International Ops 2018

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: North Korea (page 1 of 2)

FSB removes North Korea airspace warnings

Flight Service Bureau is today removing all airspace warnings regarding North Korea from our guidance to aircraft operators. Specifically:

  • We are removing the Level 1 – Do Not Flywarning for the Pyongyang FIR – both mainland and waters areas.
  • We are no longer concerned about splashdown missile risk in the Sea of Japan and withdraw Note 30 to OpsGroup.

We have monitored the North Korea situation as regards overflight risk since 2014, when the first signs of risk appeared. In August 2016, we identified the missile risk as being increased, applying a Level 2 warning, and in August 2017, we elevated North Korea to Level 1, adding a warning for the Sea of Japan.

With the complete turnaround in political stance of North Korea in the last few months, it is our opinion that further test launches of missiles through the Pyongyang FIR are most unlikely. Coupled with the assurances given to ICAO last week, even if one were launched, we can expect a notification.

This position is better than we have been in during the period from 2005-2014, the years during which North Korea tested missiles but notified ICAO.

Too soon?

Airspace risk evolves rapidly. In the same way that we report risk to aircraft operators as soon as we know about it, through OpsGroup and safeairspace.net, we must also be prepared to stand down when the basis for those risks dissolves. We’re not assessing the likelihood of future political will of North Korea, or the chances of success for reunification. We’re simply saying, the basis for the warnings that exist – not just ours, but also the state warnings  from the US, UK, France and Germany – was unannounced missile launches, and that basis is now without merit.

As mentioned above, we are in at least as good a position as 2014, when nobody avoided North Korean airspace.

Guidance from FSB

We report on overflight and airspace risk to aircraft operators. Where we can, we give clear guidance. Our mission, in the wake of MH17, is to ensure that all operators have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about risky airspace.

It won’t always match guidance from States and Aviation Authorities: in this case, it won’t match any of the current state guidance.

The reason: we are an independent organisation, we form guidance based on the viewpoints of our analysts and more importantly, the 4000 airlines, operators, pilots, and dispatchers in OpsGroup. We are not bounded by political pressure, commercial pressure, or fear of getting it wrong. We’ll give you the best intended, most honest, clearest possible summary of opinion and guidance, so that you can make your own final decision about where to fly. Our first interest lies with the pilot, and the aircraft operator.

Current state warnings:

Further reading

  • OPSGROUP
  • safeairspace.net
  • Reuters: North Korea agrees to warn of activity hazardous to aviation: U.N. agency
  • FSB: Is North Korea safe to overfly again? – May 2018
  • FSB Archive: “Here’s why North Korean missiles are now a real threat to Civil Aviation” –
  • FSB Archive: “North Korea overflight getting riskier” – August 2016
  • FSB Archive: “North Korea missile threat” – August 2016

 

Is North Korea safe to overfly again?

Update: FSB removed North Korea warnings on May 14, 2018

A friend of mine is a grumpy flight dispatcher at a Large Canadian Airline. We have a standing agreement that when North Korea “opens up”, we are going to open the first Irish Pub in Pyongyang.

We made the agreement during an inspection tour of North Korean missile launch sites in 2016, though we didn’t know that’s what we were doing at the time. We were there to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the national airline, Air Koryo, and get a glimpse of aviation in North Korea.

Aviation is different here.

When we asked if we could have a look at airside operations at Pyongyang airport, the officials gladly drove us out onto the ramp, and then the runway, dropping us off at the edge for an hour or so of getting as close as we liked to the steady stream of Soviet era Tupolev and Ilyushin landing traffic. Not a yellow jacket in sight.

Yes, aviation is different here. When you first arrive in Pyongyang, the flight attendants dutifully come through the cabin before landing and lower the window shades, so that you land in darkness. They don’t want you to see their military aircraft; they don’t want you to see much of anything at all.

During our eight days there, we flew to 6 or 7 different North Korean airports, trekking out to Pyongyang International each morning to jump on whatever Tu-134 or Il-62 was designated for us that day. We got used to being filmed a lot of the time by the secret service, especially on board the aircraft.

But we had fun, too. For the evening that was the anniversary party, we were taken to a Bond-esque giant villa in the countryside, owned by the airline, for a 13-course dinner, topped off with a performance by the flight attendants that we saw each day on our domestic flights.

