Tag: Saudi Arabia (page 1 of 2)

Saudi Arabia added to warning list

With a publication date of tomorrow (May 10), there is a new French AIC coming out “15/18: OVERFLIGHT OF CONFLICT ZONES“.

Of note is the new addition to the list – Saudi Arabia.

These French AIC’s use careful wording so as to completely avoid mentioning the specific threat for each country it includes in its list, but clearly in the case of Saudi Arabia, this new warning is related to the increased missile activity along the border with Yemen. The new advice to French carriers (but in reality, everyone) is:

– To exercise caution during flight operations in the airspace of Saudi Arabia (OEJD/JEDDAH FIR) and follow instructions given by the Saudi authorities providing air traffic services, particularly in the southwest of Saudi airspace in which SCATANA (Security Control of Air Traffic and Air Navigation Aids rules) may be activated by NOTAM by the Saudi authorities;

– Not to operate any flights to OEAB/Abha, OEGN/Jazan, OENG/Nejran, OESH/Sharurah, OEWD/Wadi Al Dawasir and OEBH/Bisha airports located in the southwest of the FIR – these airports should not be planned as alternates either.

The advice here is similar to the existing German Notam issued back in March, which warns against flying close to the border with Yemen, and to avoid landing at OEAB/Abha airport. The German Notam also makes a point of referencing the risk of operating to both OEJN/Jeddah and OERK/Riyadh, due to the high number of missile attacks launched against these airports from within Yemen recently.

With the overall increase in missile activity in the southwest of the country, there is now a clear risk to operations in Saudi airspace, even outside the SCATANA area. The conflict between Saudi Arabia and Yemen remains complex and volatile. Safeairspace continues to provide up-to-date information for both Saudi and Yemen airspace.

Further reading:

Saudi – Yemen Airspace Update

In Short: Avoid Yemen & Southern Saudi airspace, and monitor risk for OERK/Riyadh. The armed conflict continues with regular ballistic missile launches from Yemen.

Once again there is increased missile activity in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, with a reported 35 missiles launched from rebels in Yemen this year. 14 of these were in April – about the same amount as August 2016 and December 2015, but most are now being shot down by Saudi Patriot missiles; only 3 have struck Saudi soil this year.

OERK/Riyadh continues to be on the radar for the Houthi’s. Of most concern, an F-15 was hit by a SAM over Yemen on 21 March, fired from OYSH. There is definitely a risk to operations in Saudi airspace, even outside the Scatana area.

So far the only missile attack known to have resulted in any casualties was on Mar 25, when seven ballistic missiles were fired toward Saudi Arabia from within Yemen. Yemeni forces said they were targeting OERK/Riyadh Airport and other sites in the capital. The Saudi government said that all seven missiles were intercepted and destroyed, although one person died and two more were injured by falling fragments of one missile over a residential neighbourhood in Riyadh.

Much of the information comes from state media and cannot always be independently verified. As the propaganda campaign continues, a New York Times investigation suggested that at least one of the most high-profile attacks from 2017 may not have been “shot-down” or intercepted by Saudi defense systems at all.

 

The conflict and insurgency on the ground remains complex and volatile. Safeairspace continues to provide up-to-date information for both Saudi and Yemen airspace.

Yemen is still at FSB Risk Level: One – DO NOT FLY – We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. The FAA and several other agencies have amended their advice and the current airspace advice map looks like this at present:

SCATANA rules are active in the southern part of Saudi Arabia, due to the current Saudi-led Intervention in Yemen.

This NOTAM, published by authorities in Yemen for the OYSC/Sanaa FIR, can definitely be taken with a grain of salt:

A0026/17 – ALL YEMEN AIRPORTS EXCEPTS TAIZ HODEIDAH AND MUKALLA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS ARE AVAILABLE AND READY TO HANDLE ALL FLIGHTS INTENDING TO FLY TO OR FROM YEMENI AIRPORTS ALSO SANAA ACC IS COMPLETELY READY TO PROVIDE ATC SERVICES TO ALL FLIGHTS OVER FLY SANAA FIR AND BASED ON THE DECLARATION OF DECISIVE STORM TERMINATION WE CONFIRM THAT SANAA FIR AND YEMENI AIRPORTS ARE SAFE EXCEPT THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE. 03 APR 18:00 2017 UNTIL PERM. CREATED: 01 JUL 15:24 2017

Extra Reading:

Qatar airspace update – military jets intercepting civil flights

In short: The situation is volatile and constantly changing, even by the hour. Military interception has been reported so the best advice is to be vigilant with sticking to assigned routes for all operations around the region.

The airspace blockade of Qatar has been ongoing since June 2017 with little end in sight.

