Big change: Russia finally moving to QNH

By Declan Selleck


If you have a Russia trip coming up soon, then keep a close eye on those charts. The whole feet-meters conversion/QFE/”Descend to height” carry on is going to start disappearing effective February 2017.

Way back in 2011, we told you about Russia’s transition to using Feet instead of Meters, for enroute traffic – above the transition level. Ever since then, we’ve kind of been waiting for the same change at Russian airports.

And now, it’s happening.

  • As of February 2017, ULLI/St. Petersburg will be the first Russian Airport to start using feet and QNH – chosen because it’s pretty close to sea level. And one of the more ‘western’ Russian airports.
  • Descent clearances will be to an altitude in feet, based on QNH
  • The ALT/HEIGHT conversion chart will disappear from charts
  • You’ll get “Descend altitude 3000 feet QNH” instead of “Descend Height 900 meters” from ATC.
  • After the St. Petersburg ‘trial’ is complete, the rest of Russia will slowly follow suit. We don’t yet have a firm date for further airports within Russia, but will update this page when we do (or we’ll tell you in the bulletin).


Quick example for ULLI ILS 10L, so you get the idea:

  • The ALT/HEIGHT conversion box is gone
  • The “Alt Set” or Altimeter Setting box shows hPA (Hectopascals) instead of MM (millimeters), which means a QNH-based approach
  • Previously charts showed QFE in bold which meant that was the preferred altimeter setting, now it’s QNH.








More on the topic:

More reading:

Declan Selleck

Declan Selleck

Declan is a Flight Service Specialist with OPSGROUP.

Leave a Reply

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap