrival, for non-scheduled flights, due to upcoming space restrictions as a result of WIP. You can make requests directly to Airport admin at

GBZZ/Gambia In a change to procedure, Overflight Permits, and Landing Permits for traffic operating to GBYD/Banjul, are now issued by the Department of Flight Safety Standards at the GCAA.


FAZZ/South Africa The CAA has updated its warnings for operators, with new guidance for two airspace blocks: that affected by the Syrian conflict – namely Baghdad, Damascus, and Tehran FIRs; and that affected by recent concerns over the Northern Sinai – their advice is to overfly at FL260 or higher.

LMML/Malta airshow coming up on 24-25 Sept, multiple restrictions, check before operating or filing as alternate.

FZZZ/DRC Congo Since September 19 large-scale demonstrations have been resulting in violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Kinshasa and elsewhere in the country. The situation is particularly tense in Kinshasa where violence has caused casualties. These demonstrations could continue over the next few days and the situation could further degenerate. The sole road to the Kinshasa airport could be blocked and some flights have been cancelled.

OJZZ/Jordan It’s White Stork migration season, and Jordan has issued warnings for all of its airports, for crews to be mindful of the high chance of presence of large flocks of them on arrival and departure.

SKED/Bogota has some comms issues on north/south bound routes to Peru (Lima FIR); 10 minute separation is applied betwen aircraft on these routes until at least Sept 26th.

KZZZ/USA For some good reading, the FAA (thanks Andy for passing this on), have updated their Aviation Weather guidance doc. This is the first revision to the document since 1975.

Input: ATC, Pilots, Dispatchers: Any topical items that you think should be going out to the community? Let us know, and we’ll get your message out there.

View full International Bulletin 21SEP2016

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.


ION0216 Shot










Monday Briefing: Russian overflights of Ukraine now prohibited, EUR: TCAS 7.1 Compulsary

All Russian overflights of Ukraine now prohibited 29NOV In a development of the dispute between Russia and Ukraine regarding traffic between the two countries, Ukraine has extended the original ban (which affected specific Russian Airline only) to all Russian registered Aircraft Operators. Notam 2604/15 issued last Wednesday has the specifics.

EUR: TCAS 7.1 Compulsary 01DEC The EASA Mandate for compulsary carriage of TCAS version 7.1 (with changes to “Adjust Vertical Speed” RA and resolution of “Reversal RA” problems) is 01DEC. All operators must have 7.1 on board. Note that this applies also to EU Territories abroad, eg. New Caledonia, Tahiti.

OYSC/Sanaa FIR We’ve received input from a number of US Airlines that although Yemeni landmass airspace is prohibited, operations through the OYSC/Sanaa FIR Oceanic portion are available in accordance with FDC5/5575.

NZAA/Auckland is closed every Monday morning 0130-0430LT for runway maintenance. However, Robin Leach at Air Centre One notes that several aircraft have departed for Auckland with an arrival time during this period resulting in airborne holding. Part of the issue is that a NOTAM is only issued if the work is cancelled; otherwise the (hard to spot) AIP/IFG notes for Auckland apply.

ZBAA/Beijing Chinese Authorities have issued an ‘orange level’ alert for smog on Sunday, with reports that visibility in places is down to a few hundred feet. This alert requires industrial plants to reduce or shut down production. With the current temperatures, Freezing Fog is affecting operations at Beijing Airports.

North Atlantic First day with the new NAT Tracks structure will be 01DEC per advice from NATS and Nav Canada, reporting that previous IT issues with the new tracks have been resolved.

Spain The National AFTN COM Centre is out of action for a few hours on Monday night (after 2100Z), meaning that FPL filing and other AFTN based messaging will be affected for Airports in Spain and the Canary Islands.

Bermuda Transatlantic Operators should note in addition to the new track structure on 01DEC, that Bermuda will be without radar coverage for the afternoon (1200Z-1600Z), and the National Authority there is recommending to avoid Bermuda airspace. A limited non-radar service will be provided, and only airways L459, 461, and 462 are useable if you do overfly. Refer to KZWY A0461/15 for more.

EINN/Shannon is again closed for maintenance this Monday night 01DEC, 2145Z-0500Z; use alternate diversion alternates!

EGLL/London Heathrow has a high risk of regulation for Mon, Nov 30th from 0540-2200Z due to strong winds. Please plan fuel accordingly for possible airborne delays.

HLLL/Libya FIR Due to the recent escalation of the Libyan Crisis all Italian aircraft operators have been prohibited from flying through HLLL FIR. Prior Permission to operate into HL available aerodromes also requires Prior Permission by the Libyan CAA. REF NOTAM A8382/15 which replaced A5637/15.

LFRR/Brest FIR Training and stepped implementation of the ERATO paperless strip system in Brest FIR commenced on 24NOV and will last until 18DEC with significant capacity reductions. A transition period with capacity reductions will follow from 19DEC; this may potentially extend into Summer 2016. Moderate and (in some case) high delays may be expected daily, depending on the sector configuration provided.

LTxx/Turkey In response to the downing of a Russian Fighter Jet, Russia will be suspending the Visa-Free Travel program between the countries effective 01JAN2016.

VICG/Changigarh The new Chandigarh international airport which was originally scheduled to close for runway resurfacing which was estimated to take approx a year will in fact now remain open during the construction. Work to resurface the runway will take place without disturbing the flight operations there.

