International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: New York

JFK Runway 4R closure for the summer

We got a couple of reminders that we hadn’t covered this in our weekly bulletin, and … you’re right. So, here’s the details.

So, Runway 4R/22L will be fully out from today until June 1st, and then it will be out overnight until Sept 4th, at which time it will be fully out again.

So, first up:

Phase I – 1st Full Runway Closure – 94 Days (Feb 27- June 1, 2017)

  1. Runway will be fully paved after this
  2. Runway will be returned to operations on June 1 with edge lights only

Because NYC Tracon is so tight, the 4R closure also impacts La Guardia and Teterboro, so we expect to see some delays and restrictions there as well.

For your reading pleasure, we’ve bundled all the documents about this into 1 PDF.

Oh and yes, that’s Central Park and not Runway 4R, but it’s prettier than some concrete.

Reference:

 

My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow – NAT Ops Guide

Of all the hundreds of questions we see in OPSGROUP, one region stands out as the most asked about – the NAT/North Atlantic. So, we made one of our legendary guides, to get everything into one PDF.  It’s called “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow“.

Contents:

  • 1. What’s different about the NAT?
  • 2. Changes in 2017, 2016, 2015
  • 3. NAT Quick Map – Gander boundary, Shanwick boundary
  • 4. Routine Flight Example #1 – Brussels to JFK (up at 5.45am)

  • 5. Non Routine-Flights: No RVSM, No RNP4, No HF, 1 LRNS, No HLA, No ETOPS, No TCAS, No Datalink – what you can do and where you can go
  • 6. Diversion Airports guide: Narsarsuaq, Sondy, Kef, Glasgow, Dublin, Shannon, Lajes, Fro Bay, Goose Bay, Gander, St. Johns
  • 7. Airport data
  • 8. Overflight permits – routine and special

  • 9. Special NAT procedures: Mach number technique, SLOP, Comms, Oceanic Transition Areas, A successful exit, Screwing it up, Departing from Close Airports
  • 10. North Atlantic ATC contacts for Shanwick, Gander, Iceland, Bodo, Santa Maria, New York – ATC Phone, Radio Station Phone, AFTN, Satcom, CPDLC Logon codes; and adjoining Domestic ATC units – US, Canada, Europe.
  • 11. NAT FPL Codes
  • 12. NAT Flight Levels
  • 13. Flight Plan Filing Addresses by FIR
  • 14. Links, Questions, Guidance

Excerpt from the Routine Flight #1:

 

Buy a copy ($15)   Get it free – join OPSGROUP

To get your copy – there are four options:

  1. OPSGROUP Members, login to the Dashboard and find it under “Publications > Guides”. All FSB content like this is included in your membership, or
  2. Join OPSGROUP with an individual, team, or department/airline plan, and get it free on joining (along with a whole bunch of other stuff), or
  3. Purchase a copy in the Flight Service Store, or
  4. Write us a nice email and tell us why you deserve a free copy!

 

 

 

 

Pan Am, 727’s, and 1977 …

This afternoon I took a boat across the river to the Jersey side  and looked back at New York City; amongst the skyscrapers in Midtown one stood out – the MetLife building. It seemed familiar – and I wondered why. I realised it was once the PanAm building: in a different era, this was the headquarters of Pan American World Airways.

pan-am-3

Most interestingly, there was once a helicopter service, operated by PanAm in 1977, that connected downtown Manhattan with JFK, if you had a First or ‘Clipper Class’ ticket on a PanAm flight. The helicopter transfer, from the helipad on the roof of the PanAm building, took about 7 minutes – compare this to the 1 hour and 7 minutes it takes to get out to JFK these days – if you’re lucky.

1984-ad-pan-am-one-free

Today, a couple of blocks west of the former PanAm building sits a lonely Concorde beside the Hudson, another nod to a time when aviation seems to have offered more convenience and speed than it does today.

intrepidtws11

So, the question is whether this is nothing more than nostalgia, or whether things were indeed, in some way, better back then. Everyone will have their own answer to that – we’ve lost  Tristars with elevators, DC-8’s with their chrome and diesel and smoke and crackle, 727’s and Bac 1-11’s with their rear airstairs – and what have we gained? The newest arrivals – the C Series, the A350, the 787 – are sleek, fuel efficient, and open up new routes that weren’t possible before – but are pretty unspectacular.

No doubt though, the generation that got to fly and operate these aircraft looked back on the days of Flying Boats and DC-3 with equal fondness. I wonder whether the aircraft coming off the production lines today will evoke the same thoughts.

In International Flight Operations, though, it must be said that things are much improved. Compared to the era that spans the 70’s to the 90s, we’ve now got vastly improved flight planning systems, more direct routes, much better navigation systems, and we’ve largely moved from SITA, phone calls and fax machines to email when it comes to organising those flights. For the Dispatcher and Planner, there is no doubt that life is far easier. Even ten years ago, trying to arrange handling anywhere outside the US and Europe would take days to set up – now, the same trip can be arranged in 30 minutes.

We do have some new challenges. Airspace safety – and the risk to our aircraft overflying unstable regions, is of more concern now than at any time in history. Since MH17 two years ago,  there have been many new areas to avoid. But how to know where, and why? Through The Airline Cooperative and OPSGROUP, we’ve worked as groups of Dispatchers, Controllers, and Pilots to share information so that when one person becomes aware of new information, everyone gets to hear about it. Our shared map shows the current status at safeairspace.net.

safeairspace-net

As a group, we’ve also been creating some new tools that help us – Aireport is our shared review site, where we can let each other know about good and bad experiences with Handlers, Airports, and ATC – whether it’s service, procedures, changes, or avoiding a fuel stop that’s going to cost you a fortune.

aireport-co

Maybe the biggest problem with all this new access to information is the overload one – the internet is the equivalent of a Shannon to Singapore NOTAM briefing. 80 pages of crap with a couple of important things stuck in the middle. Sometimes those important things are good to know, sometimes it’s critical information.

