21DEC: A330 shot at, Saudi missile

By Jamie Rose McMillen


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 your 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.
LLER/Ramon Israel’s second international airport is set to open in April 2018, in the city of Eilat. The new airport is located 8nm north of the city centre, and will have an 11,800ft runway. The airport is designed to replace the two airports that currently service the city: LLET/Eilat – the small airport in the city that currently serves domestic flights from Tel Aviv and Haifa; and LLOV/Ovda – the military airfield 30nm away that is used for some international flights.LFSB/Basel Both runways will be closed overnight from 23-04z until Dec 22.

MHZZ/Honduras Expect further demonstrations this week as the government opposition candidate has called for protests from Dec 18 against alleged election fraud. Demonstrations are expected in the capital Tegucigalpa, and other cities.

VHHH/Hong Kong The runway resurfacing project continues. Every night between 1730-2345z, one of the airport’s two runways will be closed, meaning it is even harder than usual to get a slot during these times. The airport authority doesn’t expect their runway resurfacing project to be finished until April 2019.

ZKZZ/North Korea Singapore Airlines has announced it has now changed the flight path of its daily WSSS/Singapore to KLAS/Los Angeles service to avoid the Sea of Japan where North Korea conducts missile testing – they will now fly to the west of Japan instead.

GOBD/Dakar A strike by ATC workers at the airport just days after the newly built airport opened on Dec 7, has now been suspended, following negotiations with the government. The union is demanding subsidised transport for employees to get the airport, which is located 45km away from the city centre. They also complain they haven’t been properly trained on all the new equipment yet. They say they may strike again if their terms are not meet.

LDDU/Dubrovnik Work has commenced on overhauling the airport’s runway. Until the end of March, the runway will be shortened from 3300m to 2100m, there will be no ILS on RWY12, and the opening hours will be 05-21z.

DNMM/Lagos Security concerns at Lagos Airport, as an aircraft was reportedly robbed whist taxiing to the hangar!.The Vistajet aircraft had just landed at the airport on Dec 12 and was attacked on the RWY 18R by unknown bandits when taxiing to the hangar of Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN). The pilot reported that the rear door was opened whilst taxiing, and a bag belonging to one of the cabin crew was missing.

KATL/Atlanta Power outage all day on Dec 17 disrupted air travel across the country and led to cancellations of more than 1000 flights. The power has now been restored, but expect more delays and cancellations over the next few days as airlines work to clear the backlog.

LEJR/Jerez No flights are allowed (aside from scheduled) between 1700-2130 daily, Dec 27-30, and again on Jan 02-03.

OIZZ/Iran Unhealthy levels of air pollution in Tehran and surrounding areas. Expected to last until at least Dec 23. Authorities have reinforced traffic restrictions and have ordered some factories to close. Schools have also been temporarily shut and officials have advised people in high-risk groups to stay indoors.

HLZZ/Libya is once again pumping out Notams advertising the country’s airports as being “available H24 for international flights and en-route diversions”. However, our advice hasn’t changed: Libya is still a desperately unstable country – don’t overfly or enter their airspace, and don’t land at any Libyan airports.

FZZZ/Democratic Republic of Congo A series of pro- and anti-government rallies are scheduled to take place nationwide from Dec 19 to Jan 2. The security situation remains volatile across the country: frequent clashes between the Congolese Army and militia groups in the South; continued reports of kidnappings, including of staff from international NGOs; frequent protests which have resulted in an increased military and police presence in Kinshasa and other major cities. Avoid.

SVZZ/Venezuela A power cut hit parts of the Venezuelan capital Caracas and surrounding areas for around five hours on Dec 18. This also affected SVMI/Caracas Airport, where some flights were grounded. Venezuela has suffered frequent power cuts in recent years, following lack of investment in the electricity sector since its nationalization in 2007.

SAZZ/Argentina A controversial pension reform bill has sparked violent protests across the country. Argentina’s largest union also called a 24hr strike that has grounded hundreds of flights. LATAM expects its flight schedule will slowly return to normal from Dec 20 onwards.

