Category: Bullet Items (page 1 of 6)

Swiss restrictions for the Davos World Economic Forum

The 2019 World Economic Forum will take place in Davos from Jan 21-26.

LSZH/Zurich along with most other airports in the area will be busy during this period. So if you’re planning on attending— or even if you’ll just be passing through—best get your slot/PPR request in as soon as possible.

LSZH/Zurich

  • Will be congested, so apply for slots early if you’re actually planning on stopping there. You might not get the slots you requested, particularly if you want to arrive/depart at peak times.
  • Earliest non-scheduled landing for a wide body aircraft without parking permission will be 1300z daily.
  • Maximum 3 hour ground time for general aviation without parking permission (so drop-and-go’s are fine, as long as they stay within that 3 hour window).
  • You will not be able to use LSZH as an alternate to flights going to LSZS/Samedan.
  • Airport operates from 0500-2100z daily, and overtime is not available – make sure you land before closing time or you’ll get diverted to another airport.
  • Repositioning from LSZH to LSMD will not be allowed; the aircraft would have to land and depart directly from LSMD.

LSMD/Dubendorf

  • Located in downtown Zurich. Normally a military airfield, but opens to civilian traffic each year for the Forum.
  • Open 0600-2000z weekdays, and 0800-1900z on Saturday, closed on Sundays, with no overtime available.
  • Should have lots of parking available.
  • Slots not required, but PPR is required.
  • Customs clearance is provided in the military terminal building.
  • For handling, email the airport handler direct on: aircraft.handling@topmotion.ch
  • The airport publishes a special ‘Air Crew Guide’ for any aircraft coming there during the Forum week each year. Bunch of info about the airport and approaches, etc.

EDNY/Friedrichshafen

  • Open 0500-2100z weekdays, and 0800-1900z on weekends, with overtime available on request.
  • No slot or PPR requirements.
  • Parking not usually a problem during the week of the Forum.
  • Be aware as this airport is in Germany, fuel will generally be more expensive as the taxes are higher here.

Permits

Landing permits are not required for private GA flights to Switzerland. You’ll only need a landing permit if you’re operating a charter flight on an aircraft not registered in the EU. For that, email the authorities direct at: trafficrights@bazl.admin.ch

Fuel

No supply issues expected at any of the airports, just expect the normal congestion-related delays with getting a fuel truck out to you on day of departure. For charter flights departing from Switzerland, you can uplift fuel tax free – but bear in mind that taxes will become due and payable if you do not then leave the country within 24 hours.

Malaysia’s KLIA airport shutdown is excessive

In Short: Operations at WMKK/Kuala Lumpur International Airport have been suspended from 0900L-1030L every day this week (27-31 August). This is to make way for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to conduct rehearsals for an aerial flypast that will be part of Malaysia’s National Day parade.

As we outlined in our daily brief, WMKK/Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is being shutdown this week for 90 minutes everyday, between 9am and 10:30am to allow fly-over “rehearsals” for the National Day parade.

We think this is excessive.

The shutdown of a major international gateway airport (the 23rd busiest airport in the world) for 7 and half hours in one week will impact over 498 flight operations and thousands of passengers.

The NOTAM says it all.

A2434/18 - ALL ARR AND DEP SUSPENDED DUE TO NATIONAL DAY 2018 REHEASALS AND 
ACTUAL FLYING DISPLAYS. 0100-0230, 27 AUG 01:00 2018 UNTIL
31 AUG 02:30 2018. CREATED: 13 AUG 07:13 2018

The central planning committee of the National Day event said:

“The air space closure is necessary to ensure the smoothness of the 2018 National day flypast practice sessions, but more importantly, the safety of aircraft flying in and out of KLIA.”

We are all about safety here. But to shutdown such a big chunk of airspace and totally suspended flying operations at 9am at such a big airport for a whole week seems particularly extreme.  This is not a small isolated airport, this is a large 3 runway complex with A380’s coming and going.

