Tag: Portugal

The only airport in the world with a mandatory wind limit

A slightly skeewiff statue of Cristiano Ronaldo is the most notable thing about LPMA/Funchal Airport which, since last year, has been known as Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport.

Before that, however, the airport on Madeira’s east coast was better known for hosting one of the world’s most challenging approaches and landings.

The airport’s runway is often buffeted by Atlantic winds, while its proximity to the mountains and ocean present yet more difficulties. Pilots scheduled to arrive here must undergo additional training, studying the approach in detail. Airlines wishing to fly into Funchal – sorry, Ronaldo – require special approval from the Portuguese aviation authority.

Earlier this year the Association of Portuguese Airline Pilots (APPLA) said it was vital that the airport closes when winds exceed the maximum limits (depending on wind direction). In a statement it said that “there are limits to anything in aviation. These limits generally exist for several reasons, including safety issues”. APPLA was concerned there had been some 20 commercial landings in the first half of 2017 when the wind had been exceeding limits.

What are these limits?

The Portuguese AIP warns that:

The Airport is located on a plateau on the east coast of Madeira Island. Except for the seaside, ground raises rapidly very closed to it. This fact generates, very often, wind variation and turbulence. Also severe low altitude wind shear conditions and / or micro burst are likely to be encountered.

Wind Limitations

When landing

Maximum of two minutes mean Wind Speed Values indicated by the Touchdown anemometer:

  • In the sector 300° to 010° MAG (clockwise) – 15KT, with the maximum Wind Gust of 25KT
  • In the sector 020° to 040° MAG (clockwise) – 20KT, with the maximum Wind Gust of 30KT
  • In the sector 120° to 190° MAG (clockwise), and if Runway in use is 05 – 20KT with a maximum Wind Gust of 30KT, and if Runway in use is 23 – 15KT, subject also to maximum Wind Gust of 25KT as indicated by MID Anemometer.

Maximum of two minutes mean Wind Speed Values, including Gust indicated by the MID or ROSÁRIO Anemometers

  • In the Sector 200º to 230º MAG (clockwise) – 25KT.

When Taking-off

Maximum of two minutes mean Wind Speed Values indicated by the MID anemometer:

  • In the sector 300° to 010° MAG (clockwise) – 20KT with no Gust limitations
  • In the sector 020° to 040° MAG (clockwise) – 25KT with no Gust limitations
  • In the sector 120° to 190° MAG (clockwise) and if Runway in use is 05 – 25KT with no Gust limitations, and if Runway in use is 23 – 20KT, also with no Gust limitations

NOTE: The limitations above do not supersede any Operators or Aircraft Operations Manual (AOM) limitations if these are more restrictive

Turbulence

  • Attention should be paid to the WIND DIRECTION INDICATORS located on the south side of the runway, near each touchdown area. They will reflect unexpected wind changes. Occasionally they will indicate wind from opposite directions;
  • When landing on RWY 05 wind differences greater than 5 KT, between Rosário and MID anemometers, may indicate turbulence on final;
  • When landing on RWY 23 with winds from South and Westerly Sectors, one may experience severe turbulence at low altitude over the RWY Threshold;
  • Headwind or nearly so, up to 15 KT will cause “WEAK” turbulence on final;
  • Wind of 15 KT from sector 020° to 050° MAG (clockwise) may cause “MODERATE” turbulence;
  • Wind of 15 KT or even less from sector 300° to 020° MAG (clockwise) may cause “SEVERE” turbulence;
  • Down drafts or up drafts are to be expected near the threshold of runways 05 and 23.

NOTE: Pilots are strongly requested to report to the Control Tower as soon as possible any turbulence and/or windshear that may affect operational conditions.

There have been recent attempts of political intervention by the Vice President of the Regional Government, Pedro Calado. He met recently with aviation officials in Lisbon but to no avail. He expressed to his amazement at the fact that the limits set for Madeira Airport have not been changed since 1964.

Calado says that “what is happening at Madeira Airport is unusual, it is the only airport in the world that has mandatory limits, meaning that even if the commanders consider having safety conditions to land, if the wind limits are above stipulated, can not do so under penalty of ANAC suspending its license to fly. ”

He is right about that. Air Traffic Control won’t stop you from making an approach and landing if the wind limits are exceeded but they will promptly report all flights having done so to the authorities back on the mainland. There have been threats of license and airline operational approval suspensions in the past.

