International Ops 2017

Flight Service Bureau | OPSGROUP

Tag: Ukraine

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

  • 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

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

Ukraine ban on Russian flights extended

Ukraine has extended the ban on Russian registered operators until November 10th, 2016. In an operational notice issued by each of the countries Flight Information Regions on August 9th, Ukraine has extended the closure of it’s airspace to Russian airlines and commercial operators.

The original ban was issued in November 2015, when  Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk declared during a cabinet meeting that “Russian airlines and Russian aircraft are not entitled to use Ukrainian airspace anymore”

The ban is in response to a similar edict by the Russian State authorities, banning Ukrainian flights from operating to and through Russian airspace.

 

Midweek Briefing 01JUN: EASA Updates ‘Suspect Aircraft’ Guidelines, 8th French ATC Strike

EASA Updates ‘Suspect Aircraft’ Guidelines 01JUN EASA has published new guidelines for inspectors to assess which aircraft should be prioritised for SAFA ramp checks in Europe and SAFA compliant states. Read the article.

8th French ATC strike this weekend 01JUN Notification has been given by French ATC Unions of a Three Day Strike this coming weekend from Friday-Monday, starting at 0400Z Friday 03JUN. Read the article.


ZZZZ/China The new 144 hour visa-free rule is extended to Nanjing Lukou Airport of Jiangsu, Hangzhou Xiaoshan Airport of Zhejiang, and all air, sea and railway ports of Shanghai, including Pudong Airport, Hongqiao Airport, Shanghai Port International Cruise Terminal, Wusong Passenger Transport Center and all railway stations in Shanghai.

CYMM/Fort McMurray is scheduled to reopen 10JUN to regular commercial operations. The airport has been closed to normal traffic due to a significant forest fire.

MMAA/Acapulco after an outage lasting several years the ILS for RWY 10/28 is operational again.

KSEA/Seattle has runway 16C/34C closed until 27JUN for repairs. ATC initiatives possible through the construction.

EINN/Shannon and EICK/Cork will be testing a new “Remote Tower” system from 06JUN until September, where at quieter times the controller in Dublin will provide the ATC service to flights at Shannon and Cork. The IAA says airspace users will not notice the change. We think you might.

LFLL/Lyon will be re-numbering their runway to 17/35 from 18/36 in September.

VOTP/Tirupati will begin International operations beginning the end of June with flights to the U.S. The airport had recently upgraded their customs systems and other procedures.

LZZZ/Mediterranean Despite some reports, NATO operations in Libya appear unlikely. There are several new airspace NOTAMs, but is anyone still flying to Libya?

LFZZ/France due to ongoing protests at french oil refineries and fuel shortages the French CAA has advised to tanker in as much fuel as possible to help mitigate any issues. Please check with local handlers for any specific fuel constraints.

SPZZ/Ecuador Volcano Sangay is producing ash that extends up to 20,000 feet. Movement is towards the west at 10 knots. Please check with the Washington VAAC for the latest advisories.

LLBG/Tel Aviv, Israel On 26-27MAY strike action in the form of a work go-slow took place.The slowdown has primarily affected outgoing flights by increasing the time between takeoffs, but it has been reported that if the slowdown continues it will begin to affect incoming flights.

NVZZ/Vanuatu 27MAY a 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck west of Vanuatu. The quake was centered approximately 60 mi/95 km northwest of Port Vila and was measured at a depth of about 6 mi/10 km. No tsunami warning has been issued.

DAZZ/Algeria At 0054 local time (2354 UTC) on 28MAY, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck approximately 35 mi/55 km southeast of Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The epicenter of the earthquake registered a depth of approximately 7 mi/ 12 km. Following the quake, there were no reports of injuries or damage.

FNZZ/Angola A yellow fever outbreak has caused 301 deaths so far this year. The number of suspected cases is 2,536. The outbreak began in Luanda and has since spread to areas throughout the country, particularly along the coast and in the central regions, despite a large-scale vaccination program.