This isn’t the first time such a move has happened here. In September 2016, the airport was closed for several hours a day to conduct an “aerial survey”.

This time, we understand, there was limited to no industry consultation with the onus being on the airlines and operators to notify affected customers.

Malaysia’s Transport Minister simple asked that “I hope all airlines will notify their passengers about this and reschedule their flights.” 

He finished by saying “this was inevitable as we are celebrating our Independence Day”.

We say no– shutting down a major airport for nearly 7 hours to practise some flying displays is not “inevitable“.

What do you think? Do you know more, please let us know!

 

If you need to get into KL during these times, WMSA/SULTAN ABDUL AZIZ SHAH INTL is a good alternative.

Extra Reading:

The diversion dilemma over London

A few months back an Air Canada A330 suffered a hydraulic failure as it started it’s Atlantic crossing from France to Canada. The crew decided to turn back and wanted to divert to EGLL/London Heathrow – this was denied.

Since then, other reports have been received of other aircraft requesting similar non-emergency diversions over the UK and them being denied. We understand the “non-acceptance of diverts” policy is in place for EGGW/Luton, EGSS/Stansted and even as far away as EGHH/Bournemouth. It is important to note however that if you declare an emergency (PAN/MAYDAY) – then all bets are off and you can divert wherever you like.

This week we saw EGGW/Luton go as far as publishing a NOTAM to that effect.

A2663/18 – DIVERTS SHALL ONLY BE ACCEPTED FOR ACFT THAT HAVE DECLARED AN  EMERGENCY.

So what’s going on?

We understand it’s a mix of things.

  1. With the heavy summer traffic situation all across London (which is being compounded by the various curfew and overnight flight limitations) it seems that the major airports don’t want an aircraft landing and disabling their runway.
  2. We have heard specific concerns stating that there is nowhere to park overflow aircraft. One aircraft might be manageable but multiple during peak disruption maybe not so easy.
  3. Some Opsgroup members have reported that the main driver of this policy at EGGW/Luton and EGSS/Stansted may be down to ‘their fear of adverse publicity on social media’ regarding aircraft sitting there waiting to go somewhere else and passengers tweeting away the problems with the airport and its facilities.
  4. Luton also put forward the argument that they do not want to interrupt the home-based operators by allowing other operators in. However, at the same time they are automatically denying home-based operators a diversion unless you declare an emergency.
  5. Border Control has also bought into the argument, especially at EGSS/Stansted, saying their manning levels can’t cope with an influx of extra passengers at short notice.

There are a whole host of other factors at play which make diversions in the London area a headache, particularly at night time. Opsgroup member Diego Magrini from Jet Concierge Club sums it up nicely:

“Minor airports close early in the evening, for example EGSC/Cambridge, EGTK/Oxford, EGLF/Farnborough, EGWU/Northolt. These would all be very good alternatives, but become unavailable pretty early. Let’s be honest: no business jet want to divert to EGLL/Heathrow or EGKK/Gatwick (costs, slots, friendliness, etc), and most cannot go to EGLC/London City due to training and approval. This is of course on top of Heathrow and Gatwick not accepting diversions most of the time, or not having slots available. Some airports outside London, although open and accepting traffic, do not have an FBO presence during the night, and this cannot be arranged at short notice for a diversion. Combining all of this in the very short timeframe of a diversion can be very tricky!”


There is a cool video that shows just how busy London does get on any given day….

If you have any further knowledge or recent experience to share, please let us know!

Extra Reading

Hurricane in the fast Lane for Hawaii

Overnight, the brewing tropical cyclone in the Pacific was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane, and is anticipated to be a Category 5 when it reaches Hawaii.

Hurricane “Lane” is only the sixth recorded Category 5 hurricane in this part of the Pacific Ocean, and the National Weather Service is predicting that this storm is only going to intensify. This is also the nearest to Hawaii that a storm of this size has occurred, so the state has issued numerous emergency proclamations to better prepare for the potential life-threatening flash floods and storm surges that accompany a storm of this size.