EIDW/Dublin The DAA and IAA are currently exploring a further reduction in SID separation to 75 seconds (following aircraft given take-off clearance when preceding aircraft reaches 1NM past DER). Ongoing AIM is to reduce further to 60 seconds if possible.

MKJS/Montego Bay The operator of Sangster International Airport, MBJ Airports Limited, Announced that, effective 24NOV, electronic boarding passes will be accepted as part of the security screening process.

DNxx/Nigeria The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, suspended some oil marketers from supplying Jet A1 to airlines due to a lack of depot facilities. The affected marketing companies include Jushad Oil and Gas Limited, Lubcon Limited, Ascon Oil Company Limited, Acon Petroleum Limited and Star Orient Aviation Limited.

FQNC/Nacala,Mozambique Mozambique’s airport management company AdM stated on 24 November 2015 that Nacala Airport is expected to receive the proper certification to service international flights by December 2015. International airlines can begin using the facility by March or April 2016. Nacala Airport was a former military airbase and it opened as a civilian facility in December 2014. However, to date, the airport has only been permitted to service domestic flights.


View the full International Operations Bulletin for 30NOV2015

Monday Briefing: Security in Caracas, Tripoli, UK Permit rules

Security issues rule out Venezuela, Libya Mar 23: SVMI/Caracas, Venezuela, and HLLT/Tripoli, Libya, should be off your tech stop or charter lists for the foreseeable future. Both airports have been subject to rising security risks over the last months, reaching a climax last week with a bomb attack on RWY 09/27 in Tripoli and increased civil unrest in Caracas.

New rules for UK Permits Mar 23 : Significant changes to the approval process for Landing Permits for the UK will take effect on 06 APR. CAA will take over the responsibility for issuing approvals from the Department for Transport (DFT). Also, previously, a cabotage objection could be raised by a group of UK Charter Operators – this is removed. A fee is likely to be charged by the CAA for permits from this point forward.

SVMI/Caracas, Venezuela Public unrest has raised tensions in the capital to the point where several airlines have suspended service, including Air Canada this past week. Coupled with the security issue is a payment issue, with the Venezuelan government not releasing ticket payments. SVMI remains open and operational, but not recommended. For tech stops, consider TNCC/Curacao just to the north.

Uxxx/Crimea Region. Following the referendum on 16MAR, Crimea is now officially Russian Territory. This places the Simferopol FIR under Russian Control, but service is still provided by Ukraine. Simferopol Sectors 3,4 and 5 are now controlled by Odesa, and Sectors 1 and 2 are controlled by Dnipropetrvosk. UKFF/Simferopol and UKFB/Sevastopol are closed to civil traffic. No decision has yet been made by the Russian CAA as to whether permits will be required to overfly Crimea. It seems unlikely that there will be any change to the present ‘no permit required’ situation in the coming weeks at least, though when Simferopol Airport reopens we would anticipate Landing Permits being required through Russia.

VTSP/Phuket – International restrictions due to construction until 31MAR. Slot and PPR require 48HR PN, Landing Permit requests should allow 10 days.

LIxx/Italy ATC Industrial action announced for 30MAR 1030-1430Z. For this and subsequent strikes, ENAC, the Italian provider, will accept a limited number of pre-arranged flights from each AO.

EHAA/Amsterdam FIR Due to Nuclear Summit in the Hague on 24 and 25MAR, most of the FIR is accessible by Prior Permission only, including all flights to EHAM, EHRD, EHEH. Contact or +31 (0) 577453696.
LLOV/Ovda, Israel will be closed to all flights 01MAY-07MAY

DGAA/Accra, Ghana Until 23JUN, The main runway (03/21) is open daily from 0500-2300Z only; no traffic accepted outside these hours.

YPXM/Christmas Island is closed and unmanned at present due to a Cyclone.

HLLT/Tripoli, Libya was subject to a bomb attack on Friday. The device was placed on the centerline of RWY09/27 overnight and detonated with a timer. Most regular operators cancelled flights immediately, with no set date to resume operations.

OSDI/Damascus FIR – For those still overflying, Syria has closed airway L513 from BURSA to LEBOR UFN.
UK Charter Permits. Significant changes to the approval process for Landing Permits for the UK will take effect on 06 APR. CAA will take over the responsibility for issuing approvals from the Department for Transport (DFT). Also, previously, a cabotage objection could be raised by a group of UK Charter Operators – this is removed. A fee is likely to be charged by the CAA for permits from this point forward.

Turkey. Effective 10APR2014 Visa on Arrival is no longer available at Turkish Airports. Visitors must apply online through for an e-Visa.

Australia. A reminder to all operators who are not ADS-B equipped, of the restrictions when operating into Australian Airspace effective from 15DEC13. If you not ADS-B equipped you must file with CASA, a Form 208 exemption application 14 days in advance of proposed operations into Australian Airspace. Then operations will be confined to the SSR radar coverage area extending from 200 nm north of Cairns down the East coast to 200 nm west of Adelaide. This is commonly referred to as the J curve. If you intend operating into the Brisbane or Melbourne FIRs from the west and north west of Australia, and are not ADB-B equipped you will be required to operate at FL290 or below.

URSS/Sochi Starting from 20JAN, including period of XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Winter Paralympic Games 2014, airlines are obliged to send the passenger manifest with exact Name, Surname, Passport number and series, or other ID, Ticket number, 24 hours prior to departure and no less then 4 hours prior to departure – passenger manifest changes, when operating to Sochi International airport (IATA code-AER). Information should be sent to the following e-mails:, See NOTAM A3075, A4018.

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