VDPP/Cambodia Political tensions are high in Cambodia following contested national elections in 2013. Arrest warrants have been issued for the leaders of the opposition CNRP party and the situation is unpredictable. On 30 May police blocked roads in southern Phnom Penh to prevent opposition CNRP supporters from carrying out a planned protest march. Further disruption is possible if the remaining leader is arrested. The opposition party has announced it will hold mass, non-violent, demonstrations and a number of unions have said they will strike in support.

LFZZ/France Despite recent strikes, the French government has stated it will not back down from labor reforms despite street protests and refinery blockades. The CGT Union has threatened to disrupt the upcoming Euro 2016 soccer tournament if the government does not back down; however, after meeting with representatives of the oil industry, government officials stated that the situation at fuel depots is improving.

Ramadan starts on 06JUN, for one month. If you are operating to any Islamic countries, expect the usual slowdown in work, longer processing times for permits, and closures.

OEZZ/Saudi FIR Saudi Arabia has intercepted a ballistic missile that was fired from Yemen, after which Saudi aircraft bombarded the missile’s platform. A Saudi official stated that the country may reconsider the kingdom’s truce with Yemen, as a result of the strike. The missile launch was the second strike in May.

RCZZ/Taiwan On 31MAY, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck approximately 70 mi/115 km northeast of Taipei. The quake was measured at a depth of about 150 mi/240 km. There were no reports of damage, and no tsunami warning was issued.

UKZZ/Ukraine On 29MAY, attacks by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, violating the ceasefire signed in February 2015, killed five Ukrainian military officers and wounded four others. The latest attacks follow a 24 May report released by Ukrainian authorities, stating seven soldiers were killed on that day, making it the deadliest day for Ukrainian forces since August last year.

KZZZ/USA The State Dept has issued a warning to arriving travellers this summer to make sure that they have all necessary documents to enter the United States – there have been multiple changes to the rules this year (see Active Bulletins below for more on this).

View the full International Bulletin 01JUN2016

Midweek Briefing:EU Border Controls Expanded, New NAT Plotting Chart published

EU Border Controls expanded 02MAR Travellers and crews operating to Denmark, Belgium and other EU countries will need to present travel documents to enter from another Schengen country. The security checks will likely cause travel delays for EU and non-EU travellers into the Schengen area.

New NAT Plotting Chart published 02MAR With the multitude of changes on the North Atlantic in the last few months, including new Tracks, end of MNPS, new HLA, RNP4 – we have published an updated and revised Plotting Chart for the NAT region, showing all new requirements and with updated Airport and Fuel pricing. It’s effective 03MAR.


 

 

VOXX/India has expanded its e-Tourist Visa (eTV) program to applicants from 37 additional countries. Eligible visitors under the eTV include business visitors and those traveling to sightsee, visit friends or relatives or to make short medical visits. Nationals from a total of 150 countries are now eligible for the program.

EXXX/Europe Due to the introduction and continuation of border controls in the European Union, travellers to Denmark, Belgium and other EU countries will need to present travel documents to enter from another Schengen country. The security checks will likely cause travel delays for EU and non-EU travellers into the Schengen area. Belgium has instituted border controls at its borders with France. The security checks will remain in place until at least 23MAR.

KTEB/Teterboro will close 0500-1700Z (12 hour closure) this weekend – from midnight Saturday until noon Sunday. This closure is necessary to install new, mandatory hold short signs on Runway 19, which will close the runway intersection. Helicopter operations will be permitted during the closure.

HKXX/Kenya A visa on arrival is now available again at Nairobi, reversing the previous procedure established last year forcing all visitors to obtain one prior to flying. Online visas are still available. http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html

NFXX/Fiji As of 25FEB, there are 42 confirmed deaths in Fiji due to the damage caused by Cyclone Winston, which made landfall over the 20-21 February weekend. Approximately 35,000 people are sheltering in evacuation centers. There has been little to no contact with remote islands; therefore, the number of casualties and people displaced is likely much higher. Concern about the outbreak of mosquito-borne viruses, such as Zika and dengue fever.