But over the past few months, tensions have been escalating;

Here is the latest operational information we have:

A reminder that Qatar does not have its own FIR. It sits entirely within the Bahrain FIR- you will find Qatar airspace NOTAMs under OBBB. The Doha TMA extends SFC to FL245. Above this sits the Bahrain UIR.

Bahrain and Egypt have relaxed some of their initial restrictions. Saudi and UAE have not.

The current state of play as of 6 April 2018.

CountryNon-QATAR registeredQATAR registered
Egypt (HECC) No NOTAM'd restrictions.No NOTAM'd restrictions.

(NOTAM A0032/18)
Temporary RNAV5 ATS Route T565 established between RASDA-GESAD-RAMKU, FL300-310 for Qatar registered aircraft flights between Beirut and North African Airports.
Bahrain (OBBB)(NOTAM A0204/17)
No flights allowed between Kingdom of Bahrain and State of Qatar and vice-versa.


Multiple restrictions for STATE (and Military) aircraft transiting Bahrain airspace to avoid overflying Qatar. Some operations approved over Qatar but prior approval required. See NOTAMs.

(NOTAM A0219/17)
Operators not registered in Kingdom of Bahrain intending to operate non-scheduled flights or charter flights including private flights, cargo and passenger from or to the State of Qatar via Bahrain airspace shall obtain approval from the Bahrain CAA by providing a copy of detailed manifest of the flight including passenger names at least 24 hours prior to departure to:

Email: schedule@mtt.gov.bh
Ph: +97317329035 or +97317329096
(NOTAM A204/17)
No flights allowed between Kingdom of Bahrain and State of Qatar.


(NOTAM A0219/17) All flights registered in the State of Qatar are not authorized to overfly Bahrain airspace.

*except*

(NOTAM A0220/17)
All routes within Bahrain FIR are available for Flights affected by NOTAM A0219/17, except airways that fall within the Bahrain airspace (over the island of Bahrain).
Saudi Arabia (OEJD)(NOTAM A0596/17)
All NON-Saudi or NON-Qatari registered aircraft intending to use Saudi Airspace to/from Qatar Airports shall coordinate with General authority of Civil Aviation within one-week to obtain permission.

Email: special@gaca.gov.sa
Ph: +966115253336

It appears this does not apply if you are simply overflying Qatar.
(NOTAM A0592+593/17)
All overflights and landing authorizations revoked UFN.
UAE (OMAE)(NOTAM A0848/17) Operators not registered in UAE intending to operate non-scheduled flights or charter including private flights, cargo and passenger from or to the state of Qatar via UAE airspace shall obtain approval from the GCAA aviation security affairs by providing a detailed manifest of the flight including passengers names at least 24 hours prior to departure to:

Email: avsec-di@gcaa.gov.ae
Ph: +971 50 642 4911

This seems to include overflights over UAE bound to Qatar.
Not authorized to overfly UAE airspace, depart or land at UAE aerodromes.

There is however a temporary RNAV1 ATS Route T665 from DAPER DCT KUSBA DCT RORON DCT OVONA (FL220-400) open to Qatari registered aircraft for flights inbound to Qatar. (NOTAM A0459/18)
Kuwait (OKAC)No NOTAM'd restrictionsNo NOTAM'd restrictions
Iran (OIIX)No restrictions.

(NOTAM A0636/18)
There is however an AIP SUP that includes a comprehensive "standard and mandatory traffic orientation scheme" for flights operating into Bahrain FIR bound for Qatar airports.

AIP SUP 03/18
No restrictions however several additional routes have been made available to facilitate movement from Muscat FIR to Qatar. See OOMM & OIIX NOTAMs.
Expect level constraints.

Traffic Orientation Scheme as per AIP SUP 03/18 applies.
Yemen (OYSC)No NOTAM'd restrictions.

See safe airspace map - there is ongoing conflict in the region. FSB Risk Level One - DO NOT FLY. We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely.
Saudi NOTAM A0604/17 purports to be a NOTAM "On behalf of Republic of Yemen/Aden."
"All aircraft registered in the State of Qatar not authorized to overfly Republic of Yemen airspace.
Although it appears Qatar aircraft are not strictly adhering to this. No such NOTAM issued by OYSC FIR.

See safe airspace map - there is ongoing conflict in the region. FSB Risk Level One - DO NOT FLY. We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely.

 

_________________________________________________________________________

Have you been through the region recently? Can you provide an update?

Extra Reading:

Some fascinating reporting about what this whole blockade is all about.