One of our destinations was Wonsan. The airport there is of the ‘giant international’ variety, a gleaming construct of huge terminals, pristine taxiways and runways, perfectly marked to ICAO standard, completed in 2015 at a cost of $130m. We were the first passenger flight to land at the new airport, as no international airlines were operating here yet. Unsurprisingly, there are still no international airlines operating here.

Just out of sight, to the right of the threshold that we landed on, is also the Wonsan missile launch facility. From here, a Hwasong-10 ICBM was launched in the direction of Japan, on June 22nd 2016.

The North Korean military holds drills here, so sometimes the beach beside the airport looks like this:

And so, to the question. What do all the recent developments mean? Is North Korea “opening up”? Is it going to be safe to operate through the Pyongyang FIR?

A quick history of developments in the last few years:

  • Until around 2014, North Korea notified ICAO of all missile launches, so that aircraft could avoid the launch and splashdown areas.
  • In 2015, they gradually stopped doing this, reaching a point where there could be no confidence in an alert being issued to airlines by North Korea.
  • In 2016, airlines and aircraft operators started avoiding the Pyongyang FIR entirely, by the end of 2016 almost nobody was entering the airspace.
  • In 2017, more and more of these missiles came down in the Sea of Japan, increasingly closer to the Japanese landmass. FSB researched the locations and produced a map of the risk area, together with the article: “Here’s why North Korean missiles are now a real threat to Civil Aviation

In the last few months, there has been incredible development away from the stalemate that has marked the relationship between North Korea and international aviation. Political change precedes aviation change, and that political change is very promising. Given that the primary risk to aircraft operators stems from missile launches, it already appears very unlikely that there will be any further launches, especially unannounced ones.

NHK world reports that ICAO is in North Korea this week, and that one of the main questions will be “to ask North Korea how it will ensure the safety of civilian aviation in international air space.”

The likely answer is rather simple. “We won’t be firing any more missiles, and if we do, we’ll notify”. That answer would be sufficient to remove the warnings about the Pyongyang FIR currently in force, together with the Fukuoka FIR warnings for the Sea of Japan.

So, it seems very likely that in the coming months, we will start to see international traffic start to use the Pyongyang FIR again, and may even see some new airways being established. In the interim, and before we issue specific guidance, we’ll wait to see the results of the talks between ICAO and North Korea this week.

 

Further reading:

 

 

 

Japan scrambles record number of jets as tensions rise with China

In Short: Japan scrambled a record number of fighter jets in the past year. The number rose to an all-time high of 1,168 in the year to March 2017, easily beating the previous record of 944 set at the height of the cold war in 1984. Chinese aircraft approaching Japanese airspace prompted 851 of the incidents, an increase of 280 over the previous year.

According to official figures released on Thursday, Japan’s Air Self Defense Force is scrambling fighter jets in record numbers as Chinese military activity escalates. Interceptions of Chinese planes rose by half in the year to March 31, in response to increases in the communist country’s activity in and around the East China Sea.

Japan worries that China is probing its air defences as part of a push to extend its military influence in the East China Sea and western Pacific, where Japan controls an island chain stretching 1,400 km (870 miles) south towards Taiwan. The figures highlight China’s growing assertion of military power in East Asia as it expands and modernises its armed forces in line with rapid economic growth.

For the first time, Chinese jets recently began flying through the Tsushima Strait into the Sea of Japan, and through the Miyako Strait into the Pacific Ocean.

But it’s not only China that Japan is worried about. Last week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned North Korea may be capable of firing a missile loaded with sarin nerve gas towards Japan. “There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to deliver missiles with sarin as warheads,” he told a parliamentary national security committee.

And then there’s Russia. Scrambles by Japanese aircraft were high throughout the 1980s in response to flights by Soviet aircraft during the cold war. They fell back to 100-200 incidents a year during the 1990s and 2000s, but began to pick up again a decade ago as both China and Russia grew more assertive.

Mr Abe has been trying to negotiate with Russian president Vladimir Putin over the future of four disputed islands in the Kuril chain to Japan’s north, but has made limited progress, with the jet scrambles showing Moscow’s determination to make its presence felt on its eastern border. There were 301 scrambles to intercept Russian aircraft during the year, 13 more than the previous year, including incidents where Russian jets circumnavigated the Japanese Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands to the south.