WAXX/Indonesia Australian DFAT updated its travel advice for Indonesia, which reads: “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bali and Lombok, due to the high threat of terrorist attack. We continue to receive information that indicates that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia”

SKXX/Colombia is introducing ADS-B, with associated new phraseologies that crew should be aware of. ATC may ask “Notify capacity ADS-B”; response “ADS-B transmitter”, “ADS-B Receiver”, or “Negative ADS-B”. Full AIC.

LOWW/Vienna has a couple of new RNP AR (Authorisation Required) approaches to RWY 16 and 34 on test.

LIXX/Italy is joining the Free Route Airspace (FRA) bandwagon, airspace trial this coming weekend 05-07MAR at FL370 and above in Roma, Milano, Padova and Brindisi ACC, and Malta ACC.

UKXX/Ukraine Did you know that there was reduced horizontal separation in Ukraine airspace (RHSM)? Neither did we. Check out AIC 02/16.

UIBB/Bratsk has fuel supply issues again, current shortage until 31MAR.

View the full International Bulletin 02MAR2016

 

Midweek Briefing: Residual Disinsection for Italy, New Moscow Airport

Italy  now requiring Residual Disinsection 17FEB In light of the spreading global coverage of Zika Virus cases, countries are rapidly changing rules related to Quarantine and Health. Italy is now requiring residual aircraft disinsection for every aircraft coming from any area, not only Zika affected ones.

Moscow Ramenskoye opens to civil traffic 17FEB UUBW/Moscow Ramenskoye, which previously served as a military airfield, is scheduled to open to civil traffic as an International Airport on 16MAR, becoming the fourth Moscow Airport. Read more … 


 

 

 

 

UUBW/Moscow Ramenskoye, which previously served as a military airfield, is scheduled to open to civilians as an International Airport on 15MAR2016. The airport will be Moscow’s fourth largest and is expected to serve approximately 1.9 million passengers per year. Russian Railways is planning on constructing a direct rail link between the facility and Moscow. Read the full article.

Worldwide As the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreads worldwide, some health and aviation authorities have begun targeting business aircraft to be treated with insecticide – similar to requirements that have been in place for commercial aircraft arriving from certain points of origin. The most prominent to date is Italy, which has reported several recent cases of the Zika virus affecting people who returned from trips to South America and the Caribbean. A “Certificate of Residual Disinsection” is now required for all aircraft operating in Italy, following recommended WHO and International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 9 procedures. Italy had originally limited the certificate requirement to aircraft arriving from Zika-affected countries, but “within 36 hours that changed” to all countries. Authorities in Costa Rica are requiring that aircraft arriving from affected countries be sprayed on arrival – with crew, passengers and luggage aboard – with an insecticide provided by the local agriculture department.

UADD/Taraz, Kazakhstan has been upgraded to RFF/Rescue Fire CAT9, and with regular international flights starting in June, should have customs available. Maybe become a useful Central Asian en-route alternate.

UKLV/Lviv FIR, Ukraine A new Notam (A0193/16) is issued to extend the ban in Ukrainian Airspace of any aircraft operator registered in the Russian Federation until 09MAY.

NWWW/Noumea has multiple runway (and therefore airport) closures until 25FEB, check Notams carefully if operating.

NZAA/Auckland Work is currently in progress on the threshold of RWY 23L with the threshold inset 2,270m.  The information is contained within AIP updates and not via NOTAM. Operators should note there is are no ILS approaches available at Auckland until 30MAR. While weather is usually very good during February and March operators can expect delays in poor wx.

NZQN/Queenstown is closed from 1800 each day until 31MAR for runway widening works.

AYPY/Port Moresby Telecoms outage continues. To contact ATC Centre
use (675) 325 8704 instead of published numbers. Multiple VHF freqs out of service, use HF 5565 as alternate.

RPHI/Manila has a radar outage on 18-19FEB meaning procedural control will affect the Luzon island area within the FIR, 10/15 minute enroute separation as standard.

Somalia A local terrorist organisation claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Daallo Airlines passenger aircraft on 02FEB shortly after it took off from Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport (HCMM/MGO). The bombing forced the Airbus A321-111 to make an emergency landing at Mogadishu’s airport.

South Africa Refurbishment will affect Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport (FAOR/JNB) beginning 13FEB when security and immigration will move from Terminal A to the Central Terminal. Slow processing expected until end March.