Looks pretty fun though!

Have you flown into the airport recently and can update our opsgroup members? Drop us a line: bulletin@fsbureau.org

Extra Information:

  • The airport’s runway, supported by columns that lift it 70 metres above the ocean, extends out over what was once a beach. The construction of it began in 1983 after a Boeing 727 operated by TAP Portugal overshot the original runway in 1977 in windy and rain conditions, landing past the threshold before aquaplaning and sliding off the runway and plunging off a steep bank. The aircraft crashed into a bridge, split into two and burst into flames, killing 131 of the 164 on board. The accident remains TAP Portugal’s only fatal accident and the second deadliest in Portugal.
  • Portugal AIP
  • Pilot’s Briefing Room – Funchal 

Midweek Briefing 29JUN: Santa Maria Oceanic Strike, US Entry Requirements

Santa Maria Strike: Four Routes 29JUN Santa Maria Oceanic has published four special routes for use during the upcoming “July Friday Strike Series” ATC Industrial Action. Read the article and then Summer of Strikes.

New US Entry Requirements 29JUN The US has updated entry processing through ESTA (the online visa system for countries using the Visa Waiver Program). Read the article.

 


LTBA/Istanbul has reopened to traffic after a terrorist attack on 28JUN. 40 people were killed in a series of explosions and gunfire at the International terminal on Tuesday evening.

UMZZ/Belarus will undergo a re-evaluation of its currency and banks will be closed to the public between 30JUN and 01JUL, if operating to Minsk you should ensure you have sufficient cash available for those days.

EGZZ/UK Much has been written about Britain’s departure from Europe this week (and we’re talking Brexit, not football), but if you’re having trouble figuring out how this will affect you as an operator, that might be because it won’t. Read the article.

LGZZ/Greek Islands Now that summer is here in Europe, the annual capacity challenge at Greek Islands is most acute on weekends, expect healthy slot delays if operating to LGIR (Iraklion) LGKP (Karpathos) LGMK (Mikonos) LGZA (Zakinthos) LGSR (Santorini) LGSK (Skiathos) or LGSA (Chania).

VHHH/Hong Kong The CAD issued a reminder to operators this week that the airport is under strain, and slots issued must be strictly adhered to. It would seem that the Slot Adherence procedure issued earlier in the year isn’t really working. Any local operators have feedback? Let us know.

EFRO/Rovaniemi has no Jet A1 available from until July.

LPPS/Porto Santo is also out of Jet A1 until 01JUL.

DAAA/Algeria New fax/phone number for the ACC (Area Control) in Algiers: +213 (0)21 67 49 27until 23JUL.

AYZZ/Papua New Guinea Reports of civil unrest, student demonstrations across Papua New Guinea started in May 2016 and are ongoing. There have been violent clashes between students, other groups and the police in Port Moresby, Lae and the Highlands.

PWAK/Wake Island has advised its High Loader is out of action until later in the year, so for large aircraft like B767 upwards, no offload capability exists for cargo.

EGZZ/Scotland (Will we need a new ICAO code soon?) Glasgow ATC – at both EGPK and EGPF – has sporadic closures overnight at present due to staffing issues. Keep an eye on Notams.

WAAF/Ujung Pandang has some radar outages affecting high-level overflights, optimum levels may not be available.

LPPO/Santa Maria Oceanic has published four special routes for use during the upcoming “July Friday Strike Series” ATC Industrial Action. The Strike Time Period is : 0700-0900Z, during which time only these four routes will be accepted. -ROUTE A- 45N020W 40N030W 37N040W -ROUTE B- DETOX 39N020W 36N030W 34N040W -ROUTE C- LUTAK 36N020W 33N030W 29N040W -ROUTE D- ULTEM 27N040W

LIZZ/Italy We have been notified of possible ATC industrial action on 23JUL which was previously scheduled on 05JUL. Details and participation of relevant ACCs are as follows: National strike (ACCs and airports) 0800-1600 UTC. Local strike at LIRA – Ciampino 0800-1600 UTC.

VCBI/Colombo, Sri Lanka There was industrial action yesterday, 28JUN, by Immigration Officials, which may continue. Flight delays possible.

LEZZ/Spain There was a strike threatened by Apron Controllers at LEMD/Madrid but that was cancelled on Monday.

