Author: Ben Zavadil (page 1 of 3)

Can you track your aircraft every 15 minutes?

New ICAO requirements on aircraft tracking came into force on Nov 8. Large aircraft (over MTOW 45,500kg and with more than 19 seats) must now track their position every 15 minutes – down from the previously required 60 minutes. The tracking needs to take place in all regions where the local ATS gets position information at greater than 15 minute intervals. If you want to get into it, you can find it in ICAO SARPS, Annex 6,  Part I,  Section 3.5.

This requirement is part of ICAO’s “Global Tracking Initiative”, which came about shortly after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March 2014.

When to track?

If your aircraft is outside range of radar, oceanic waters, remote areas, (anywhere that the ATS doesn’t get a position report in less than 15 minute intervals) you can count on needing to obtain and record your own position reports every 15 minutes (or less).

Where are these areas? ICAO is keeping a database to show where you’re going to need to make your own 15 minute records (it’s not the best tool at the moment):

click to open tool on ICAO site

How to track?

The important part of this: it must all be done automatically. You can’t just set a timer and manually record a position report. ICAO doesn’t have a preferred method for this, just as long as it’s automatic (use your ADS-B, GPS tracker, or a tracking service). It was important that ICAO keep this particular requirement in line with equipment and capabilities currently available.

Who’s watching?

ICAO has told us that although the new requirement is now in place, currently there is no requirement to share the data – unless it’s required for an incident.

Also, it is still yet to be seen if/how specific authorities will add this requirement into AIPs. For example, Canada has stated the below, but have yet to add any requirement into the Canadian Aviation Regulations:

Canadian air operators are reminded that they are subject to the laws and regulations of foreign jurisdictions and their respective civil aviation authorities (CAA) when abroad. Effective November 8, 2018, they may be subject to regulatory action by a CAA if they do not comply with ICAO GADSS SARPs requirements. CASA 09-2018

Will this be part of SAFA ramp checks?

No. We asked SAFA this very question, and here’s what they told us:

“For the time being we do not have any intention to request of ramp inspectors to perform an inspection of this new requirement.”

The future?

In January 2021, there will be a further requirement to tracking, called “Autonomous Distress Tracking”, which will require automatic position reports every minute when in a distress situation. This requirement will likely depend on new equipment, or depend on expansion of Space Based ADS-B.

ICAO is also populating a “Global Operational Directory” to help communication between OCCs and ANSPs. It’s not operational yet, but this will help when ANSPs and OCCs need to communicate. It’s free to participate, as long as OCCs share their information. More information for that is here.

For more reading of all the ICAO updates on Global Tracking Initiatives, head here.

FAA Issues New Ukraine Advice

The U.S. FAA has partially lifted its airspace ban on Eastern Ukraine – the UKFV/Simferopol and UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIRs.

The new ruling means that U.S. operators are now allowed to operate on routes over certain parts of the Black Sea, and to three Ukrainian airports: UKHH/Kharkiv, UKDD/Dnipropetrovsk and UKDE/Zaporizhzhia.

According to the FAA, “security and safety conditions have sufficiently stabilized in certain regions of Ukraine, thereby reducing the area of hazard to U.S. civil aviation” in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs.

Here’s our map detailing the new rule:

click the image to open larger version!

The changes:

UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIR:
– Everything east of ABDAR – M853 – NIKAD – N604 – GOBUN is prohibited. Airways M853 and N604 are off-limits as well.
– Operations to Kharkiv International Airport (UKHH), Dnipropetrovsk International Airport (UKDD),  and Zaporizhzhia International Airport (UKDE) are now permitted.

UKFV/Simferopol FIR:
– Everything North/North East of SOBLO – DOLOT – SOROK – OTPOL is off-limits.
– Airways M856, M854, M860 and L851 have been approved for flights over the Black Sea.
– Airway M747 is prohibited, as it shares some of the off-limits airspace.

Here’s the Notam:

A0021/18 NOTAMN Q) KICZ/QRDLP/IV/NBO/AE/000/999/ 
A) KICZ B) 1810191127 C) 2010272359 

Why now?

The FAA’s previous ban, in place since April 2014, applied to all airspace in the UKFV and UKDV FIRs. There were two quite separate issues affecting the two chunks of airspace: risk from arms fire in the UKDV FIR, and disputed airspace in the UKFV FIR.

Let’s take a look at each one, with the reasons why the ban was initially imposed, and what has happened since then to convince the FAA to downgrade its warning…

UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIR: Risk from arms fire

The war in the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine resulted in the shoot-down of MH17 in July 2014. Multiple military aircraft were shot down in the region in the weeks leading up to that event. The airspace ban was imposed due to the clear risk of civil aircraft being targeted – or as the FAA more diplomatically puts it: “aircraft being misidentified and then intercepted or otherwise engaged”.

What’s changed?
Here’s what the FAA say:

“The anti-aircraft weapons capabilities and deployments of forces associated with the pro-Russian separatists are limited at this time to within the eastern portion of the UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIR. While the potential for fluctuating levels of military engagement continues along the line of control in eastern portions of the FIR, the military conflict has begun to stabilize, which reduces the risk of a larger-scale conflict that might extend into the western portion of the FIR. This results in a reduced risk to civil aviation in the western portion of the FIR.”

In other words…
The conflict has died-down, and only exists over in the east of the FIR anyway, near to the border with Russia. The risk to ops over the western part of the FIR is now sufficiently reduced so as to allow the reopening of that portion of airspace, and for flights to resume to the airports in that region (UKHH/Kharkiv, UKDD/Dnipropetrovsk and UKDE/Zaporizhzhia).

UKFV/Simferopol FIR – Disputed airspace

In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The ATC Center is in Simferopol, Crimea, and is now run by Russia. Russia claims the airspace, and now publish Notams for the FIR under the code “URFV”. Ukraine refuses to recognise the change, and asks crews to talk to Ukrainian controllers in Dnipro/Odesa ACC instead of Simferopol ACC. As the FAA point out, the risk here stems from aircraft “receiving confusing and conflicting air traffic control instructions from both Ukrainian and Russian ATC” when operating over the region.

What’s changed?
Here’s what they say:

“The previous flight safety concerns for conflicting ANSP guidance for the Black Sea air routes at a distance offshore from the Peninsula within portions of the Simferopol FIR (UKFV) have been addressed by the government of Ukraine. Since the FAA extended the prohibition in SFAR No. 113, § 91.1607, in 2016, the government of Ukraine has established, via its aeronautical information publication (AIP), a restricted airspace area over the Crimean Peninsula and the adjacent territorial sea. In addition, the government of Ukraine has issued flight advisories, prohibitions and other instructions for the safe navigation of civil aircraft, which are published via NOTAMs, reclassified Ukrainian airspace in 2014… and improved safety incident reporting procedures to mitigate the risks associated with conflicting ANSP guidance from the Russian Federation over the Black Sea routes offshore from the Crimean Peninsula and over the high seas. Since these actions were implemented, there has been a decrease in safety-related hazards demonstrated by over two years of safe flight operations on the Black Sea air routes by non-U.S. civil operators. Therefore, the FAA assesses that these actions have sufficiently mitigated the hazard to civil aviation operating on the Black Sea air routes to allow U.S. civil flights to resume on those routes.”

In other words…
The Russians are still in Crimea, still claiming control of the airspace, and still confusing people. So that northern part of the FIR is therefore still out-of-bounds. But in the south, operators can safely fly over a handful of airways over the Black Sea which are controlled by Ukrainian ATC.

What are other countries saying about Ukraine?

Aside from the U.S., three other countries consistently publish airspace warnings: the UK, Germany, and France.

UK and France: both have warnings in place advising against all ops over both of these Ukrainian FIRs, with the exception of airways L851, M856, M860, and M854 in the UKFV/Simferopol FIR.

Germany: does not have any published warnings in place at all.

So for the southerly UKFV/Simferopol FIR, the change to U.S. advice is basically just mirroring what France and the UK have been saying for the past two years. But for the northerly UKDV/Dnipropetrovsk FIR, the U.S. is now the first and only country to say that a portion of the airspace is now deemed safe to operate in.

For more details on Ukraine and other airspace warnings, head to

For the new U.S. rule in full, click here.

Feel Free to use Luton at Night!

Feeling the crush of operating to London at night? We’ve got some good news for you:

?? Luton (EGGW) will be back to 24 hour operations starting October 1, 2018 ??

Luton has been closed all summer between 2200Z and 0559Z for noise abatement regulations. However, these limitations have been lifted, and all will be back to 24/7.

The nighttime noise restrictions for EGLL/Heathrow, EGKK/Gatwick, and EGSS/Stansted are still in place, making nighttime GA/BA operations to these airports limited.

Here’s a rundown of the current restrictions:

  • EGMC/Southend (40 miles away) & EGBB/Birmingham (115 miles away) are the only airports with no restrictions (thus far).
  • EGLL/Heathrow & EGGK/Gatwick: Pretty much a no-go zone for business aviation these days
  • EGLC/London City: closed from 1030pm to 0630am
  • EGWU/Northolt: closed from 8pm to 8am on weekdays
  • EGLF/Farnborough: closed from 10pm to 7am on weekdays
  • EGKB/Biggin Hill: closed from 11pm to 6.30am on weekdays, and 10pm to 8am on weekends
Extra Reading:

Milan Linate closed next summer

With planned runway and terminal constructions, LIML/Milan Linate will be closing from July 27, 2019 until October 27, 2019.  Work has already begun with Assoclearance (slot coordination) to work out summer schedules.