  • How a ransom for Royal falconers reshaped the Middle East” – New York Times
  • What the falcons up with Qatar?” – NPR Podcast

 

Missile attack on OERK/Riyadh was “warning shot”, other airports now targets

Update: Yemen-based Houthi forces fired another missile into Saudi Arabia on Dec 19. Saudi Arabia claim they intercepted it south of the capital Riyadh, with no damage or casualties reported, though a loud explosion was heard throughout the capital. The Houthi forces claim they were targeting a palace in southern Riyadh. This follows the previous Houthi missile attack on OERK/Riyadh Airport on Nov 4th, when they said: “the missile that targeted King Khalid airport was a warning shot and we warn all companies to prevent landing of their planes in the UAE and Saudi Arabia airports”. A Yemeni Army spokesman has said that the November 4 missile attack on OERK was a “warning shot”.

That missile was launched from rebel territory in Yemen, specifically targeting OERK/Riyadh King Khalid airport. Although most mainstream media carried the “missile was intercepted” story, we’re not sure that this is the case – even if it was, parts of it did fall on airport property and there was a visible explosion.

The spokesman said “the missile that targeted King Khalid airport was a warning shot and we warn all companies to prevent landing of their planes in the UAE and Saudi Arabia airports”.

Given that the Yemeni rebels have demonstrated their capability of reaching their target, there is some credibility to the threat.

Operators should consider this in operations to OE** and OM** airports.

At present, there is no indication of increased threat to overflight of Saudi or UAE airspace.

On Monday, the Saudi Arabia coalition closed all air, sea and land borders with Yemen after the missile strike on Riyadh on Nov 4, effectively closing all airports in Yemen. Yemenia airlines said that the coalition, which controls Yemen’s airspace, had declined it permission to fly out of Aden and Seiyun, the only two remaining functioning airports. OYSN/Sanaa has been closed since August 2016.

Also, all UN humanitarian flights to Yemen, one of the few international operators, have been cancelled after flights were no longer given clearance from the Saudi-led coalition to land in the country.

SCATANA remains active in the southwestern portion of the Jeddah FIR, no new Notams have been issued in relation to the last few days.

For further:

  • Monitor Saudi Arabia page on SafeAirspace
  • Monitor OPSGROUP member updates
  • Talk to us at team@fsbureau.org

 

Qatar – What We Know

There have been many reports of countries cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar.  We’ll leave the speculation to the media, we want to break down what it means for operators and aircraft owners.  Just the facts.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Libya, Yemen, Maldives, and Mauritius have all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar.

As of now, only Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and UAE have placed flight restrictions on flights to/from Qatar. No known restrictions (beyond those known for Libya and Yemen anyhow) for the remaining countries mentioned in reports.

The new regulations are quite clear. You cannot overfly or land at any airport in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, or UAE with a Qatari registered aircraft. If you have a non-Qatari registered aircraft, and need to operate to/from Qatar and use the mentioned countries airspace you’ll need special approvals from the authorities below:

Saudi Arabia GACA:
+966115253336
special@gaca.gov.sa

Egypt ECAA:
+202 22678535
+202 24175605
AFTN: HECAYAYX

UAE GCAA:
+971 50 642 4911
avsec-di@gcaa.gov.ae

 

No special exemptions have been mentioned by Bahrain, but they’ve given the following routing for those effected by the restrictions:

UT430 OUTBOUND VIA RAGAS
UR659 INBOUND VIA MIDSI

Due to the situation, Iran has published special routing schemes for transitioning their airspace, as they’ll get quite busy:

Qatar to Ankara:
FL150-FL190, RAGAS-UT430-LAGSA-UL223-TESVA/ALRAM

Qatar to Muscat and Karachi FIR:
FL150-FL19, expect climb after KIS
RAGAS-M561-ASVIB (To Karachi)
RAGAS-M561-KHM-BUBAS (To Muscat)

Ankara to Qatar:
Between FL240 to FL300, ALRAM-UT36-MIDSI

Muscat to Karachi to Qatar:
Between FL240 to FL260, N312/A453-MIDSI

Also, if flying from Ankara to UAE (except OMAA), use the below routing:
BONAM-L319-RADID-M317-KUPTO-G666-ORSAR

The situation is fluid, and we will update this post as we continue to collect news.

International Bulletin: Winter is Coming, Updated Canada Requirements

Winter is coming 09NOV With the clocks changing, it’s a reminder that we’re not far away from the snowstorms, deicing delays, cancelled flights, airport shutdowns, and those big invoices for de-icing fluid. Our new author Frank Young has an article.

Updated Canada requirements 09NOV From tomorrow, November 10, an eTA is now mandatory for flights to Canada (for most people), and there’s an update to flying to Canada with a previous conviction. Read the article.


BIKF/Keflavik Long a destination for flight certification testing (because it’s cold and windy), will not accept test flights until February next year, thanks to runway renovation work.

ZZZZ/Worldwide Last week we ran a story about the new ICAO SID/STAR phraseolgies. In short, some countries are implementing, and others aren’t. We’re going to make a list of who’s doing what, so that you as an operator or pilot will have some idea. Can you help us? What is your country doing? Tell us at bulletin@fsbureau.org.