This storm, if it proceeds as forecast, will impact operations into all Hawaiian airports, including PHNL/Honolulu  and PHOG/Kahului. Beyond the daily flight traffic to these two airports, they also act as major ETOPS/EDTO alternates for flights across the Central and Southern Pacific. So expect an impact in routing.

Also, post storm, there may be infrastructure damage that may limit operations for a period of time.

You can find the latest from the NOAA here.

We will update you with the latest flight operations developments as they happen.

Don’t alpaca your bags for Lima – tech stops forbidden!

What the expanded airport should have looked like in 2018.

For 10 years SPJC/Lima’s Jorge Chavez airport has been desperately waiting for a promised US$1.5bn expansion.

With the rapid growth in the airline industry in Peru over the past few years, it seems the airport authorities are starting to struggle to provide enough capacity, and they are now trying to make it as difficult as possible for anything other than the commercial airlines to operate there!

In a very recent AIC (10/18), notice has been given that effective August 15, 2018, no more technical stops will be permitted at the airport. It also outlines significant slot/time restrictions for GA/BA operations.

Why they are doing it?

According to the AIC:

“In order to optimize the use of airport resources, ensure the safe provision of air traffic services and ensure the balance between demand and available capacity, the DGAC has been implementing capacity management measures.”

You can find the full information here but we have listed the main operational details below.

  • Tech stops are “forbidden” for “commercial flights and general, national and international aviation” effective 15 August 18.
  • Maximum stay of 2 hours on the civil apron for GA/BA flights. This is counted “from the time of placing chocks.” After two hours, the aircraft must be transferred to another apron, parking area for aircraft or hangar, or must go to a suitable alternate airport. The recommended airport to re-position to is SPSO/Pisco. It has an ILS and a 9900’/3000m runway. It is 115nm away, and open H24.
  • General aviation flights are limited to two operating periods every day. “Flights must perform their take-off and landing” between 0500UTC-0930UTC [0000L-0430L] or from 1800UTC-2359UTC [1300L-1859L]. It’s also noted that the 2-hour maximum ground time still applies, and coordination of ground services should be pre-planned in advance to comply.

The NOTAM also points to the updated information.

A3397/18 - NEW SPECIAL PROVISIONS IN JORGE CHAVEZ INTL AIRPORT IN SERVICE REGARDING WITH: TURN AROUND TIME, TECHNICAL STOPS, AND HOURS OF
OPERATION FOR COMMERCIAL (SCHEDULE AND NON SCHEDULE) AND GENERAL AVIATION FLIGHTS. SEE AIC 10/18 PUBLISHED IN WWW.CORPAC.GOB.PE. 
09 AUG 19:59 2018 UNTIL 07 NOV 23:59 2018. 
CREATED: 09 AUG 20:02 2018

The authorities seem intent on enforcing these rules. One local handler has told us – “The Peruvian FAA is being very strict with the AIC. They are rejecting landing permit requests for fuel stops at SPJC.”

If you have any further knowledge or recent experience to share, please let us know!

Extra Reading:

More overnight slots for Hong Kong

Without stating the obvious, Hong Kong is a busy airport and it’s a difficult one to get slots and parking at, if you are a GA/BA operator.

Ok- it’s true, we went as far as calling operations to Hong Kong a PITA in the past.

Well, the latest intel is that the Airport Authority (AAHK) and the Hong Kong Schedule Coordination Office (HKSCO) have decided to trial an increase in slot availability from 4 to 6 total slots each night.

This is the info we have:

Notice on night slot availability (trial from 8 August 2018 until 8 October 2018)

  1. The number of slots available for GA/BA operations between 0000 to 0500 local time (16-21 UTC) will increase from 4 slots daily to 6 slots daily.
  2. The application procedure for these 6 slots will be the same as that for the 4 daily slots currently available.
  3. The above are provided on a trial and temporary basis and are subject to continuous review jointly by AAHK and HKSCO. The procedures will be effective from 0000 UTC on 8 August 2018 until 2359 UTC on 7 October 2018.