US and Cuba advance Air Service agreement US officials will travel to Havana to officially sign the agreement that will make the two countries a step closer for its first commercial flights. Once the  US-Cuba air travel pact that was agreed upon on 16DEC2015 will be finalized, airlines will have about two weeks to submit applications for US-Cuba routes with the US Department of Transport and get approval from Cuban authorities to obtain space at Cuban airports. Industry experts expect that the first Cuba-bound flights will be in the air sometime in 2016.

View the full International Bulletin 17FEB2016

 

Monday Briefing: NAT Track Changes, Russia-Ukraine airline ban

26OCT2015 In around two weeks time, significant changes will occur to the design and structure of North Atlantic Tracks (NAT OTS), which have existed in their current lateral structure since the OTS introduction in 1965. The key changes are: a reduction in separation to ‘half-track’ compared to the existing structure, introduction of 24 new Oceanic Entry Points (OEP’s), and a new requirement for RNP4. A special briefing on these changes is below.

26OCT2015 With effect from yesterday, almost all Ukrainian and Russian airlines are barred from each others airports and airspace. Ukraine issued a sanctions list in September barring all except one Russian airline from operating, and in return Russia banned the three Ukrainian airlines from operating to Russia. GA, Business Aviation, and non-scheduled flights are not affected.


 

EGPX/Scottish FIR High delays this morning 26OCT in Scottish airspace due to ATC radio system failure. EGPF/Edinburgh airport departures were suspended, now resumed, with enroute traffic rerouted to avoid Antrim, Galloway, Tay, and Talla sectors. Situation is slowly improving but potential for afternoon delays exists.

KORD/Chicago O’Hare There will be a TFR in effect for Oct 27 and Oct 28 due to VIP movement. Please see NOTAM 5/1931 for further details.

MMXX/Mexico The impact of Hurricane Patricia was less than feared. MMPR/Puerto Vallarta Airport, MMZH/Ixtapa, and MMZO/Manzanillo have all reopened and are operating normally.

KXXX/USA Current runway closures: BWI-RWY 10/28 CLOSED, IAD-RWY 01R/19L CLOSED, DTW-RWY 03R/21L 09L/27R CLOSED, SEA-RWY 16C/34C CLOSED

NAT/North Atlantic ASD15 Exercise Trident Juncture (At Sea Demonstration) military exercise until 31OCT. The designated firing areas incorporate elements of Scottish FIR/UIR, Shanwick and Reykjavik FIR as well as notified UK Danger areas. Flight planning restrictions will be applied affecting NAT Traffic on northerly routes, monitor NOTAMs.

South Pacific Tropical Cyclone Season 2015-16 begins on 01NOV. Tropical cyclone warnings in the South Pacific region, please consult the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Fiji’s regional meteorological center responsible for tropical cyclone warnings in the South Pacific region, or Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology.

View the full International Ops Bulletin for 26OCT2015.

Monday Briefing: Confusion over Crimea, Kosovo Upper Airspace reopens

Confusion over Crimea: Special Report Apr 3 : Simferopol ACC re-opened 03APR creating confusion as to who should be providing ATC service in the Crimea region. We have published a Special 6 page International Ops Notice (03/2014) “2014 Airspace and Regulatory Changes in Crimea”.

Kosovo Upper Airspace re-opens Apr 3 : After 15 years, the last remaining chunk of European airspace closed to overflying traffic in the Balkans has reopened. The KFOR sector over Kosovo became available on 03APR, with route savings immediately apparent to operators.

Kxxx/USA Operators should be aware of the new FAA ATC phraseologies effective 03APR. The FAA will implement “climb via” phraseology and procedures for departure operations consistent with existing “descend via” phraseology and procedures. “Climb via” and “descend via” are abbreviated ATC clearances that require compliance with the procedure’s lateral path, associated speed restrictions, and altitude restrictions published on the SID or STAR. Some good information at http://www.nbaa.org/ops/cns/pbn/climb-via/

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.