LTBA/Istanbul At about 0100 local time on 6 November, two people on a motorcycle opened fire outside Istanbul Ataturk International Airport, prompting a temporary closure. Reports indicate that authorities apprehended both suspects and did not find additional weapons or explosives on their persons. Officials briefly placed the airport on lockdown but reopened the facility at about 0130. The incident reportedly did not affect flights, and the gunfire harmed no civilians or police officers.

CZZZ/NAT Region The FAA has recently determined that time estimates provided by pilots in oceanic CTAs are less accurate than expected, particularly when adverse weather causes pilots to deviate from the planned course. These inaccurate estimates can compromise the separation of aircraft. Have a read.

YMML/Melbourne Be aware of recent hoax ATC calls. Someone with a handheld radio has been making “go-around” transmissions on the Tower frequency, and at least one aircraft has responded. Airservices says there have been 15 such transmissions in the last few weeks.

CZZZ/Canada The NBAA has issued useful updated info for flying to Canada with previous convictions – Canada is known for refusing entry based on DUI charges. Today, November 9, is also the last day that you can enter Canada without an eTA.

PWAK/Wake Island – an ETOPS alternate – is closed on 11NOV for Veterans Day. They do say they will attend with 30 mins notice, so maybe two ETOPS circles are required for that day. Check other US ETOPS alternates on this date also.

UCZZ/Kyrgyzstan Since 4 November, if you’re staying for longer than 5 days, you must register with the local authorities.

PKMJ/Majuro is downgraded to Cat 6 until November 23, which may affect some operators using this as an ETOPS alt.

EGNX/East Midlands airport has some weekend closures for the next six weeks.

VIZZ/India announced on 8 November that 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes will cease to be legal tender as of 0000 local on 9 November 2016.

EVLA/Liepaja (one of Latvia’s three international airports) is now closed to all operations. They say they will be open again in Spring 2017. Fingers crossed.

LAZZ/Albania has been experiencing heavy rains, high winds and flooding throughout the country, causing road blockages, school closures, and disruptions in ferry services. The army has been mobilized for rescue and relief operations.

LFLL/Lyon If you’ve been using LFLL as an alternate at weekends, you’ll have to cut that out from December 10th, they don’t want weekend diversions of non-sched flights.

EGKK/Gatwick has advised of a new series of rail strikes that will run through to January next year.

MHTG/Central America FIR reminds operators that a CENAMER notification by AFTN is required for all flights planning to enter the airspace.

MTZZ/Haiti The US has published updated advice for Haiti: U.S. citizens are advised not to travel to the southern peninsula of Haiti, commonly referred to as the “southern claw.” The U.S. Embassy has currently banned unofficial travel to the southern peninsula and allows official travel only after consultation with its security office. There is widespread devastation throughout the southern claw with the most affected areas on the western tip of the peninsula. Travelers can expect difficult travel conditions with roads made impassable by landslides, damaged roads, and bridge failures. There is also widespread damage to buildings and infrastructure, including gas stations and cell towers, loss of electricity, and shortages of food and potable water. U.S. citizens who choose to travel to the southern claw in spite of these risks should carry sufficient water, food, fuel, and medicine to last longer than their anticipated stay. The security environment around the southern claw is fluid and uncertain.

LFOB/Paris Beauvais is closed overnight from 2200 to 0600Z, for 14-25 November inclusive, due to stuff.

HAZZ/Ethiopia On November 8, the Command Post – the body tasked with implementing Ethiopia’s state of emergency – lifted the restriction imposed on foreign diplomats, which restricted them from traveling more than 25 mi/40 km outside of Addis Ababa. The Command Post also lifted and revised several other state of emergency provisions; however, the changes are minor and are not likely to affect the current situation. The curfew and communication restrictions remain in place

NFTF/Tonga Fua’amoto (the main airport) has new operating hours – these are, in UTC: 1600 SUN TO 0530 MON, 1025 MON TO 0800 TUE, 1600 TUE TO 0530 WED, 1000 WED TO 0800 THU,0900 THU TO 1200 THU, 1600 THU TO 0530 FRI, 1600 FRI TO 0800 SAT. They’ll accept div traffic outside these hours, call +676 22 608 – but prefer no surprises on Sundays.

OMAA/Abu Dhabi will see heavy traffic for the Grand Prix on November 27, avoid if possible.

SBZZ/Brazil The office that processes Foreign Civil overlight and landing permits has updated hours of operation: Mon-Fri 1230Z-2230Z.

SBCT/Curitiba airport would like 4 hour PPR notice for non-scheduled flights, and request that you call them on 55-41-3381-1478 to arrange that.