Also important to note, as pointed out to us by our friends at the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) – these 6 slots will be made available to all aircraft types, not just the ones currently exempted from the noise abatement regulations. This means that BBJ’s/ACJ’s/Lineage 1000/Globals/G650ER etc can now operate in and out of Hong Kong at night-time, subject to slot availability.

Some days I miss the old Kai Tak airport. My Dad reminded me that the 20th anniversary of its closure just went by last month. I feel old.

If you do too, watch a Kai Tak video to cheer you up 🙂

Extra Reading:

That MMEL thing: here’s an update

The FAA is set to issue new guidance to provide a resolution to the long-running MMEL vs MEL debacle. However, it may not be the one we were expecting!

Last year, ramp checks on some US aircraft in France highlighted an important issue – EASA and the FAA have different interpretations of the ICAO standards regarding deferring aircraft discrepancies.

In the US, with FAA authorization operators can use a master minimum equipment list (MMEL) to defer repairing certain equipment. But in Europe, MMEL cannot be used in lieu of an MEL specific to each aircraft or fleet.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) began requiring all aircraft transiting European airspace to have an approved Minimum Equipment List (MEL) for each, individual aircraft. An MEL that references the MMEL was not acceptable.

This was a pain for US operators, as to get an individual MEL approved under the Letter of Authorisation (LOA) from the FAA takes time – but by not doing so, they ran the risk of failing a ramp check in a European country.

At the start of 2018, we understood that the FAA had reached an agreement with EASA: the FAA would start requiring international operators to obtain new D195 LOA’s, and in return EASA would halt any findings for a period of 12 months to allow for these new LOA’s to be issued.

But now we understand the FAA have decided that making operators get new D195 LOA’s will be far too much work for everyone involved!

Instead, they intend to just continue to issue the D095 approvals – but they will more vigorously validate the required components (such as the Preamble and M&O procedures).

This certainly appears to present a reversal of the previous commitment to EASA, who may very well not accept these LOA’s. If that happens, then the approval won’t be valid over in Europe – meaning ramp checks of N-reg aircraft in European countries will once again throw up the old MMEL finding, just like before.

We expect the FAA to officially issue this updated guidance to inspectors in the very near future, to be followed by a FAA InFo Letter to Part 91 Operators. The NBAA have said they will issue a bulletin to share the guidance as soon as it is released.

How to prepare for a ramp check in Europe?

We wrote a 2017 article all about how to make a ramp check painless.

We have also updated the FSB SAFA Ramp Checklist. Download it here.

Keep a copy with you and run through it before you head towards the EU.

 

 

Further reading

Dubai to London – which way is best?

In Short: Two main options, via Saudi and Egypt (safer, cheaper but longer) or via Iran and Turkey (shorter, busier and geo-politically more unstable). It’s a complicated planning climate at present. Review regularly based on latest risk factors.   

There are more business aviation operators flying between the Middle East and Europe than ever before. So we took the time to look over the route options between the two regions. For our example we will be using a flight from Dubai to London, but similar operational considerations are valid for the plethora of route combinations through this whole region.

Firstly, we are sure you are a frequent visitor to our safe airspace website. Updated all the time with the latest notes and risk recommendations based on the latest intel. So, first things first, we want to avoid Syria, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula. As you can see however, this is a complicated geo-political region for flight planning. The direct great circle route would take us through Syria and would be around 3125nm. But that isn’t going to work. So, what else we got?

We will look at the two ways to head over the region. One is via Iran, Turkey and onwards to Europe. The other over Saudi Arabia and Egypt towards Europe.

Option 1: Iran/Turkey

Safety: Both Iran and Turkey are FSB Risk Level: Three – Caution. Iran is involved in the ongoing conflict with Syria and several Russian missiles crossed the Tehran FIR and several busy international routes. There are also increased tensions between the USA and Iran at present – if you had to divert in an N-reg aircraft, Iran would not be the friendliest of places to do so. Turkey borders with Syria and we have received multiple reports of GPS interference in the area.