LPZZ/Portugal The seven unions of NAV Portugal sent a pre-notice for an industrial action for ATC and non-ATC personnel, during two hours daily on: 30JUN and 8/15/22/29JUL.

KATL/Atlanta Upgrades on the airport have officially started, which will include a new runway, concourse and hotel.

View the full International Bulletin 29JUN2016

Summer of ATC Strikes: This weeks update

European Air Traffic Controllers are striking in a fight against changes emanating from labour reform and the Single European Sky initiative. Curiously, Greece – normally a big fan of ATC strikes during the summer – has remained off the radar.

Here’s the latest, and it’s a growing list:

France
– Ongoing ATC Strikes – the latest ended on 06JUL at 0400Z. Nothing else on the horizon – for now.
– French overseas territories are also included in these strikes – so Tahiti, New Caledonia, Martinique, Guadeloupe have all joined in the action when it takes place.

Italy
– Strike announced for 23JUL, affecting Area Control Centre’s and Airports in Italy. Normally Italian strikes permit overflying traffic without restriction.

Iceland
– Ongoing sporadic strike action affecting BIKF, BIRK airports, and BIRD Oceanic FIR. Occasional entire closures of the airspace except for Emergency and scheduled flights. Eastbound Traffic from the US/Canada to Europe not accepted during these closures unless destination is in Scandinavia, the Baltics, or Russia.
– Since first week of July, westbound traffic is also not accepted in BIRD during strike periods. Check BIRD Notams.

Portugal
– Strikes announced for every Friday in July were cancelled last week

We’ll keep this page updated as we get updates.

 

Midweek Briefing 22JUN: Iceland ATC strike – end in sight, Israel FPL changes

Iceland ATC strike – end in sight 22JUN Operators on both sides of the Atlantic have been frustrated over the last 6 weeks with continual sporadic ATC Industrial action. And end may be in sight, but in the meantime keep a close eye on BIRK, BIKF and BIRD Notams. Read the article.

FPL changes: Israel 22JUN Current Flight Planning procedures for flights across Europe from Israel will change in light of a new agreement signed between Israel and Eurocontrol. Read the article.


LFZZ/France ATC Strike Number 9 gets underway today until 24JUN at 0400Z, usual disruption and restrictions apply. Avoid France where possible. NOTAM F1171/16 refers.

EGGX/Shanwick is having an 80’s party on the 28th of June at 1600Z. For engineering work, all the new technology is being taken offline for three hours, so no CPDLC, ADS-C or OCL. Instead we have Voice Reports, HF, Manual Clearance Requests (123.95 or 127.65), and so on; just like the good old days. When you hit 30W log on to Gander manually.

UMZZ/Belarus The Minsk FIR has updated its table of cruising levels and altitudes below Transition; view the AIC.

Gambia The UK FCO issued updated travel advice for The Gambia : “Demonstrations took place in April and May 2016 in Banjul. Demonstrations could occur at any time in any part of the country prior to presidential elections planned for 01DEC. You should be vigilant, avoid all demonstrations”

LPZZ/Portugal is joining the International ATC Strike Club and will begin with industrial action, for two hours daily on: June 30th, and July 8th,15th, 22nd and 29th.

KCXO/Houston Regional will be opening a new customs facility mid July. KCXO serves the Metro-Houston area and is 46 miles outside of town. The new CBP facility adds more choice to international operators over the already saturated Houston area airports.

KZZZ/United States The U.S. Navy has scrubbed the planned military GPS interference testing across the U.S. Southwest that was supposed to happen this month.

LWSS/Skopje is implementing Free Route Airspace in the Skopje ACC above FL245, effective 23JUN. FRA is available H24 with DCT limit unlimited. The ATS network above FL245 is withdrawn. Additional info is available in the Republic of Macedonia AIP AMD 58/16. New RAD measures can be found in the increment file and will become part of Annex 4 on AIRAC 1608.

LWZZ/Macedonia Late on 20JUN, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters gathered in central Skopje, Macedonia’s capital, to conduct another demonstration. The protesters gathered outside the Special Prosecution building before then marching to the Ministry of Justice building, where they broke some of its windows and threw red paint at its exterior.