SPJC/Lima, Peru has an upcoming APEC meeting 14-21 November, with a decent increase in traffic expected, and a few restrictions. They’ve also warned pilots to pay attention to radios and transponder codes to avoid them sending up the jets – good advice.

TVSV/ET Joshua Airport is closed due to flooding.

VECC/Kolkata Radio has a new HF frequency: 8861, with hours 1330Z-0130Z. Use this if 6556 or 10066 isn’t working for you.

CZQX/Gander is going to auto-send you a “Confirm Assigned Route” message from 01DEC, on entry into their OCA – if you are FANS 1/A equipped. If you’re not sure how to feel about that, read our previous article.

LCCC/Nicosia There’s a good deal of mil activity – UN, and Russian – in the Cyprus region at the moment. Read the LCCC and surrounding FIR Notams carefully. Oh, and if you’re not up to date on your Greek-Turkish FIR dispute, add LGGG and LTBB to that. As 2016 draws to a close, enough regional history has been published for an entire novel. This weeks Notam series covers the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty.

NZZC/New Zealand published a change to SID procedures today, and our brain hurts. We’re not sure if this is related to the 10NOV ICAO SID/STAR changes, or .. something else. If you’ve got it deciphered, let us know. THE STANDARD INSTRUMENT DEPARTURE (SID) SPECIFIES IN BOTH DIAGRAMMATIC AND NARRATIVE FORM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: THE DIRECTION OF TURN, HEADINGS, TRACK, DISTANCES, SIGNIFICANT POINTS AND ALTITUDE REQUIREMENTS. WHERE TRACKING TO OR FROM A NAVIGATION AID IS NOT POSSIBLE, DESIRED TRACKS ARE SHOWN AND DUE ALLOWANCE FOR WIND IS TO BE MADE. AIRCRAFT ARE TO CONTINUE CLIMBING THROUGHOUT THE SID UNLESS IN COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLISHED ATC MAINTAINS, DEPARTURE MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDE (MSA) OR AS OTHERWISE INSTRUCTED. WHERE CONTINUOUS CLIMB TO THE END OF THE SID IS NOT REQUIRED A DEPARTURE MSA MAY BE DEPICTED ON THE RELEVANT CHART. THE DEPARTURE MSA REPRESENTS THE LOWEST ALTITUDE FOR OBSTACLE CLEARANCE ALONG THE ENTIRE DEPARTURE ROUTE (INCLUDING TRANSITIONS). IT REMAINS THE PILOT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MEET SUBSEQUENT ENROUTE MSA/MINIMUM FLIGHT ALTITUDE (MFA)/MRA/MEA REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE AFTER SID TERMINATION. DEPARTURE MINIMUM SAFE ALTITUDES DO NOT ENSURE CONTROLLED AIRSPACE CONTAINMENT.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia has issued an extension of the policy that requires all aircraft with a destination in Yemen to first land in OEBH/Bisha – through to 08FEB next year. The only exceptions are the UN, Red Cross, and MSF.

VHHK/Hong Kong is going to move to a new ACC and ATC Tower towards the end of this month. There will be delays. The actual date hasn’t yet been notified, we’ll let you know when we hear.

View the full International Bulletin 09NOV2016

International Bulletin: Sharm El Sheikh reopens, New ICAO Phraseologies 10NOV

Sharm El Sheikh reopens 03NOV  HESH/Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt has reopened to international traffic, with a number of airlines starting services again on 01NOV. However, there are conflicting views on security at the airport, depending on your state of registry. Read article.

New ICAO Phraseologies 03NOV From 10NOV, new international aviation phraseology for SIDs and STARs is effective, but there’s a problem. Read article.


OEJN/Jeddah, Saudi Arabia On 27OCT, Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. The Houthis confirmed the launch via the Saba news agency, saying that the missile was targeting Jeddah International Airport (OEJN), not the holy city of Mecca, as some other news reports had claimed.

EHEH/Eindhoven has new procedures for PPR effective 30OCT – if you’re flying there, get PPR direct from the airport. You can read all the info on their new GA page. Oh, and there’s now a fee. €300 for PPR for a 21 ton aircraft, for example.

LFMN/Nice Runway 04R/22L will be closed during November.

WARR/Juanda Airport is closed due to works in progress except for helicopter medical evacuations from until 15NOV

UTZZ/Tajikistan Disagreement between Russia and Tajikistan may lead to operational restrictions between the two countries. Air traffic between Moscow and Dushanbe may be suspended from 08NOV.

FAZZ/South Africa Reports this week suggest that foreign nationals entering South Africa through any port of entry should expect delays up to four hours due to a new enhanced security measure that requires the capture of fingerprints and a photograph. OR Tambo in Jo’burg seems to be the worst offender.

BGKK/Kulusuk has updated opening hours: 1100-1900Z Tuesday to Saturday. They ask for 3 hours minimum notice PPR.