Extra Reading:

Cathay crew witness missile re-entry from North Korea

Crew onboard a Cathay Pacific flight witnessed the re-entry of North Korea’s latest missile near their position late last week. The CX893 service from San Francisco to Hong Kong on Nov 29 was over Japan at the time when North Korea launched its missile.

The crew reported: “Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location.”

Here’s Cathay Pacific’s full statement:

“On 29 November, the flight crew of CX893 reported a sighting of what is suspected to be the re-entry of the recent DPRK test missile. Though the flight was far from the event location, the crew advised Japan ATC according to procedures. Operation remained normal and was not affected. We have been in contact with relevant authorities and industry bodies as well as with other carriers. At the moment, no one is changing any routes or operating parameters. We remain alert and review the situation as it evolves."

North Korea’s missiles are larger, and can fly further, than the other missiles we’ve previously seen. Over the past year, most of these missiles land in the Sea of Japan, well inside the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (Japanese airspace). But as we see with this latest test, there is clearly a danger of some of these missiles not re-entering the atmosphere intact – meaning that a debris field of missile fragments passes through the airspace, not just one complete missile. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you read this: our article on why North Korean missiles are now a real threat to Civil Aviation.

This latest test is also significant because of its unprecedented altitude – 4500km (2800 miles). Experts seem to agree that if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, the missile would have been capable of traveling around 13000km (8100 miles), meaning it could have struck anywhere in the mainland US.

If you’re operating in the region, we recommend avoiding the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR entirely and avoiding the affected areas over the Sea of Japan. For more info, check out Safeairspace.

Here’s why North Korean missiles are now a real threat to Civil Aviation

Update: FSB removed North Korea warnings on May 14, 2018

  • July 2017: First launches of ICBM’s from North Korea
  • Western portion of Japanese airspace is a new risk area
  • New OPSGROUP guidance to Members, Note 30: Japanese Missile risk

The North Korean game has changed. Even if aircraft operators stopped flying through the Pyongyang FIR last year, nobody really thought there was much of a tangible risk. The chances of a missile actually hitting an aircraft seemed slim, and any discussion on the subject didn’t last long.

Things look different now. In July, the DPRK tested two Hwasong-14 Intercontinental missiles (the July 4th one is above), the first ICBM’s successfully launched from North Korea. ICBM’s are larger, and fly further, than the other missiles we’ve previously seen. Both of these landed in the Sea of Japan, well inside the Fukuoka Flight Information Region (Japanese airspace), and significantly, at least one did not re-enter the atmosphere intact – meaning that a debris field of missile fragments passed through the airspace, not just one complete missile.

We drew a map, with our best estimates of the landing positions of all launches in the last year that ended in Japanese airspace. The results are quite clear:


View large image

Zooming in even further, we can see each of the estimated landing sites. It is important to note that the landing positions vary in the degree of accuracy with which it is possible to estimate them. The highest accuracy is for the 28JUL17 landing of the Hwasong-14 ICBM, thanks to tracking by the Japanese Defence Force and US STRATCOM, as well as visual confirmation from land in Japan. The remaining positions are less precise, but in an overall view, the area affected is quite well defined – south of AVGOK and north of KADBO. In 2017, there have been 6 distinct missile landings in this area. The primary airways affected are B451 and R211, as shown on the chart.


View large image

So, in a very specific portion of Japanese airspace, there have been regular splashdowns of North Korean missiles. As highlighted by the Air France 293 coverage, this area is crossed by several airways in regular use, predominantly by Japan-Europe flights using the Russia route.

Determining Risk

The critical question for any aircraft operator is whether there is a clear risk from these missiles returning to earth through the airspace in which we operate. Take these considerations into account:

The regularity and range of the launches are increasing. In 2015, there were 15 launches in total, of short-range ballistic and sub-launched missiles. In 2016, there were 24 launches, almost all being medium-range. In 2017, there have been 18 so far, with the first long-range missiles.

– In 2016, international aviation solved the problem by avoiding the Pyongyang FIR. This is no longer sufficient. The landing sites of these missiles have moved east, and there is a higher likelihood of a splashdown through Japanese airspace than into North Korea.

