International Ops 2017

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Tag: Shanwick (page 1 of 2)

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:

 

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EGGX Shanwick FIR 2017 Operational Changes – Oceanic

Because Shanwick is the only true Oceanic FIR in the NAT region, we’ll use this page for NAT changes, including CZQX/Gander, BIRD/Iceland, ENOB/Bodo, LPPO/Santa Maria, and KZNY/New York East.

Feb 15th, 2017 In the first six weeks of 2017 there have been some important changes on the NAT/North Atlantic. These are published in the latest edition of NAT Doc 007, January 2017.

  • SLOP – Offsetting is now mandatory. Choose 0, 1, or 2nm right of track. We think 1 or 2 is best. Consider the recent A380 story.
  • TCAS 7.1: From January 1st, 2017, TCAS 7.1 is required throughout the entire NAT region.
  • Cruising Level: Effective 2017, you no longer need to file an ICAO standard cruising level in NAT airspace.
  • Gross Nav Error:  is now defined as greater than 10nm (used to be 25nm)
  • Contingency Procedure: Published January 2017, a new turn-back (180) procedure is introduced – turn back to parallel previous track by 15nm.
  • Datalink Mandate Exemptions: Announced January 2017, new exemptions for Phase 2B of the Datalink mandate, which will start on December 7, 2017 (FL350-390). Exempt: Tango Routes, airspace north of 80N, and New York OCA.

Feb 15th, 2017: FSB published the full NAT Crossing Guide “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow“.

– What’s different about the NAT, changes in 2017, 2016, 2015, NAT Quick Map
– Routine Flight Example #1 – Brussels to JFK (up at 5.45am)
– 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
Take a look.

 


Shanwick Bogus Messages

Just around New Years, a story started growing legs about Bogus CPDLC messages from Shanwick and Gander. In the most worrying version of events, the G550 crew received a “Descend at Max Rate” type message on CPDLC, and when they checked on voice with ATC it hadn’t come from them.

We had lots of replies on this – both by email and in slack, thanks everyone! So here is the event summary as pieced together by the community:

– This was a single event that happened in December, at 0500Z one morning, to a G550
– It was caused by an avionics bug in the FMS – a valid error message was parsed incorrectly and assigned a value of “Descend at max rate” by the FMS, which appeared on the screen.
– Fears of it being some kind of spoofing or hack are unfounded. The initial story spread like wildfire! But ultimately, a non-event.

Confirm Assigned Route

This was the second part of the concerns about CPDLC messages from Shanwick. Lots of crews have been getting an FMS message after passing the Oceanic Entry Point saying “Confirm Assigned Route”. We’ve probably gotten 50 distinct messages/emails/queries on this. Many crews don’t know quite what this is or what to do with it, and many wondered if it was also a “bogus message”.

This is normal. It’s a new procedure, and this message is now automatically sent by Gander, Shanwick, and Iceland. The reason for the message, is to act as a cross check, now that we’re all cruising with 30 miles between us instead of the old school 60. When you do “Confirm Assigned Route”, then ATC knows that you’re both on the same page.

We first mentioned it here in November, have a read. The only recent update is that Gander and Iceland have automated the CPDLC message, so everyone that logs on will get the “Confirm Assigned Route” message.

Midweek Briefing: Oceanic and Remote Procedures Update, Rome Airport Closed Friday

Oceanic and remote procedures updated: 12OCT The FAA this week issued a significantly updated version of their “Oceanic and Remote Airspace” procedures document. There’s a lot of good stuff here, even if you’re not operating an N-reg. Take a look at the PDF.

Rome Airport to close Friday 12OCT A reminder that LIRA/Rome Ciampino will close fully from Friday, for two weeks, as a result of urgently required runway maintenance. You can use LIRF/Fiumicino instead, but with significant restrictions.


LLBG/Tel Aviv starts winter runway maintenance work on 01Nov until 17Nov – Runway 21 will become primary landing runway, associated restrictions, not available as alternate during this time – check AIC 3/16.

LOWI/Innsbruck starting December 14th, the airport will introduce parking restrictions for private flights every week from 1800Z Weds until 1800Z Sunday.