PLCH/Christmas Island Fuel is in short supply, notified as being only available for Scheduled service and emergency flights. PLCH is often used on Pacific crossings as an alternate, so any diversion would be considered an ‘emergency’, but check before actually planning a tech stop.

LEZZ/Spain Previously notified fuel strike now appears to be one provider only, so it looks like impact minimal.

DGAA/Accra ATC is having a few VHF issues, primarily on 126.7 – if you can’t reach them, call HF 8903 instead.

EDDT/Berlin Tegel will be busy 14-18 NOV due to state visits, they won’t accept GA/Private traffic during this time, but you can check specifics with them at vvd-txl@berlin-airport.de

HLLS/Sabha, Libya The airport has been closed for over 2 years due to fighting in the area. A new Notam has been issued which officially extends the closure period to 26DEC, as talks continue between the authorities and local groups to find a way to re-open the airport.

LYBE/Belgrade Jet A1 not available through the airport fuel service provider until the end of the month. Make sure you get a confirmed fuel release through a third-party fuel provider before operating here.

LTZZ/Turkey On 29 October, the US Department of State ordered the departure of family members of employees posted to the US Consulate General in Istanbul due to security information indicating extremist groups continued aggressive efforts to attack US citizens in Istanbul. US Operators should consider ops into airports in Turkey carefully.

OMDB/Dubai Traffic was stopped for approx 1.5 hours on 29OCT due to a drone. The Airport closed from 1930-2050 LT, and some flights were diverted. OMSJ/Sharjah was also briefly closed due to the same drone. Unauthorized drones have halted airport operations in Dubai twice in recent months.

GMZZ/Morocco is busy from 4-20NOV, GA and non-sched traffic will see restrictions. Check their Notam A0896 from 01NOV. If you’re part of the event, put RMK/COP22 in your FPL. No long stays will be allowed.

WSSL/Singapore Seletar We’ve received crew reports of challenges with visual approaches into Seletar (there are no instrument approaches). There are unlighted obstacles on the approach to Runway 21. After dark, approaches are only possible to Runway 03. More importantly, noise rules will soon demand a challenging base turn, greater than 5 degrees, to a half-mile 3.5 degree final, to a 1% down slope runway. We welcome further comments (bulletin@fsbureau.org).

LGZZ/Greece There will be a ferry strike between the Greek mainland and all Islands on 24NOV. No services will operate that day.

FTZZ/Chad Reports of nationwide public service strike including Airport operations at N’Djamena. The unions stated that the strike will persist until the government pays overdue wage arrears.

View Full International Bulletin 03NOV2016

International Bulletin: Hong Kong pain in the ass, Haiti relief operations

Hong Kong is a pain in the ass – it’s official 20OCT Authorities in Hong Kong confirmed yesterday that the airport is a giant pain, especially for non-scheduled operators. Lining up slots, parking, permits and handling is extremely difficult. End result: a mountain of frustration. Read the article.

Haiti relief operations – and Airbus Flight 101 20OCT After Hurricane Matthew last week, MTPP/Port-au-Prince (Toussaint Louverture) became a central focus in relief efforts for Haiti. OpsGroup member Airbus operated an amazing relief flight from Lyon. Read the article.


VTZZ/Thailand is in a period of mourning following the death of His Majesty, King Bhumibol on 13 October. This is a time of deep sorrow for Thai people – refrain from any behaviour that may be interpreted as festive, disrespectful or disorderly. Abide by local laws and respect Thai customs. There may be some disruption of commercial and public services during the mourning period, especially during the first 30 days (until 13 November). Tourist attractions are open with the exception of Wat Pra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) and the Grand Palace in Bangkok. Expect traffic disruptions and heightened security around these areas as people pay their respects to the late King.

EBBR/Brussels All non-scheduled flights destined to EBBR are allowed only after special permission by Airport Authority before start of flight. Contact +32 2 7536900 or inspect@brusselsairport.be.

DTZZ/Tunisia extended the state of emergency on 18OCT, set to expire, by three months. The state of emergency went into effect following a series of terrorist attacks in 2015 and has been extended multiple times.

ORBB/Baghdad FIR Traffic entering from Baghdad FIR (ORBB) to Ankara FIR (LTAA) shall file their FPL as follows: NINVA-OTKEP-SRT at FL320 and above. NOTAM A4572/16 refers.

Solomon Islands There has been a confirmed outbreak of dengue fever in the capital city, Honiara; you should follow the advice of the local authorities and take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes; you should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling to the Solomon Islands

TXKF/Bermuda Due to maintenance, the Bermuda Radar system will be out of service on Friday. Recommended reroute to avoid airspace. New York Center overflight procedures will be in effect. Routes have been developed to provide limited non-radar service within the airspace. All departures from Bermuda will be held down at FL310.