– Almost all launches are now in an easterly direction from North Korea. The launch sites are various, but the trajectory is programmed with a landing in the Sea of Japan. From North Korea’s perspective, this provides a sufficiently large area to avoid a missile coming down on land in foreign territory.

– The most recent ICBM failed on re-entry, breaking up into many fragmented pieces, creating a debris field. At about 1515Z on the 28th July, there was a large area around the R211 airway that would have presented a real risk to any aircraft there. Thankfully, there were none – although the  Air France B777 had passed through some minutes before.

– Until 2014, North Korea followed a predictable practice of notifying all missile launches to the international community. ICAO and state agencies had time to produce warnings and maps of the projected splashdown area. Now, none of the launches are notified.

– Not all launches are detected by surrounding countries or US STRATCOM. The missile flies for about 35 minutes before re-entry. Even with an immediate detection, it’s unlikely that the information would reach the Japanese radar controller in time to provide any alert to enroute traffic. Further, even with the knowledge of a launch, traffic already in the area has no avoiding option, given the large area that the missile may fall in.

Can a falling missile hit an aircraft?

What are the chances? Following the AFR293 report on July 28, the media has favoured the “billions to one” answer.

We don’t think it’s quite as low.

First of all, that “one” is actually “six” – the number of North Korean missiles landing in the AVGOK/KADBO area in 2017. Considering that at least one of them, and maybe more, broke up on re-entry, that six becomes a much higher number.

Any fragment of reasonable size hitting a tailplane, wing, or engine as the aircraft is in cruise at 450 knots creates a significant risk of loss of control of the aircraft. How many fragments were there across the six launches? Maybe as high as a hundred pieces, maybe even more.

The chances of a missile, or part of it, striking the aircraft are not as low as it may initially appear. Given that all these re-entries are occurring in quite a focused area, prudence dictates considering avoiding the airspace.

What did we learn from MH17?

Whenever we discuss missiles and overflying civil aircraft in the same paragraph,  the valuable lessons from MH17 must be remembered. In the weeks and months leading up to the shooting down of the 777 over Ukraine, there were multiple clues to the threat before the event happened.

Of greatest relevance was that State Authorities did not make clear the risk, and that even though five or six airlines decided to avoid Ukrainian airspace, most other operators did not become aware of the real risk level until after the event.

Our mission at Flight Service Bureau is to make sure all aircraft operators, crews, and dispatchers have the data they need to make a fully informed decision on whether to continue flying western Japan routes, or to avoid them.

Guidance for Aircraft Operators

Download OPSGROUP Note to Members #30: Japan Missile risk (public version here)

Review the map above to see the risk area as determined by the landing sites in 2017.

Consider rerouting to remain over the Japanese landmass or east of it. It is unlikely that North Korea would risk or target a landing of any test launch onto actual Japanese land.

Check routings carefully for arrivals/departures to Europe from Japan, especially if planning airways R211 or B451. Consider the previous missile landing sites in your planning.

– Monitor nti.org for the most recent launches, as well as flightservicebureau.org and safeairspace.net.

OPSGROUP members will be updated with any significant additions or updates to this Note through member mail and/or weekly newsletter.

References

– Nuclear Threat Initiative – nti.org

– Opsgroup Note to members #30 – Public version

OPSGROUP – Membership available here.

– Weekly International Ops Bulletin published by FSB for OPSGROUP covering critical changes to Airports, Airspace, ATC, Weather, Safety, Threats, Procedures, Visas. Subscribe to the short free version here, or join thousands of Pilot/Dispatcher/ATC/CAA/Flight Ops colleagues in OPSGROUP for the full weekly bulletin, airspace warnings, Ops guides, tools, maps, group discussion, Ask-us-Anything, and a ton more. Curious? See what you get. Rated 5 stars by 125 reviews.

– Larger area map of Japan airspace risk 2017

– Contact team@fsbureau.org with any comments or questions.

Germany issue new warnings, Manila may not ban GA after all

Germany issues new warnings 25JAN Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics. Read the article

 

Manila may not ban GA after all 25JAN RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

 


 

HEZZ/Egypt, HSZZ/South Sudan, ZKZZ/North Korea Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of EgyptSouth Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics.

RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

NTAA/Tahiti The airport is open again as of Monday morning local time, after closing due to flooding after torrential rains, but many taxiways remain flooded. Expect delays in handling and tech stops.

KZZZ/USA Announced yesterday and expected to come into force this week, is an immediate ban on US visas (and therefore US travel) for citizens from 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. This is distinct from the Visa Waiver Program ban in effect since January 2016.

GBZZ/Gambia FSB Risk Level changed from Level Three to “No Warnings” on Jan 24. New president has taken power. Parliament revoked State of Emergency. Situation calm.

SBZZ/Brazil In the last bulletin we had a headline about a Boeing 767 shot on approach in Brazil. A bullet was found lodged in the wing. Some updates to that story are here, and safeairspace.net’s Brazilpage is updated.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Don’t forget it’s New Year in Asia this weekend. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02 Feb.

EDDB/Berlin Brandenburg will now not open until 2018, as they found more problems with the fire system this week. This is a recurring story, which dates back to 2012. So, for the foreseeable, you’re stuck with Tegel and Schoenefeld.

LTFJ/Sabiha Gökçen (Istanbul) Due to insufficient capacity at LTFJ, applications for individual non-scheduled flights will be refused, and private/charter flights can only be operated at “non-busy hours”.

KBPI/Palm Beach is going to see some new TFR restrictions due to the proximity of Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate. If operating when he’s down here, you’ll have to depart from a gateway airport to PBI – those are TEB, HPN, IAD, MCO and FLL. NBAA has the details.

LSGG/Geneva EBACE is on from Monday, 22 May through Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Now would be a good time to get those slots booked if you’re planning to head over.

LFMN/Nice has a new procedure where ATC will alert crews to windshear.

MSLP/San Salvador‘s only runway 07/25 will be closed from 1600-1700 each day until Feb 3rd.

VGHS/Dhaka The UK Department for Transport (DfT) announced today that it recently carried out assessments of security at Dhaka International Airport. Following this, the DfT has assessed that security at Dhaka airport does not meet some international security requirements (they haven’t said which).

OMAD/Abu Dhabi (Al Bateen) is hosting the International Defence Exhibition in February, so will not be available to IFR traffic daily between 0600-0800Z until Feb 23rd. There are also restrictions on using it as an alternate.

DNAA/Abuja The latest on the Abuja closure is that it will be completely closed to all traffic from March 8th – April 19th.

SKCG/Cartagena‘s only runway 01/19 is closed daily 0530-1100Z until Feb 6th.

NVZZ/Vanuatu Health authorities have declared a dengue outbreak following a large increase in suspected cases in December 2016 and January 2017. Protect yourself against mosquito bites

WSZZ/Singapore is implementing the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseologies from March 2nd. Read AIP SUP 29/17.

LIRF/Rome Fiumicino is working on 16R until March, so 25 will be used for deps and 16L for arrivals. This means delays, especially if you want 16L/34R for departure – they say up to a 60 minute taxi time.

UKZZ/Ukraine amended the military boundaries of its airspace on Monday Jan 23rd, identifying the Donbas conflict zone region as a separate area. More details here.

 

View the full International bulletin 25JAN2017

Updated airspace warnings for Egypt, South Sudan, North Korea

Germany has issued fresh warnings on the airspace of Egypt, South Sudan, and North Korea, in three separate Notams issued in the last week. Germany is one of four states that provides Aircraft Operators with conflict zone and risk advice. We have updated the SafeAirspace.net country information pages with the specifics.

The current Flight Service Bureau summary of each country follows:

Egypt Since the Arab Spring, Egypt’s stability and security situation as a state has declined. In October 2015 a Russian A321 was brought down over the Sinai peninsula by a bomb loaded at HESH/Sharm El Sheikh. In the aftermath, it was initially feared that a missile had caused the crash. Multiple warnings still in place from that fear. 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Mediterranean, cause unknown. GPS jamming reported at HECA/Cairo several times in 2016. High threat from terrorism in Egypt. Further attacks are likely. Not recommended as a tech stop. [Read full country information]

South Sudan Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights. [Read full country information]

North Korea The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operations east of that line. [Read full country information]

 

References:

 

 

International Bulletin: B767 shot on approach to Rio, Updated SafeAirspace Map

B767 Shot on approach to Rio 

18JAN A B767-300 was fired on last night during approach to Runway 15 SBGL/Rio de Janeiro. One 7.62mm bullet lodged in the left wing. Read the article.