So how do you find those couple of critical things on the internet? You won’t have any trouble finding Aviation sites, but if you are managing an International Flight Operation of any sort – whether you’re the pilot, the dispatcher, the controller, the regulator, the ramp agent – whoever: how do you find out what’s new that will affect your flight.

That’s the question that bothers us at FSB every day of the week. We literally work on this every single day – and every day it becomes a little easier. Every Wednesday, we squeeze and condense the things that we’ve discovered this week into our weekly International Ops Bulletin – removing as much as possible until you’re left with only the critical stuff. The biggest source, and greatest help – is our amazing group of people in OPSGROUP.

Anyhow, I digress. Back to PanAm …

Oceanic Errors

Unfortunately, we don’t fly with three in the cockpit anymore – or even four. The navigators job falls squarely onto the front two seats. Over one weekend in April there was one Gross Navigation Error, and two close calls reported on the North Atlantic.

April 22nd (Friday)
Democratic Republic of the Congo Boeing 727 100 (9QCDC/DRC001) from Santa Maria Island, Azores (LPAZ) to St. John’s NL (CYYT)
At 1235Z, Observed on radar to be over position 4720N 4745W, which was approximately 60 miles north of the cleared route 45N 45W – 47N 50W. The crew reported correctly while in oceanic airspace. The flight was cleared direct to YYT and landed without incident at CYYT. There was no traffic, and no other impact to operations.

April 24th (Sunday)
Neos Airline Boeing 767-300 (INDDL/NOS730) from Ferno, Italy (LIMC) to Havana, Cuba (MUHA)
Cleared via 49N030W 48N040W 45N050W. At 30W, the flight reported 48N040W 44N050W. The aircraft recleared to 45N050W prior to proceeding off course.

Apr 25th (Monday)
Transportes Aereos Portugueses Airbus A330-202 (CSTOO/TAP203) from Lisbon, Portugal (LPPT) to Newark, NJ (KEWR)
Cleared 46N030W 46N040W 45N050W. The aircraft reported proceeding via 46N030W 46N040W 44N050W, as per the original flight plan. The aircraft was recleared via 45N050W prior to proceeding off course.

Did you notice how hard it was to find the error in the above two examples?

 

Gross Navigation Errors are a really interesting topic, and relevant not just on the North Atlantic but in any Oceanic or Remote airspace where ATC cannot monitor the aircraft tracking.

What defines a GNE? Normally, 25nm: That is, when on “own navigation” the aircraft departs the cleared route by more than 25nm. The NAT Central Monitoring Agency (CMA) now defines a Gross Navigation Error as 10nm instead of 25nm.

Annually, the biggest offenders in order of “market share” are: 1. Corporate/Private, 2. Military/State 3. Civil airlines.

How to Avoid a GNE?
(aka How to avoid a Nastygram from the Authorities):

In general, when operating outside of ATC Radar coverage in any airspace:

  • Crews: Don’t have more than one paper copy of the Flight Plan in the cockpit. Mark the active one “Master Document”. Hide any other copies where you won’t find them.
  • Ops: If you send a new Flight Plan to the crew, tell them what the changes are – especially if you’ve filed a different route in Oceanic or Remote Airspace.
  • Fly the Clearance, not the Filed Plan. This is the biggest gotcha. As soon as you reach the Oceanic Entry Point, or leave radar airspace – refer only to the most recent Clearance from ATC. The filed plan is a request only – sounds obvious, but most GNE’s occur because the crew fly the filed plan although there was a reroute.
  • Be aware of the ‘ARINC424 problem’: In the aircraft FMS, and map display, the current common waypoint format is 5230N for position 52N030W (as prescribed by ARINC 424). To show position 5230N030W – ARINC 424 offers a format N5230. The potential for confusion is clear. ICAO, in NAT Ops Bulletin 3/15, have recommended that operators use the format H5230, if a five-letter FMS format waypoint is required. In addition pilots are recommended to cross check any waypoints that don’t have a ‘name’.
  • Use a plotting chart – it’s mandatory. You don’t have to use ours, but use one.
  • Use an Oceanic/Remote Area Checklist (sample link below).

And specifically on the Atlantic:

  • Read the advice on the Daily Track Message – waypoint cross check, Fly the Clearance (and be sure it is the clearance!)
  • Know the weather deviation procedures: Even with the new “Half Tracks”, there are no changes to the in flight contingency procedures and weather deviation procedures as detailed in PANS ATM Doc444 Para15.2 & 15.2.3.

Here’s some links and resources that we think are really useful:

 

For regular notices and content like the above, consider joining OPSGROUP.

 

New North Atlantic Plotting Chart published

With all the recent changes to the structure and requirements for North Atlantic airspace, we’ve published a new North Atlantic Plotting Charteffective 03MAR16 to coincide with AIRAC cycle 1604.

The most important changes are the move from MNPS to HLA in February, including a new RNP4/10 requirement for the entire airspace, and the introduction of RLAT Tracks in December.

The new Planning chart is now in High-Res, allowing it to be printed up to 3 x 2.1 meters, and shows all the new rules and requirements in graphical format – as well as updated Fuel Pricing at common NAT Diversion Airports, revised Bruce Spruce routes T16, T213, Iceland boundary fixes, and updated FPL codes for new HLA/High Level Airspace.

Download NAT Plotting Chart

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