OJAI/Amman, Jordan Runway 26L/08R will be closed for urgent pavement maintenance on these days in November:  01,08,15,22,29: from 0930-1330Z. The airport will not be available for either normal operations or emergency diverts during the closure period.

OEZZ/Saudi Arabia From 8 to 10 October there were several missile attacks reported near the Saudi / Yemeni border and the southern Red Sea.

ZZZZ/Worldwide Regulatory and voluntary bans on Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphones is spreading as airlines and airport authorities around the world are announcing bans or restricted usage on the device, which has been withdrawn by Samsung after some devices caught fire. Ban notices are being issued primarily through airline online check-in pages, as well as via public announcements in airport terminals and onboard aircraft. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) was first to issue a total ban on taking the device on board, as a passenger or as air cargo, when it gave an emergency order Oct. 15 with FAA.The devices are being banned because of fire concerns, and the fallout following an incident involving a smoking smartphone on board a Southwest Airlines aircraft in Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 5.

YZZZ/Australia will not be implementing the changes in the ICAO PANS-ATM (Doc 4444), as they say they haven’t had enough time to work on the safety case – ie. figuring out if these changes are dangerous in any way. In short, they won’t be saying “Climb via SID” or “Climb via STAR”, which are the new phraseologies.

TTZP/Piarco wins the award for most confusing AIC of the week, namely AIC03/16 issued on 13OCT. Titled “RVSM Implementation”, it appears that Trinidad is finally implementing RVSM in their airspace. But wait, they did that in 2005. So what’s new in this AIC? It’s a mystery. Take a look and see if you can spot it.

KLAX/Los Angeles 3 out of the 4 runways at KLAX have now been renovated. Runway 6R/24L reopened on 16OCT after renovations. Improvements to the fourth and final runway, 07L/25R, will begin OCT22 and continue until June 2017. This last runway will be partially closed until January, and then closed completely to allow for more extensive work to be done

FSIA/Seychelles Runway will be closed on Thursday 20 and 27 Oct between 1815-0245z and Friday 21 and 28 Oct between 1900-0215z. Can be opened in cases of emergency.

UHPP/Petropavlovsk Eruption in progress at Klyuchevskoy volcano (N5603E16038) near UHPP. Ash cloud reported at 0720z on 17 Oct from ground level up to FL300.

VVZZ/Vietnam Typhoon Sarika is forecast to bring hazardous sea and weather conditions to parts of northern Vietnam from around 19 October 2016; heavy rainfall could lead to flooding and landslides

KLAS/Las Vegas Because of the next presidential debate that will be held in Las Vegas on October 19, 2016, intermittent road closures will affect access to McCarran International Airport (LAS) between 4 pm and 10 pm on that date. The recommended route to the airport from the east side of the valley is westbound Flamingo Road to southbound Paradise Road. The recommended route to the airport from the west side of the valley is eastbound Tropicana Avenue to southbound Paradise Road.

OIIX/Tehran FIR The minimum safe level on R462 between DENDA and METBI has been raised to FL140.

KSFO/San Francisco has a new ATC Tower operational since Sunday last, located between Terminals 1 and 2. Per the local report, it “offers controllers a 650-square-foot work area with unobstructed 235-degree views of the airport’s runways and taxiways”. Hopefully there’s not much going on in the other 125 degrees.

OSZZ/Syria Russia’s only aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, is nearing the end of a work-up period outside the port of Murmansk before heading for the eastern Mediterranean, reportedly to begin air operations against targets in Syria.

EGPK/Prestwick will be closed from midnight to 0400Z on 21OCT, due to a planned ATC power outage. ATC reachable during outage at +447917 424603.

RPZZ/Philippines Typhoon Sarika recently passed through the island of Luzon as a category 4 storm. Transportation routes, power and telecommunications systems could be affected in some areas. Other services that may be affected in these areas include emergency and medical care, as well as water and food supplies. If travelling to affected areas, exercise caution, monitor local news and weather reports, and follow the advice of local authorities.

View full International Bulletin 20OCT2016 

Midweek Briefing 06JUL: Hong Kong capacity problems, Iceland: The fun continues

Hong Kong capacity problems 06JUL During this year, the Hong Kong CAA has issued a couple of warnings to operators to stick carefully to their allocated slots, but it’s not making much of a difference to operations there. Read the article.

Iceland: The fun continues 06JUL Last week there were some really positive indications that the ATC strike in Iceland was coming to an end, but it’s now worse than ever, with Westbound, Eastbound, and landing traffic all affected. Read the article.


HECC/Cairo FIR A restriction exists for traffic to and from the Amman FIR, so if overflying Jordan and then Egypt, or vice versa, you can only use the waypoint METSA.