TXKF/Bermuda Tropical Storm Nicole is approaching, expect some disruption and check before using as an alternate over the next few days.

HAZZ/Ethiopia The Ethiopian government has declared a six month State of Emergency from 9 October 2016. While details of emergency arrangements are not formalised, measures to restrict communication, movement and political expression are expected. Carry identification, avoid all large gatherings and protests, monitor the media for details on the application of the State of Emergency and follow all instructions issued by local authorities.

SPIM/Lima radar will be off the air on Friday from 19-21Z for repairs, procedural control, expect enroute delays.

EGGX/Shanwick. An exercise to test to the Volcano eruption response is underway, you may see multiple references to an eruption in Iceland – it hasn’t happened, it’s just a test. Stand down. Katla is also back to code Green.

UZZZ/Russia Karymsky volcano in the Kamchatka peninsula is active with colour code Orange, check before operating.

OKAX/Kabul FIR continues to have comms issues in the north east portion of Afghanistan airspace, VHF comms are not working on 118.3 or 128.5. There are some “Nordo” procedures, refer to AIP ENR 1.6-1.

MUFH/Havana has a couple of new entry points to the FIR – FUNDI and IKBIX – but they’re not for use yet, so don’t.

OPRN/Islamabad If operating to OPRN, be aware that on Saturdays and Mondays ATC will be practising non-radar procedural approach from 0500-0900Z until the end of the year.

SPJC/Lima has overnight parking restrictions from 14-21NOV, check with Airport company or handler prior to operating.

FZZZ/Democratic Republic of the Congo: the security picture is uncertain following recent political protests and there have been calls for further protests in Kinshasa, including on 19 October; you should follow travel advice and monitor local media for updates

SPZO/Cusco will not allow overnight parking from 10-20OCT.

FOZZ/Gabon Following the results of recent elections in Gabon, further strikes or demonstrations could occur in the capital Libreville and in Port Gentil. Avoid demonstrations, large crowds and rallies as they may turn violent.

UAZZ/Kyrgyz Republic Multiple embassies located in Bishkek have issued warnings to their citizens of an increased threat of a terrorist attack in the Kyrgyz Republic, possibly involving kidnapping and hostage taking, against Kyrgyz authorities and foreign diplomats during October 2016.

TQPF/Anguilla has introduced a ban on visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a view to mitigating Ebola risk. Anyone who has been to those three countries in the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter.

VTSP/Phuket is suffering from ramp congestion, and will not allow non-scheduled flights to stay overnight until the end of the year.

WSSS/Singapore Changi has a couple of closures on 18 and 19 OCT due to a military exercise, check local Notams.

ZUUU/Chengdu has a new speed restriction inbound – fly 183 knots from IAF to IF, then 160 knots to 4nm. Notam U2748/16.

View full International Bulletin 12OCT2016

Midweek Briefing 22JUN: Iceland ATC strike – end in sight, Israel FPL changes

Iceland ATC strike – end in sight 22JUN Operators on both sides of the Atlantic have been frustrated over the last 6 weeks with continual sporadic ATC Industrial action. And end may be in sight, but in the meantime keep a close eye on BIRK, BIKF and BIRD Notams. Read the article.

FPL changes: Israel 22JUN Current Flight Planning procedures for flights across Europe from Israel will change in light of a new agreement signed between Israel and Eurocontrol. Read the article.


LFZZ/France ATC Strike Number 9 gets underway today until 24JUN at 0400Z, usual disruption and restrictions apply. Avoid France where possible. NOTAM F1171/16 refers.

EGGX/Shanwick is having an 80’s party on the 28th of June at 1600Z. For engineering work, all the new technology is being taken offline for three hours, so no CPDLC, ADS-C or OCL. Instead we have Voice Reports, HF, Manual Clearance Requests (123.95 or 127.65), and so on; just like the good old days. When you hit 30W log on to Gander manually.

UMZZ/Belarus The Minsk FIR has updated its table of cruising levels and altitudes below Transition; view the AIC.

Gambia The UK FCO issued updated travel advice for The Gambia : “Demonstrations took place in April and May 2016 in Banjul. Demonstrations could occur at any time in any part of the country prior to presidential elections planned for 01DEC. You should be vigilant, avoid all demonstrations”

LPZZ/Portugal is joining the International ATC Strike Club and will begin with industrial action, for two hours daily on: June 30th, and July 8th,15th, 22nd and 29th.