EZZZ/Scandinavia Another Free Route Airspace update is happening in the two Functional Airspace Blocks NEFAB and DK/SE FAB. NEFRA Phase 1 will be implemented as of AIRAC 1607 on 23JUN, to implement H24 cross border Free Route Airspace between DK-SE FAB and NEFAB, except Norway, above FL285. ATS routes will be kept. Norway plans to implement cross-border Free Route Airspace spring 2017.

CYZZ/Canada has introduced “No Drone Zones” around airports that includes fines for offenders caught operating drones in the restricted areas. They are also drafting new legislation to strengthen rules regarding drone operations.

LEMD/Madrid may have industrial action on 28JUN, the Apron controllers are making noises about a strike. Not confirmed.

WAZZ/Indonesia FIR Ujung Pandang FIR has a couple of radar outages from 19-27JUN. Reroutes or delays are not likely, but strong potential for lower than optimum Flight Levels.

HECC/Cairo FIR If for some reason you are operating flights to or from Libya, then A: You’re probably not reading this bulletin carefully enough, and B: Be aware that you are required to obtain PPR from  Egypt via AFTN to HECAYNYX, at least 48 hours before the flight, in order to overfly Cairo FIR.

EGAA/Belfast ILS 25 out of service along with other ongoing runway and taxiway closures until 11AUG16. Please check EGAA NOTAM’s for specific closures.

EGLF/Farnborough Temporary restricted airspace will be in effect for the annual Farnborough Airshow 16-17JUL. AIC M 033/2016.

France The French authorities have extended the document checks at their borders, these measures will apply to all airports in France and also to Basel airport. Especially during the period of the European Football Championships, passengers travelling to/ from French airports are asked to ensure they have a valid identity document (passport or identity card) with them whilst travelling. A drivers license is not an acceptable document.

VTBB/Bangkok FIR Monsoon season runs July-September. Big potential for holding and airport closures in the region, taking extra fuel is recommended.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia FIR is introducing new Navigation Charges on 01JUL. All the maths is here.

LSZA/Lugano will close 10-19OCT due to heavy maintenance work on the main runway. No traffic will be able to operate. The airport operator has said 20OCT should be the reopening day but risk that this may be extended.

WMZZ/Malaysia Following a directive by the Malaysian Immigration Department, all foreign nationals travelling on all domestic flights will be required to produce passports upon passing through Immigration control, effective immediately.

Azerbaijan An online e-visa issuing system, called ASAN Visa, will be established that should streamline the visa application process. Eligible foreign nationals will be able to obtain supporting documents, submit their visa applications and receive an e-visa within three days of submission through the portal. The list of eligible nationals is expected to be available soon on the Foreign Ministry website.

EGPK/Prestwick has ongoing overnight closures due to ATC staffing problems, keep an eye on NOTAMs.

EIDW/Dublin will closed for 15 minutes at 1500Z on 23JUN due to a VIP departure.

NWWW/New Caledonia The South Pacific is not exempt from ATC strikes either; overnight closure of the NWWW airspace means no enroute traffic accepted in the FIR tonight – and sporadically ongoing. Note that the Fire Service also has reduced RFF category at specific times. Check Notams.

SKED/Bogota FIR NOTAM of the month award: Colombia Notam A1947 issued on 17JUN. Be aware of the potential for your Cabin Crew to request a change to the SID from ATC, unbeknownst to you. In full: “CHANGES TO STANDAR (sic) INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE (SID) COULD BE DONE BY RADIOTELEPHONY BETWEEN CABIN CREW AND THE CORRESPONDING ATS DEPARTMENT WHILE COMMUNICATION INTERCHANGE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH AERODROME OPERATIONS REF. AIP ENR 1.10”.

We actually have no idea what they mean. Let us know, and keep an eye out for those sneaky flight attendants.

LEPA/Palma has a bunch of outages, and runway and taxiway closures at present that will create restrictions and delays. Take a close look at your arrival and dep times before operating.

Suriname Immunisation checks for Yellow Fever are being carried out throughout June at all border check points, ports and international airports in Suriname; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate if required.

RJZZ/Japan On 22JUN heavy rains caused building damage and fatalities in southwestern Japan. At least six people died, as a result of the rain and mudslides across the island of Kyushu. Emergency personnel evacuated several hundred people due to the threat of further mudslides.

Uzbekistan has increased security due to a major summit, from 23-34JUN which may result in changes to flight departures and lengthy check in and security clearance at airports across the county.

View the full International Bulletin 22JUN2016

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