Updated SafeAirspace Risk Map 

18JAN We have updated SafeAirspacewith information for Aircraft Operators on The GambiaNorth KoreaBrazilUkraine, and Turkey.


GBZZ/The Gambia State of emergency declared on 17th January. Foreign citizens being evacuated. Banjul International Airport (GBYD/BJL) and land borders remain open, for now. More at safeairspace.net/information/the-gambia.

UKZZ/Ukraine Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for Ukraine’s airspace. There are two risk issues in Ukraine. First: arms fire. Including MH17, multiple aircraft (the others all military) have been shot down since the beginning of the Donbass region war in 2014. The 10th ceasefire was declared in December 2016, but not holding. This risk is contained within the Dnipropetrovsk FIR – UKDV. The second issue affects the Simferopol FIR which is Disputed Airspace. (Ukraine:UKFV, Russia:URFV). In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The ATC Center is in Simferopol, Crimea, and is now run by Krymaeronavigatsiya. Russia claims the airspace. Ukraine refuses to recognise the change, and asks crews to talk to Ukrainian controllers in Dnipro/Odesa ACC instead of Simferopol ACC. Four routes are approved by EASA through the high seas portion of the airspace.

KIAD/Washington and area airports – guaranteed busy during the Presidential Inauguration this Friday, Jan 20. Updated restrictions here. Departure slots required for aircraft departing IAD between Friday, Jan. 20 and Sunday, Jan. 22. Departure slots can be obtained through an IAD FBO of choice (Ross Aviation or Signature Flight Support). Slots will be divided equally between the two FBOs at IAD.

VZZZ/Southeast Asia Lunar New Year holiday season, which falls on 28th Jan. Travel-related delays and government office and business interruptions will peak 27 Jan to 01 Feb, and could last longer in Taiwan, Vietnam and China, where the holiday will be celebrated through 02FEB.

BGBW/Narsarsuaq A seasonal reminder that if you’re planning to use Narsarsuaq as a destination, alternate, or enroute alternate outside of the operating hours (MON-SAT 1000-1900z daily until 03APR), you must contact the airport in advance to apply for them to stay open for you:
Email: bgbw@mit.gl. Also make sure you file your ATC FPL including the AFTN address: BGBWZTZX.

EKCH/Copenhagen A copy of the AOC must accompany fuel release or expect an MOT charge of approximately $1.70 USD to be charged. Next destination must be shown on the fuel release or expect delays.

EGPH/Edinburgh, Scotland Until Apr 1st, you will need PPR to operate to Edinburgh, due to reduced parking capacity.

RPLB/Subic Bay will be closed for maintenance bewtween 0100-0800z until January 20th.

SKZZ/Colombia New Tower and ACC for Bogota. From 16th Jan – 15th Feb moving of Bogota’s ACC will take place. ATS/AIS/COM/MET/ATFM services transition process should not affect operations, however, due to the large change extent foreseen, some failures might occur in the process.  AIC 1/17 outlines contingency procedures in place

SVZZ/Venezuela has closed its land borders with Colombia and Brazil periodically in the last 12 months. Border closures occur frequently, often with short notice. The Venezuelan government will withdraw the 100 bolivar note (VEF 100) from circulation as of 20 January 2017.

LYBA/Beograd If you have any outstanding navigation fees in Serbia, better get them paid, or they’ll add a 9.88% interest charge.

HSSS/South Sudan Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for South Sudan’s airspace: Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights.

ZKKP/North Korea Flight Service Bureau has issued an updated summary for DPRK North Korea’s airspace: The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operationseast of that line.

ZZZZ/Worldwide How have you been getting on with the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseolgies? In short, some countries are implementing, and others aren’t. What is your country doing? Tell us at bulletin@fsbureau.org.

 

View the full International Bulletin 18JAN2017

Midweek Briefing 03AUG: TSA/eAPIS increase in US fines, Vanuatu Runway concerns

TSA/eAPIS increase in US fines 03AUG Fines and penalties for getting your CBP Arrival/Departure manifest wrong will increase from 01AUG. That means, screw up the eAPIS and you are looking at a potential fine of $1,312. Read the article.

