Tag: slots

Canadian Ops Update

Just a short update on a few things happening in Canada that you might have missed…

Nationwide
  • There has been a change in the Maximum Indicated Airspeeds for holding patterns to bring them more in line with the rest of the world. This came into effect on 11OCT18 and will be reflected in the 08NOV18 AIP update. Refer AIC 25/18.

  • It’s been over a year and a half since NavCanada suspended it’s Climb/Descend via SID phraseology, adding a complication for pilots that regularly cross the border from USA to Canada and v.v. It initially trialed then quickly suspended them “out of concern over altitude deviations we were seeing in the system and the unforeseen large increase in workload as a result. We are continuing to communicate with airlines, aircraft operators and our employees as we revert to the phraseology rules that were in place prior to this change.​” We understand this phraseology has now been officially put in the trash and wont be returning.
CYYZ/Toronto Pearson Airport
  • There are new nighttime RNAV approaches starting in CYYZ/Toronto Pearson from 08NOV18. These RNAV (GNSS) X instrument approach procedures are for night-time ops between 0030L-0630L on runways 5/6L/6R/23/24L/24R. The procedures are designed to minimize the noise footprint. The ATIS will advertise these as the primary approach type when they are active. Pilots can expect to be cleared directly to the initial approach waypoint, then subsequently cleared for the approach including the appropriate transition. Refer AIC 28/18.

  • Slots are currently required for all flights between 0030-0630 local time. The airport authority was planning to make slots mandatory for all GA/BA flights H24 from Nov 17 onwards, but this will now be delayed to some time in early 2019. For more info, contact the Airport Reservation Office at aro@gtaa.com

Do you know more? Drop us a line!

Extra overnight slots for Hong Kong extended until 2019

We reported a few months back 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. It looks like the trial is being extended until March 2019.

The published details:

Notice on night slot availability (trial from 8 August 2018 until 31 March 2019)

  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.
  4. 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.

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:

Here’s what happens when Europe’s slot system crashes

On 3rd April 2018, a failure with the central European slot computer plunged the entire ATC system into crisis mode, with multiple knock on effects. Here’s what happened:

1. The system that allocates ATC slots to flights, and therefore manages the flow of traffic across Europe, failed at 1026 UTC. It’s called the ETFMS (Enhanced Tactical Flow Management System), but aka “The Slot Computer”

2. There is a Contingency Plan for this situation. Airports are supposed to use this, which gives a quick table of departure intervals allowed according to the destination. You can view the plan here and see what it looks like for all the main airports: http://www.eurocontrol.int/publications/network-manager-atfcm-procedural-contingency-plan

3. Some airlines reported that Istanbul, amongst others, were initially holding all departures, as local authorities were not well versed in the Contingency Plan and were unclear as to how to handle the situation. Eurocontrol then started calling round the 70 main airports to make sure they knew what they were supposed to do!

4. All flight plans filed before 1026Z were lost. Operators were instructed to re-file all their FPL’s, as well as those for the rest of the day, as Eurocontrol said they would only switch back on the slot computer once they reached a critical mass of filed flight plans in the system.

5. With the Contingency Plan in place, there was around a 10% total capacity reduction across the whole of Europe. Actual delay numbers – usually available on the NOP – were impossible to verify, because of all the missing FPL’s in the system.

6. Normally, Eurocontrol will re-address your FPL to ATC Centres outside the IFPZ. During the slot computer outage, operators had to do this manually, ie. find the FIR’s they would cross, get their AFTN addresses (like HECCZQZX), and send them their FPL.

7. The actual system failure was fixed at around 1400Z, but only went back online at around 1800Z, after it had been thoroughly tested and Eurocontrol were happy there were enough FPL’s back in the system.

In over 20 years of operation, Eurocontrol said “the ETFMS has only had one other outage which occurred in 2001. The system currently manages up to 36,000 flights a day.”

How to avoid delays into Greece – new procedures

Following on from the privatisation of Greek Airports this summer (see our article from earlier in June – Summer of Pain), there are new procedures for Greek Slots.

With delays super high into some of the smaller islands, especially at weekends, attention to the correct slot procedure is pretty important.

The slot you’ll get from the HSCA is valid +/- 30 mins. If you go outside that, then you’ll get a flight suspension message from Eurocontrol that looks like this.

