OPSCHAT Summary 22 MAR

By David Mumford

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Hello members,

We had another busy OPSCHAT call this week!

You can catch the full reply on your Member’s Dashboard.

Here’s a rundown of what we talked about:

  • Airspace Risk in Europe – We looked at EASA and IFALPA’s new safety bulletins. Brief discussion about GPS jamming. Feedback from member operating out of Cyprus who encountered it recently – ATC were advised but seems to be ops normal for them there. We also asked whether there are any other risks or impacts that operators are encountering as a result of the conflict in Ukraine that are not being publicised or reported?
  • Russia latest – The US has still not been officially banned from Russian airspace via the UUUU notams. Although there are reports of people having difficulties obtaining overflight permits anyway. Brief discussion about Bloc permits, and then Chinese permits (taking 4-5 days, expect short notice changes to be refused, carry additional fuel for unexpected routes/levels).
  • Saudi Arabia airspace risk – The US FAA has now issued an advisory on Houthi drone incursions. A few key questions put to group:
    • Why has it taken the FAA so long to issue this?
    • What is the actual risk to overflights?
    Feedback from group is that ESCAT is likely the biggest impact. Ops into Southern Airports are unusual for western operators.
  • Canada – Briefly touched on the end of the pre-travel testing mandate from April 1 – only applies to fully vaccinated pax (no booster required). Non-vaccinated pax must still follow existing rules. No impact to crew who are exempt anyway.
  • USA – Airspace improvement project on East Coast finishing with changes in Nov 3. 55 new Q and Y routes and ultra high sector routes (>FL400). New routes will be published in Sept but unavailable  for use until Nov 3. More info here.
  • North Korea – Several missile launches over the weekend landed in the Yellow Sea. Total of eleven this year – all without airspace warnings. Likely to be more. Brief discussion on the ZKKP/Pyongyang FIR – seems operators are staying well clear. Discussed the FAA SFAR which does a good job of communicating the risks. More info here.
  • Unsolved mystery: Reports in media of bizav aircraft being used for relief missions, particularly to Poland. Looking for updates on conditions at airports, traffic congestion and fuel availability. Let us know at news@ops.group
  • Danger Club: Happening March 24 at 1800z! Read more and register here.

As always, the team is here to help with any operational support, info or questions. You can reach us on news@ops.group, or via the slack channels #flightops and #questions.

To watch the replay of the OPS CHAT in full, head over to the dashboard.

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David Mumford

David Mumford

OPSGROUP Helmsman of the B's: Blog, Bulletin, and Briefs. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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