Today, September 20, a coordination meeting will take place to clarify the slot allocation process for S19. Following this, a September 25th meeting at Linate will be held to discuss the operational impact of the closure.

Milan Linate handled over nine million passengers in 2017, so a large portion of this traffic will now have to operate through LIMC/Milan Malpensa, which already stands as the second busiest airport in Italy, handling over 22 million passengers in 2017.

We’ll have more information after both the slot and operations meetings this coming week.

Do you know more? Feel free to comment or drop us a line!

Expanded Canadian ADIZ

As of May 24, Canada has expanded its ADIZ to include all its national territory in the Arctic Archipelago.


Requirements for operations in the ADIZ remain the same. You’ll need a transponder with altitude reporting and a working two-way radio. Remember, you’ll need to include the time and location of ADIZ border crossing in your flight plans RMK section.

Full AIC 2/18 for the detailed lat/long of the expanded area here.

Singapore Changi (WSSS) Departure Clearance by Datalink

Starting April 23rd, 2018, Changi Airport (WSSS) will begin giving departure clearance (DCL) via datalink, on certain routes. The idea is to clear up voice communications when DCL can be used. Full details listed in CAAS AIP SUP 013/2018.

To use this, you’ll need ACARS, and be compliant with EUROCAE ED85-A. You’ll login to the ground system at WSSS.

The departures are as below:

– Destinations in Peninsular Malaysia via ATS Routes A457 and B466
– Destinations in Thailand via ATS Routes B466 and B469 / M751
– Destinations in Indonesia via ATS Route A457, R469 and B470
– Destinations in Australia and New Zealand via ATS Route B470
– Flights with allocated Calculated Take-Off Time (CTOT) under Bay of Bengal Cooperative Air Traffic Flow Management (BOBCAT)

A few other notes:

-The DCL message will not include requested crusing levels and final cruising levels. Your planned flight level in 15b will be used, and ATC will give cruise FL when airborne. Sounds like they won’t entertain any requests for a different FL while on the ground.

-No revisions allowed over datalink, all changes must be made by voice comms.

-Make your request with RCD message (see format in attached AIC) no more than 20 minutes before TOBT. If you’ve got a CTOT under BOBCAT, you’l need to put that in the message. If you’re routing via ANITO B470, list your FL at ANITO crossing.

If your DCL is rejected, you’ll get a “revert to voice procedures” message. A few auto-rejects:
-Flight routes not applicable.
-RCD message doesn’t comply with ED-85A or inaccurate data.
-Invalid TOBT
-When required due to flow restrictions.

Operating out of WSSS soon?  CAAS AIP SUP 013/2018 is worth a read.

Cape Town – No Fuel!

FACT/Cape Town is facing a fuel restriction, no fuel available as of now (20 MAR 2018). The reason for the restriction is not known, but we have reached out to several suppliers who have all confirmed the same information.

We’re checking up to find the reasoning, as well as an estimated date of availability.

If you have any additional information, you can reach out at

Some US GPS Jamming (it’s just a test)

If you’re flying the Great Falls area (KGTF) from now until March 6th, you’ll want to watch out for some GPS outages due to testing.

Right now, they’re testing daily from 1631z-20z, and the impact is all about how high you’re flying. You could lose WAAS, GBAS, and ADS-B.

See the ranges here:

If you do experience outages, you’re asked to only contact ATC if you’re in need of assistance, not to report any outages.

222NM RADIUS AT 10000FT 

The full FAA text is here:


Full details: Curacao FIR denying airspace entry if you haven’t prepaid

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France Conditional Routes

Having fun in France airspace on peak days? France has just published their list of Conditional Routes (CTRs). You’ll be able to use these on busy Fridays and certain holidays:

FRI 20 APR, 27 APR ;
FRI 04 MAY, 11 MAY, 18 MAY, 25 MAY
FRI 01 JUN, 08 JUN, 15 JUN, 22 JUN, 29 JUN
FRI 06 JUL, 13 JUL, 20 JUL, 27 JUL
FRI 03 AUG, 10 AUG, 17 AUG, 24 AUG, 31 AUG
FRI 07 SEP, 14 SEP, 21 SEP, 28 SEP
FRI 05 OCT, 12 OCT, 19 OCT, 26 OCT.

From 1000-1500UTC, the following will have priorty for General Aviation Traffic:

UL722 (ANNET-KORUL above FL275)
UP620 (CAMBO-KORUL above FL275)
UN862 (UVUDO-OSMOB above FL 285)
UT21 (TOU-DIVKO above FL335)


From 0700-1700UTC:


You can read the full AIP SUP 025/18 here.

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