OMAE/Emirates FIR has some updated peak times. Departures need a slot between 0630-0730Z and 1700-0000Z. Arrivals will be spaced 5 mins apart during these times also, as will aircraft entering the OMAE FIR from nearby airports like Muscat, Isa, and Baghdad.

EIDW/Dublin Runway 10/28 is closed overnight until 09JUL.

OERK/Riyadh, Saudi Arabia will be hosting the ‘Global Ministerial Aviation Summit’ 29AUG-31AUG. 55 different ministers from various countries are expected to be in attendance. Be aware of potential restrictions leading up to and after the event.

CYFB/Iqaluit Another NAT alternate favourite, CYFB has some runway closures throughout July.

EGCC/Manchester is doing some work on 05L/23R overnight until 08JUL and has advised operators to carry some extra gas due possibility of holding.

LOWW/Vienna has published a helpful list of rush hour periods – worth avoiding these times as holding is common at VIE. The times are: 0530-0750, 0920-1030, 1140-1240, 1340-1500, 1615-1800, and 1840-1940Z.

BIZZ/Iceland Despite optimistic reports of a resolution to the ATC dispute in Iceland last week, the situation remains unresolved. Last night BIRD Oceanic was closed to most Eastbound traffic once again, as was BIKF. A new addition to restrictions is a closure to many Westbound flights on Wednesday 06JUL – “DUE TO STAFF SHORTAGE IN REYKJAVIK OACC WESTBOUND TFC PLANNING TO ENTER BIRD FROM ENSV VIA GUNPA,VALDI, IPTON, INGAL, ISVIG AND EGPX VIA LIRKI, GONUT, OLKER, MATIK AND RATSU AND THEN PROCEEDING INTO EGGX OR CZQX SHALL REMAIN SOUTH OF BIRD CTA” Read the article.

EDYY/Maastricht ATC have requested crews operating through the Maastricht UIR to log on to CPDLC EDYY, if you have datalink. While voice remains the primary comms method, you might get an uplink message if the frequency is busy – it’s not a test, you should confirm – most of these uplinks are likely to be frequency changes.

EPZZ/Poland has advised operators to check carefully whether permission is required in advance of operations at airports other than EPWW/Warsaw. Many countries including Poland have reinstated Border Controls within the Schengen zone. Best advice is to treat each country as having full Border Controls for the moment (so think Passport, GenDec, etc.)

SPIM/Lima FIR (Note that the airport is now SPJC, distinct from the FIR code) is shutting down airway UG427 after 21JUL.

SUEO/Montevideo ACC (Uruguay) has some comms issues in it’s airspace, and has advised of some extreme spacing between aircraft irrespective of FL – 40nm. For now, this ends today (06JUL) but may happen again.

WSZZ/Singapore Qualifying citizens of Singapore are now eligible to apply for US Global Entry membership – and benefit from expedited entry to the United States at designated airports. Similarly, qualified U.S. citizens are eligible for enrolment in Singapore’s enhanced-Immigration Automated Clearance System (eIACS).

ZMUB/Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia is downgraded to RFF Cat 7 until 10JUL. Also, from 12-16JUL, you can’t file this as an alternate which may limit your options somewhat.

LFPG/Paris due to maintenance on the ILS for Runway 08L/26R from 18JUL to 02OCT. The only approaches that will be available will be RNAV based procedures (LNAV/VNAV, LPV, LNAV) and VOR/DME.

GQNN/Nouakchott, Mauritania has moved to a new international airport this June. Located approximately 10nm north of the city, it has an annual passenger capacity of 2 million. Infrastructure from the capital’s old airport was transported to the new one.

SECU/Cuenca Following the landing incident on 28APR of an E190, all inbound flights will be reportedly be held if the runway is wet – until end of August.

LFMH/St Etiennee Fuel outage on 07JUL, 0800-1100 UTC.

Canada/Mexico From 01DEC2016, Mexican nationals will be able to travel to Canada without a visa for business and tourism for up to 90 days.

Turkey/Russia Russia has lifted the travel restrictions on tourists between the two countries. The ban was put in place following the downing of a Russian military aircraft last year.

Bangladesh Germany, Australia and the U.K. have banned direct cargo flights from Bangladesh due to security concerns.

Israel/China The Israeli parliament has ratified a multiple-entry visa agreement with China, under which Chinese business visitors and tourists can enter Israel multiple times with the same ten-year visa and vice versa.

EZZZ/Europe the European Union updated Air Safety list (aka the Airline Blacklist) on 17JUN, and lifted a ban on Zambian air carriers.

Uganda Introduction of ‘e-visa’ system. You must show a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate on arrival.

ZJSA/Sanya FIR, China has an ADS-B trial up and running on L642 and M771. Radar is still the primary separation tool, but ATC ask that you check your Flight ID matches your FPL.

View the full International Bulletin 06JUL2016

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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