Distance: an extra 100nm.

Time: About 15 minutes longer than great circle route.

Ease and Cost: Iran has higher overflight costs and for US based operators a reminder of the sanctions for dealing directly with Iran, or agencies in Iran. You’ll want to use an approved agent if you’re from the US (i.e.–not an Iranian company). Iran doesn’t work on Fridays, so be aware there. Turkish overflight costs are reasonable and remember that Turkish authorities require the use of an agent to apply for permits.

Traffic: The biggest issue with this route is that everyone is using it! It’s congested with a lot of airline traffic. It’s a major corridor for Asia-Europe flights also. So, getting the levels you want, and off route deviations are more complicated. Things get busy, as you can see!

Option 2: Saudi/Egypt

Safety: In terms of airspace warnings and risk, this route is slightly better. We have rated Saudi and Egypt airspace as FSB Risk Level: Two – Assessed Risk. Beyond the Sinai Peninsula and the Saudi/Yemen border, generally there is less of a chance of airspace security risks at present.

Distance: An extra 300nm from the great circle.

Time: Around 45 minutes longer.

Ease and Cost: Saudi and Egyptian airspace are generally a cheaper option ($1,000USD+). In Egypt, by law you have to get your permit through an Egyptian agent, but it’s a straight forward process. In Saudi, again, using an agent is best; they normally have three-day lead time – so keep that in mind. Also remember that the CAA only work Sun-Wed during office hours.

Traffic: For most of the day, much less of a traffic bottle neck.


Bottom line

Of the two options, routing via Saudi/Egypt is cheaper, and safer (as long as you steer clear of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsular and Saudi’s border with Yemen), but it’s going to take slightly longer.

What about Iraq?

We don’t think it’s a good idea. There’s a lot of information out there saying certain airways are ok but only at higher levels. But if you needed to get down fast, or even make an unexpected landing, Iraq isn’t the place you would want to go at present. Treat with caution.

Which one is your favourite choice? Let us know!

Further reading:

Updated communication procedures for Hong Kong FIR

AIP SUP A09/18 details new communication procedures for air traffic entering the VHHK/Hong Kong FIR.

The key points:

  • Aircraft shall comply with the following communication requirements to obtain an air traffic control (ATC) clearance:
  • Pilot shall report the aircraft callsign, position (with reference to reporting point), level (including passing and cleared levels if not maintaining the cleared level), transponder code, and other pertinent information (e.g. speed assigned by last ATC, tracking if it differs from the flight plan route) in the initial call before entering Hong Kong FIR.

Also a small change: the requirement for pilots to report the estimate time exiting Hong Kong FIR on first contact with Hong Kong Radar as stipulated in AIP Hong Kong ENR 1.1 paragraph 2.2.4 will no longer be applicable and is hereby cancelled.

Don’t forget to file MACH number in NY Oceanic Airspace

KZWY/New York Oceanic FIR last month published a NOTAM requiring Flight Plans to be submitted with MACH crusing number, rather than TAS in Field 15A for the flight plan. So far, most operators are not doing this. But you should!

This includes flight departing TXKF/Bermuda.

A0178/18 – ALL ACFT ENTERING THE NEW YORK OCEANIC FIR (KZWY), INCLUDING THOSE DEPARTING BERMUDA (TXKF) , MUST FILE A MACH NUMBER INSTEAD OF A SPEED OF KNOTS IN THE EXPECTED CRUISE SPEED FIELD (FIELD 15A) OF THEIR FPL. 03 MAY 17:08 2018 UNTIL 31 MAR 23:59 2019. CREATED: 03 MAY 17:09 2018

Reports are that compliance so far has been low.

So why do it?

NY ARTCC tell us:

This minor adjustment enables the ATC computer system to effectively probe flight plans and proactively offer more favorable routes and/or reroutes.

Help ATC out! Thank you.

 

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