NFZZ/Fiji Ongoing strike by some airport ground staff could cause some travel disruption. Fiji Airways have already warned they will have limited catering onboard flights departing from NFFN/Nadi during the strike.

DNZZ/Nigeria Seasonal dust haze is forecast across the country over the next few weeks. Navaids at Nigeria’s airports are notoriously poor – so make sure you check the landing minimums before launching.

HEZZ/Egypt If you’re flying to Egypt, or even just overflying the country, the authorities now want you to list in the RMK section of your flight plan BOTH the permit number and the name of the agent who got you the permit.

PAZZ/Alaska If you’re flying anywhere in either the Anchorage Arctic FIR or Oceanic/Continental FIR, make sure you file your flight plan to both PAZAZQZX and PAZNZQZX. If you’re going over the water, remember to copy the HF Radio Stations too: use CYQXYFYX for flights plans entering the Arctic FIR, and KSFOXAAX for those entering the Oceanic FIR.

WMZZ/Malaysia Tropical Storm ‘Kai-Tak’ continues to move westward towards the east coast of Malaysia, and is expected to make landfall some time Dec 22-23. Only the coastal airports are likely be affected (WMKC/Kota Bharu, WMKN/Kuala Terengganu, WMKD/Kuantan), as the storm is expected to have weakened to gusting winds of around 30kts by that point.

HEAR/El Arish Militants fired artillery at the airport on Dec 19, killing one army officer and wounding two others. The attack reiterates the volatile security situation in the Sinai Peninsular, which has been a target of various attacks by Islamic State (IS) militants since 2013. The risk of terrorism in the region has increased recently, as IS’s major territorial losses in Iraq and Syria have caused many of its militants to come over the border to Egypt. There are still overflight warnings in place for the entire Sinai Peninsula below FL260, and Germany even make a point of warning against making any landings at the airports in the region: HEAR/El Arish, HEGR/El Gora, HETB/Taba, HESC/St. Catherine, HESH/Sharm-el-Sheikh.

EHZZ/Netherlands Some public transport workers have threatened a 24hr nationwide strike on Jan 4.

ZZZZ/Worldwide EASA have updated their advice about the carriage of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs), as Recent testing by the FAA has shown that most cargo compartments have only poor chances of containing fires caused by PEDs in checked baggage. Passengers should carry PEDs with them in the cabin wherever possible.

VECC/Calcutta Expect delays over the next few days as heavy fog is forecast to continue. They’re currently using the secondary runway at night, as maintenance continues on the primary runway to increase it from CAT II ILS to CAT III-B. That’s not expected to be completed until Jan 4. The secondary runway only has a CAT I system with a visibility limit of 550m.

LSGG/Geneva Ski season has officially started, which means you can’t plan Geneva as an FPL alternate at any point on weekends, until Apr 15.

SVZZ/Venezuela President Maduro has threatened to close the border with Colombian cities of Cúcuta and Maicao, and cut ties with the islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Venezuela is facing an ongoing political and economic crisis. Shortages of many basic goods have been reported across the country. Thousands of Venezuelans regularly cross the border into Colombia legally purchase goods not available in their country.

KZZZ/USA From Jan 2, the FAA will impose a filter for aircraft found to be broadcasting inaccurate ADS–B info. They will be blocked from transmitting ADS-B info to ATC, and will have to receive ATC services using secondary radar instead.

LEZZ/Spain Strikes planned over the festive period at LEBL/Barcelona and LEMD/Madrid airports have now all been called-off. At LEBL/Barcelona, around 2000 ground staff, check-in and cabin crew for the IAG group, which includes Vueling, Iberia and British Airways, have cancelled their strike originally planned for Dec 21-24. And at LEMD/Madrid, security staff have cancelled their strike originally planned for Dec 22 – Jan 8.

HEZZ/Egypt The new Sphinx International Airport is due to start operating in Jan. The airport has a 3650 metre runway, and is adjacent to and shares some infrastructure with HECW/Cairo West Air Base, around 20nm from Cairo city.

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 your 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.

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