KCXO/Houston Regional will be opening a new customs facility mid July. KCXO serves the Metro-Houston area and is 46 miles outside of town. The new CBP facility adds more choice to international operators over the already saturated Houston area airports.

KZZZ/United States The U.S. Navy has scrubbed the planned military GPS interference testing across the U.S. Southwest that was supposed to happen this month.

LWSS/Skopje is implementing Free Route Airspace in the Skopje ACC above FL245, effective 23JUN. FRA is available H24 with DCT limit unlimited. The ATS network above FL245 is withdrawn. Additional info is available in the Republic of Macedonia AIP AMD 58/16. New RAD measures can be found in the increment file and will become part of Annex 4 on AIRAC 1608.

LWZZ/Macedonia Late on 20JUN, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in central Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, to conduct another demonstration. The protesters gathered outside the Special Prosecution building before then marching to the Ministry of Justice building, where they broke some of its windows and threw red paint at its exterior.

EZZZ/Scandinavia Another Free Route Airspace update is happening in the two Functional Airspace Blocks NEFAB and DK/SE FAB. NEFRA Phase 1 will be implemented as of AIRAC 1607 on 23JUN, to implement H24 cross border Free Route Airspace between DK-SE FAB and NEFAB, except Norway, above FL285. ATS routes will be kept. Norway plans to implement cross-border Free Route Airspace spring 2017.

CYZZ/Canada has introduced “No Drone Zones” around airports that includes fines for offenders caught operating drones in the restricted areas. They are also drafting new legislation to strengthen rules regarding drone operations.

LEMD/Madrid may have industrial action on 28JUN, the Apron controllers are making noises about a strike. Not confirmed.

WAZZ/Indonesia FIR Ujung Pandang FIR has a couple of radar outages from 19-27JUN. Reroutes or delays are not likely, but strong potential for lower than optimum Flight Levels.

HECC/Cairo FIR If for some reason you are operating flights to or from Libya, then A: You’re probably not reading this bulletin carefully enough, and B: Be aware that you are required to obtain PPR from  Egypt via AFTN to HECAYNYX, at least 48 hours before the flight, in order to overfly Cairo FIR.

EGAA/Belfast ILS 25 out of service along with other ongoing runway and taxiway closures until 11AUG16. Please check EGAA NOTAM’s for specific closures.

EGLF/Farnborough Temporary restricted airspace will be in effect for the annual Farnborough Airshow 16-17JUL. AIC M 033/2016.

France The French authorities have extended the document checks at their borders, these measures will apply to all airports in France and also to Basel airport. Especially during the period of the European Football Championships, passengers travelling to/ from French airports are asked to ensure they have a valid identity document (passport or identity card) with them whilst travelling. A drivers license is not an acceptable document.

VTBB/Bangkok FIR Monsoon season runs July-September. Big potential for holding and airport closures in the region, taking extra fuel is recommended.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia FIR is introducing new Navigation Charges on 01JUL. All the maths is here.

LSZA/Lugano will close 10-19OCT due to heavy maintenance work on the main runway. No traffic will be able to operate. The airport operator has said 20OCT should be the reopening day but risk that this may be extended.

WMZZ/Malaysia Following a directive by the Malaysian Immigration Department, all foreign nationals travelling on all domestic flights will be required to produce passports upon passing through Immigration control, effective immediately.

Azerbaijan An online e-visa issuing system, called ASAN Visa, will be established that should streamline the visa application process. Eligible foreign nationals will be able to obtain supporting documents, submit their visa applications and receive an e-visa within three days of submission through the portal. The list of eligible nationals is expected to be available soon on the Foreign Ministry website.

EGPK/Prestwick has ongoing overnight closures due to ATC staffing problems, keep an eye on NOTAMs.

EIDW/Dublin will closed for 15 minutes at 1500Z on 23JUN due to a VIP departure.

NWWW/New Caledonia The South Pacific is not exempt from ATC strikes either; overnight closure of the NWWW airspace means no enroute traffic accepted in the FIR tonight – and sporadically ongoing. Note that the Fire Service also has reduced RFF category at specific times. Check Notams.