LFMN/Nice Change in parking procedure; if approval is granted for parking, but operator changes to another, larger aircraft, then the previous approval will be cancelled. Co-ordinate all aircraft changes with Airport Ops.

YPXM/Christmas Island has reopened after the recent Cyclone in the Indian Ocean.

OSDI/Damascus FIR – For those still overflying, Syria has closed airway L513 from BURSA to LEBOR UFN.

HSSM /Malakal, South Sudan is only accessible with permission from the government security services. This is very difficult to obtain and makes the airport effectively shut.

HSWW /Wau, South Sudan is open without any specific additional permission being required.

MGGT/Guatemala City ChevronTexaco, for any fueling on the east and military ramps from 0900-1600 LT, requires a minimum of 24 hours’ notice.

HLLS/Sebha, Libya remains closed until 07APR.

CAA Closures. Myanamar has an extended closure due to public holidays from 12-21APR. The Chinese CAA are celebrating National Tomb-Sweeping Day on 07APR.

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 https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ 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.

 

Special Report: Crimea and Simferopol FIR

Crimea & Simferopol FIR
Following the recent events in Ukraine and Crimea, we received a high volume of requests for information on the airspace and current situation. The information below is a majority extract from our International Ops Notice 03/14 published on 05APR.

SUMMARY

Effective April 2014 a significant number of changes will affect Airports and Airspace in the Crimean Peninsula.

BACKGROUND – What happened?

Following the removal of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on 21 February, Russia moved to take control of Crimea, an autonomous republic that until now has been part of Ukraine. While the referendum that ceded authority is disputed internationally, Crimea is now under de facto control of Russia, creating a political standoff with Europe and the US that has led to a complicated airspace situation.

AIRSPACE AND AIRPORTS INVOLVED

  • Simferopol FIR A large and significant FIR covering busy Black Sea routes, with a predominant east/west flow, with ATC service provided from Simferopol Airport.
  • Simferopol Airport A large airport in the centre of Crimea with International and Domestic Air Service, with TWR/APP
  • Sevastopol Airport A smaller civil, domestic airport beside the town of Sevastopol in the southwest of Crimea, with TWR.
  • Zavodskoe Airport Another smaller domestic airport beside Simferopol, with an AFIS Unit.
  • Kerch Airport Used only by general aviation, currently bankrupt.

Some History – MARCH DEVELOPMENTS

  • 13 March Russian troops took control of the Towers, Airports, and ATC Centre. Simferopol and Sevastopol closed to civil traffic. ATC Service from Simferopol was terminated.
  • 14 March ATC Service for the Simferopol FIR is now provided by other ATC Centres in Ukraine. Odesa took control of the western portion (Sectors 3,4,5) and Dnipropetrovsk the eastern portion (Sectors 1,2)
  • 16 March Referendum held in Crimea, result determines wish to join Russia.

Current Status – CHANGES SINCE RUSSIAN CONTROL OF CRIMEA

  • 24 March Rouble adopted as official currency of Crimea
  • 24 March Russian Passports issued to existing population. Russian Visa required to enter for non-Ukrainians/Crimeans
  • 31 March Clocks move forward 2 hours, Crimea is now on Moscow time
  • 03 April Simferopol ACC re-opens, providing ATC Service in the Simferopol FIR
  • 03 April Permit now required to enter Airspace over Crimea, according to NOTAM from Russia

 

Simferopol ACC

The Simferopol FIR is normally controlled from an Area Control Centre located at Simferopol Airport. It was closed on 13 March (picture taken same day) when Russia took control of facilities in the peninsula, and service for the FIR was provided using remote radar data by Ukrainian controllers from Odesa and Dnipropetrovsk.

At 10am on 3 April Simferopol ACC was reopened, managed by a new service provider called “Krymaeronavigatsiya”. The controllers in the centre are mostly the same controllers that operated Simferopol ACC for the Ukrainian National Authority.

To reactivate control of the airspace from Simferopol, Russia issued several NOTAMs on 28 March which were subsequently disputed by Ukraine and Eurocontrol. This has led to an unsafe situation leading to an ICAO letter and recommendation to avoid the Simferopol FIR until the situation is resolved.

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