Vanuatu Runway concerns 03AUG Following interim repairs to the runway in Port Vila (NVVV/VLI) earlier this year, concerns have been raised once again about the condition of the runway, with diversions on Monday. Read the article.


LFPZ/Paris Airports Couple of upgrades in progress, LFPO has 06/24 closed until 29AUG, and LFPG is installing a new ILS until 03OCT; both will cause some delays.

YZZZ/Australia The Australian Border Force have announced a strike for Friday, 12 August. This marks a resumption of Industrial Action in Australia after a 3 month ‘ceasefire’ was agreed. The strike period is 24 hours, precise impact not yet clear, but AQIS/Biosecurity/Quarantine will also take part to some degree.

OMDB/Dubai is reopening with a single runway following a full airport closure early on 03AUG due to 777 crash.

UIII/Irkutstk has no air starter available for large aircraft until the end of August.Irkutsk is a common enroute diversion airport.

ZKZZ/North Korea is back in action with the missile launches again, on 03AUG they fired two ballistic missiles, one of which landed in Japanese waters inside the country’s economic exclusion zone. Another missile reportedly exploded immediately after the launch. The missiles were fired at 2250 UTC on 2 August from a region southwest of the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang.

MZZZ/Caribbean Tropical Storm Earl, multiple weather warnings for Jamaica, Caymans, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico.

VABB/Mumbai continues their Continuous Descent Approach trials in the TMA. Interestingly, part of the procedure calls for pilots to call in on 121.9 after landing and report the total amount of fuel saved (how do you work that out?), and then send a detailed brief by email to cdomumbai@aai.aero. We forecast a relatively empty inbox.

AGGH/Honiara has some surface damage on the International Apron, taxi slowly.

SBZZ/Brazil On 02AUG, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro declared 4 August a new public holiday for the Olympic Games. The extra holiday comes after the mayor has already designated 5, 18 and 22 August as public holidays in Rio de Janeiro, and after the city experienced severe traffic congestion with the implementation of Olympic-designated lanes. On 1 August, the Olympic tracks caused more than 60 mi/100 km of traffic jams, with the worst traffic taking place on the Linha Amarela.

DZZZ/Lome UTA Following changes last year to the airspace over Benin and Togo (the two long thin countries squeezed between Ghana and Nigeria) – there’s still some confusion over who does what. In simple: Low Level (FL240 and below) is controlled by Cotonou Approach. High Level (FL250 and above) is controlled by Lome ACC.

EGGW/London Luton will close overnight weekends in November for some big repair work.

HLLL/Tripoli FIR Airstrikes this week by the USAF

LHPP/Pecs has no Jet A1 at the moment, back on 05AUG.

HEZZ/Egypt On 01AUG, reports announced that a semi-private company would take over responsibility for passenger and luggage screening at Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (HESH/SSH). The same company, which is a joint public-private entity, will take over security at Terminal 2 of Cairo International Airport (HECA/CAI) beginning in October 2016 when the terminal is scheduled to reopen. The company will later take over screening procedures at Hurghada (HEGN/HRG), Borg el-Arab (HEBA/HBE), Marsa Alam (HEMA/RMF), Aswan (HESN/ASW) and Luxor (HELX/LXR) airports. Egyptian police will continue to be responsible for perimeter security around Egyptian airports, including the terminal and the tarmac.

LOWS/Salzburg starts a multilateration (MLAT) trial on 05SEP. Keep your Mode S on, they ask.

SBBZ/Brazil Olympic Games kick off in a few days, if you are operating to Brazil read through the current NOTAMS carefully, there are a bunch of flow restrictions, special routes, and procedures.

FABL/Bloemfontein is carrying out major works during August. Diversions not accepted. Jet A1 is supplied by bowser during this time, and not hydrant as this is also being worked on.

LTZZ/Turkey – post Coup. As of 01AUG, the situation in Turkey continues to stabilize, as the government continues to step up security measures and conduct operations to detain alleged coup plotters. Turkey remains under a state of emergency, which allows the government to drastically restrict civil liberties, and will likely remain so for the next three months. Raids and security operations are continuing throughout the country. Travellers should note that Turkish authorities have reportedly been conducting ID checks in the busier areas of Istanbul. 