SKED/Bogota FIR NOTAM of the month award: Colombia Notam A1947 issued on 17JUN. Be aware of the potential for your Cabin Crew to request a change to the SID from ATC, unbeknownst to you. In full: “CHANGES TO STANDAR (sic) INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE (SID) COULD BE DONE BY RADIOTELEPHONY BETWEEN CABIN CREW AND THE CORRESPONDING ATS DEPARTMENT WHILE COMMUNICATION INTERCHANGE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH AERODROME OPERATIONS REF. AIP ENR 1.10”.

We actually have no idea what they mean. Let us know, and keep an eye out for those sneaky flight attendants.

LEPA/Palma has a bunch of outages, and runway and taxiway closures at present that will create restrictions and delays. Take a close look at your arrival and dep times before operating.

Suriname Immunisation checks for Yellow Fever are being carried out throughout June at all border check points, ports and international airports in Suriname; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate if required.

RJZZ/Japan On 22JUN heavy rains caused building damage and fatalities in southwestern Japan. At least six people died, as a result of the rain and mudslides across the island of Kyushu. Emergency personnel evacuated several hundred people due to the threat of further mudslides.

Uzbekistan has increased security due to a major summit, from 23-34JUN which may result in changes to flight departures and lengthy check in and security clearance at airports across the county.

View the full International Bulletin 22JUN2016

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.

 

The Three Sisters – Shanwick’s Tango Routes

When the French Controllers go on strike, which is often, the airspace surrounding France becomes of high interest to international operators, especially the North-South routes within Shanwick’s airspace.

There are three very useful routes if you happen to be flying North-South. With the changes in February this year from MNPS to HLA, the normal confusion over what is required to operate on T9, T16, and T213 (‘The Three Sisters’), has increased further. Let’s try to get all the specifics in a row.

Map of the Tango Routes:

Tango Route Map T9 T16 T213

 

 

Tango 9 LASNO-BEGAS
The most popular of the three – often chock full of holiday traffic between Northern Europe and the Canaries. Requirements:

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • At least one LRNS/Long Range Nav System
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Tango 213 TAMEL-BERUX

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Tango 16 OMOKO-NAVIX

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time, or Santa Maria if you’re going north.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Key Points:

  • You probably won’t get the level that you want – either because the airway itself is busy, or because you’re crossing a bunch of East-West NAT Traffic. If the rest of your Flight Plan shows FL380, plan FL320 for most of the Tango portion – especially T9.
  • You need a HF radio to enter Shanwick FIR, period. There are no exceptions.
  • You need HLA Approval to use the routes at FL290 and above, same goes for RVSM.

Operating Tips:

  • You can make an Oceanic request by Data-link (ACARS), Clearance delivery – 127.65 VHF, 123.95 VHF or via HF (Frequencies vary on the day, but 5598 is normally a safe bet).
  • If you get a low Flight Level for the Oceanic Route, Shanwick are happy for you to check in again closer to the boundary and see if higher is now available.
  • Entering the Oceanic Airspace, make a full position report: Position and time /flight level / Next position and estimate for that point / Following position
  • Don’t make a full exit position report when you enter domestic airspace, just callsign and “Approaching LASNO, FL370”. Exception: Santa Maria likes one.
  • Shanwick and Santa Maria are outside the IFPS zone, so copy flight plans to EGGXZOZX and LPPOZOZX – failure to do so will delay getting an oceanic clearance.
  • No contact on HF? Relay on 123.45, or Sat Phone EGGX 423201 or EIAA 425002.

NAT HLA Approvals

  • If you have an existing MNPS approval, it’s good until 2020.
  • If you need a new HLA approval, then you’ll need RNP4/RNP10.
  • Individual Crew need training in international procedures and HLA, as part of the process.

From Shannon ATC

Thanks to Shannon ATC for adding this useful information for crews operating on the Tango Routes:

  • EICK Departures via T9/T213/T16 should get their  Oceanic clearance prior to departure – ask the Tower 45 minutes ahead of time.