FLIGHT PLAN SUSPENSION
ACCORDING TO YOUR FLIGHT PLAN
IFPLID 01020304
ARCID N765AC
ARCTYP C56X
EOBD 160201
EOBT 1945
ADEP LOWI
ADES LGMK
ELDT 2050
NO CORRESPONDING AIRPORT SLOT WAS RECOGNISED

To get a new slot, or the initial one, the official process is this:

  1. Go to www.online-coordination.com, check for avail times
  2. Pick a handler, and ask them to apply for it – use www.hsca.gr to find a handler.
  3. Refile the FPL with the Slot ID

If you have any issues, you can call H24 this number in Greece re. slots: +30 210 997 2656. And, we think, this email should also work: slot-hsca@athensairport.gr

References

 

 

 

Hong Kong is a pain in the ass – it’s official

After a few members complained, we put  the question out to OpsGroup:  is operating a non-scheduled flight to Hong Kong really that difficult?

The response was a resounding “Yes”. 

Why then? Operators talk of having to cancel planned flights, that it’s impossible to get a decent schedule, and even with a poor one, that lining up slots, parking, permits and handling is extremely difficult. End result: a mountain of frustration.

Trying to get slots at Hong Kong International Airport has always been tricky. Now the world’s third busiest airport with over 1000 flights per day departing from its two runways, severe congestion means that only a handful of daily slots have been available to private, corporate and non-scheduled operators.

Here’s a look at a typical daily slot availability chart at Hong Kong International Airport:

typical-daily-hk-slot-availability

Back in March 2016, the airport authority made it mandatory for all BA/GA operators to start using the Online Coordination System (OCS) to reserve their slots, rather than by email as they had done previously. But for many, this system has proven to be frustrating, as a lack of enforcement has meant that slot hoarding and mismanagement by some operators has largely gone unpunished.

But in a recent attempt to crack down on such behaviour and to prevent slots going unused, the airport authority has tightened restrictions for operators flying into or out of Hong Kong. You now need all 4 of the following to be confirmed in advance: landing permit, parking, ground handling, and slots.

New changes mean that slots can be booked up to 14 days in advance (instead of 7 days as before), and authorities will monitor the slot system for intentional misuse – which could lead to operators being banned from using the system altogether. Other violations include any cancellations of outbound flights less than 72 hours before departure, and delays on the day by more than 2 hours – although any off-slot operations outside a tolerance of +/-20 minutes can still flag up for potential slot misuse.

 

hk-apt-chart

As for parking – again, severe congestion means this is problematic. Parking is confirmed on a first-come-first-served basis, and can be applied for up to 30 days in advance – ultimately, the earlier you apply the better. However, parking requests for 5 days or more will likely be rejected, and overnight parking is often denied during busy periods. If this happens, unfortunately the best strategy is still to just keep making new applications until you get accepted!

Over 100 business jets use HKIA as their home base, but fewer than 70 parking spaces are available at any given time, and the GA ramp itself only has space for 20 aircraft. If full, the authorities will rarely grant parking on the commercial side, and often they will just deny the parking request altogether. Once your parking is approved, you’ll receive a confirmation, and this must be given to your ground handler.

It should be noted that the requests for the landing permit, parking, ground handling and slots are all separate from each other, and need to be applied for individually. We would recommend the following, in order:

 

1. Apply for LANDING PERMIT

Can be done whenever, but should probably be done first.

www.cad.gov.hk/english/efiling_home.html

Civil Aviation Department (CAD)

Email: asd@cad.gov.hk, gcmtse@cad.gov.hk

Phone: +852 2910-6648, -6629

 

2. Apply for PARKING

Can be done up to 14 days in advance of flight, the earlier you do this the better!

https://extranet.hongkongairport.com/baps/

Hong Kong Airport Authority (HKAA)

Email: bjetslot@hkairport.com

 

3. Apply for GROUND HANDLING

There are plenty of agents and handlers at VHHH, but only one dedicated FBO for BA/GA flights:

http://www.hkbac.com/en

Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC)

Email: hkbac@hkbac.com

Phone: +852 2949 9000

 

4. Apply for SLOTS

Will only be considered 14 days prior to flight.

http://www.hkgslot.gov.hk/Online_Coordination.html

Hong Kong Schedule Coordination Office (HKSCO)

Email: hkgslot@cad.gov.hk

Phone: +852 2910 6898

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