 Demonstrations have continued over the past several days. While the threat of violence remains a concern at demonstrations throughout Turkey, most have been conducted peacefully. Travellers should nevertheless take care to avoid such gatherings as a precaution, because violence can occur with little notice. Additionally, terrorists have targeted major demonstrations in the past.

FLFI/Lusaka ACC have called out some AFTN addressing issues, if you are operating to land in Zamabia, then file to FLKKZAZX and FLHNZAZX respectively. OMMM/Muscat ACC has a radar-less day on 18th August, 0600-1700Z. Turn that TCAS up.

WADL/Lombok, Bali has reopened after a closure on Monday 01AUG due to the eruption of Mt. Rinjani. The last closure was in OCT2015.

View the full International Bulletin 03AUG2016

Midweek Briefing 27APR: Rome Airport Closures, Strike: Germany, France

Rome Airport Closures 27APR Private flights (any non-commercial traffic) will not be allowed to operate to or from LIRA or LIRF on 30APR and 01MAY, as the result of a Papal Restriction. Refer to Italian NOTAMs for details.

Strike: Germany, France 27APR Widespread, mostly without notice, strike action across Europe today affecting operations for the coming few days. France and Germany worst affected (EDDF, EDDM, EDDK in particular); Lufthansa has cancelled all domestic flights. Monitor Eurocontrol NOP for latest.


 

KLAX/Los Angeles Due to a runway and taxiway construction project at LAX, arrivals (mostly general aviation) from the north and west can expect to be routed to arrive on the south side of the airport via the LEENA FIVE STAR between 09MAY and 06AUG.

KTPA/Tampa Due to an unforeseen required runway repair, TPA has closed 01R/19L and 10/28 until 09MAY. The airport is operating under single runway ops so you can expect ATC delays until the runway is fixed.

KDEN/Denver has opened a new train line that connects the airport to downtown. Named the ‘A Line’, it will take passengers to downtown in 37 minutes and cost $9 USD each way.

MKJS/Montego Bay increased traffic and possible delays into and out of MBJ 27APR-29APR due to the Airports Council International Convention.

SEZZ/Ecuador As of 23APR, 654 people have been killed, 113 people have been rescued alive, 58 people remain missing, and more than 25,000 remain displaced as a result of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of Ecuador on 16APR.

LZBB/Bratislava will be introducing free route airspace in their FIR above FL245 on 28APR. All ATS routes have been withdrawn above this flight level.

MTPP/Port au Prince, Haiti On 24APR, approximately 2,000 protesters marched through Port-au-Prince in opposition of the postponement of the runoff elections. While the protest did not turn violent, it severely disrupted traffic in Port-au-Prince, as protesters set up roadblocks of burning tires in the streets

EZZZ/Europe The European Commission has officially offered citizens of Ukraine visa-free travel across Europe.

HEZZ/Egypt UK FCO Advice: there is a heightened threat of terrorist attacks targeting celebrations of Orthodox Easter (24APR-01MAY).

RJFT/Kumamoto has reopened after closing for several days following the Japanese earthquakes. At this point, the airport can only handle arrivals, due to damage the terminal building sustained, which has effected the airports ability to perform security checks and handle luggage.

RZZZ/Japan The Immigration Bureau will be closed 29APR through 05MAY for Golden Week holiday observance. Foreign nationals should expect processing delays for immigration applications filed before or after this period.

ZZZZ/Worldwide On 25APR the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of a likely increase in the upcoming months in worldwide cases of Zika. Experts believe Europe will be next to experience an increase of Zika virus cases due to the approaching summer.

ZSHC/Xiaoshan The airport authority has requested that all private flights arrive with their specific tow-bar on board to mitigate any departure delays. The expectation is in effect until SEP16.

ZKZZ/North Korea At 0930Z on 23APR the North Korean military launched a submarine-based ballistic missile off the Sea of Japan. The missile flew for approximately 16nm before falling into the sea.

VIAR/Amritsar is currently in the process of upgrading the CAT II ILS to a CAT IIIB ILS which will allow CAT III capable aircraft to land in visibility down to 50 meters. Currently the only other city in India that has a CAT III ILS is Delhi.

View the full International Bulletin for 27APR2016

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