  • All other EI/Irish departures can request clearance when airborne. For info, the earlier crews request their clearance the better, as it means they are more likely to get a better level and it allows ATC to plan for getting the aircraft to that level.

  • Important: Due to the risk of two aircraft using the same squawk leading to a mis-ident, Northbound traffic entering SOTA via T9, LASNO or T213, TAMEL should squawk 2000 at least 10 minutes prior to the Irish boundary.

 

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

US, Canada may lose EU visa rights, More Free Route Airspace for Northern Europe

US and Canada may lose EU visa rights 13APR The European Commission published warning on 12APR that visa-free travel by US and Canadian citizens to Europe is at risk, due to the lack of a full reciprocal arrangement for EU citizens. Read the full article.

More Free Route Airspace for Northern Europe 13APR Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia will be increasing free route airspace from 23JUN16. This allows operators to utilize User Preferred Routes above FL285. Details of the implementation can be found through the AIC A3/2016 from Sweden.


 

RKSS/Gimpo is set to open South Korea’s first purpose-built FBO next month. It includes a passenger terminal with customs and a large hangar that can accommodate up to eight large jets. The FBO is a partnership between Korea Airport Crop and Avjet Asia.

EBBR/Brussels Controversial ATC Strike occurred without notice yesterday 12APR, restricting traffic at EBBR and in Belgian Airspace. Eurocontrol advises 4 of 6 sectors operational Wednesday 13APR, at this stage no significant further effect likely.

KZZZ/USA New security measures in the U.S. are being enacted in response to the Brussels Airport Bombings. The Senate voted to increase the vetting of airport workers, expand the number of TSA viper teams that sweep through airports unannounced to stop and search suspicious people, and double the number of TSA’s bomb-sniffing dogs. Also, local law enforcement may also conduct random checks of cars and taxis heading towards the airport.

KZZZ/USA the FAA has provided its NextGEN update for 2016. It highlights all the completed items along with the expected achievements for the year. You can find all the info through the NextGEN website.

EZZZ/Europe as of 05APR Eurocontrol as been publishing Target Time information together with Calculated Take-off time (CTOT) in the Slot Allocation and Slot Revisions Messages (SAM and SRM). The purpose of the initiative is to provide flight crew with operational awareness of their flight’s planned time at the congestion point in the air, rather than solely providing the corresponding delayed departure time (CTOT) to implement ATFM measures.

EGZZ/United Kingdom A large scale military exercise named ‘Joint Warrior 16-1’ has been taking place since 09APR16 and will last until 22APR06. EGPX and EGTT FIR/UIRs are affected. However, low to medium impact on airline operations is expected.

LFZZ/France beginning 03MAY16 France will be implementing CPDLC services within LFFF, LFEE, LFRR, LFMM and LFBB FIR’s. The full details of the IOC can be found in AIC 10/16.

EGGX/Shanwick OCA implemented a trail of 5 minute separation minimum between aircraft which are following the same track, irrespective of whether they are East or Westbound. Full details can be found through AIC Y 022/2016.

LOWW/Vienna every weekend until 24MAY16 LOWW will be operating under single runway ops beginning 2100 on the Friday until 1600 on the Sunday. The closures are weather dependent and the closure will be recalled if the forecast calls for the use of runway 11/29. In any single runway scenario use at Vienna delays are a guarantee.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia The U.S. State department updated a travel warning to Saudi Arabia on 11APR16. It outlines the risk to travellers due to an increased risk with the threat of terrorism.

SKZZ/Colombia The U.S. State department has updated the travel warning to Colombia. They have actually improved the travel warning as the security in the country has improved significantly in recent years. Foreigners should still exercise caution though.

LTCC/Diyarbakir is now able to handle international flights due to a new terminal building that has opened.

OLBA/Beirut two airport employees were detained on suspicion of terrorist activity involvement on 08APR16. Traces of explosives and a handgun were found on the two individuals.

DIAP/Cote D’Ivoire has reduced the passenger departure tax by 50% and have also removed the solidarity contribution tax levied on airline tickets.

GABS/Mali began renovations last month (MAR16) to increase the airports capacity to handle 1.5 million passengers which is up from the 800,000 annual passenger traffic. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

View the full International Bulletin for 13APR2016

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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