Published Wednesday 12 October 2016
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Oceanic and remote procedures updated

12OCT The FAA this week issued a significantly updated version of their "Oceanic and Remote Airspace" procedures document. There's a lot of good stuff here, even if you're not operating an N-reg. Take a look at the PDF.
Rome Airport to close Friday

12OCT A reminder that LIRA/Rome Ciampino will close fully from Friday, for two weeks, as a result of urgently required runway maintenance. You can use LIRF/Fiumicino instead, but with significant restrictions.

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Wednesday 12th October

 These are new items for this week. "Active Bulletins" from previous weeks are in the full briefing summary further down. 

LLBG/Tel Aviv starts winter runway maintenance work on 01Nov until 17Nov - Runway 21 will become primary landing runway, associated restrictions, not available as alternate during this time - check AIC 3/16.

LOWI/Innsbruck starting December 14th, the airport will introduce parking restrictions for private flights every week from 1800Z Weds until 1800Z Sunday.

TXKF/Bermuda Tropical Storm Nicole is approaching, expect some disruption and check before using as an alternate over the next few days.

HAZZ/Ethiopia The Ethiopian government has declared a six month State of Emergency from 9 October 2016. While details of emergency arrangements are not formalised, measures to restrict communication, movement and political expression are expected. Carry identification, avoid all large gatherings and protests, monitor the media for details on the application of the State of Emergency and follow all instructions issued by local authorities.

SPIM/Lima radar will be off the air on Friday from 19-21Z for repairs, procedural control, expect enroute delays.

EGGX/Shanwick. An exercise to test to the Volcano eruption response is underway, you may see multiple references to an eruption in Iceland - it hasn’t happened, it’s just a test. Stand down. Katla is also back to code Green.

UZZZ/Russia Karymsky volcano in the Kamchatka peninsula is active with colour code Orange, check before operating.

OKAX/Kabul FIR continues to have comms issues in the north east portion of Afghanistan airspace, VHF comms are not working on 118.3 or 128.5. There are some “Nordo” procedures, refer to AIP ENR 1.6-1.

MUFH/Havana has a couple of new entry points to the FIR - FUNDI and IKBIX - but they’re not for use yet, so don’t.

OPRN/Islamabad If operating to OPRN, be aware that on Saturdays and Mondays ATC will be practising non-radar procedural approach from 0500-0900Z until the end of the year.

SPJC/Lima has overnight parking restrictions from 14-21NOV, check with Airport company or handler prior to operating.

FZZZ/Democratic Republic of the Congo: the security picture is uncertain following recent political protests and there have been calls for further protests in Kinshasa, including on 19 October; you should follow travel advice and monitor local media for updates

SPZO/Cusco will not allow overnight parking from 10-20OCT.

FOZZ/Gabon Following the results of recent elections in Gabon, further strikes or demonstrations could occur in the capital Libreville and in Port Gentil. Avoid demonstrations, large crowds and rallies as they may turn violent.

UAZZ/Kyrgyz Republic Multiple embassies located in Bishkek have issued warnings to their citizens of an increased threat of a terrorist attack in the Kyrgyz Republic, possibly involving kidnapping and hostage taking, against Kyrgyz authorities and foreign diplomats during October 2016.

TQPF/Anguilla has introduced a ban on visitors from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with a view to mitigating Ebola risk. Anyone who has been to those three countries in the last 21 days will not be allowed to enter.

VTSP/Phuket is suffering from ramp congestion, and will not allow non-scheduled flights to stay overnight until the end of the year.

WSSS/Singapore Changi has a couple of closures on 18 and 19 OCT due to a military exercise, check local Notams.

ZUUU/Chengdu has a new speed restriction inbound - fly 183 knots from IAF to IF, then 160 knots to 4nm. Notam U2748/16.

#opsgroup we've added slack to the feature list to allow you to chat to other group members in realtime. Request a login from team@.

#opsgroup aireport.co is now live and full access is available to all members through your control panel. You can now save and print all your own reports.


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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS For the coming week

13OCT Cambodia - Pchum Ben Day, Burundi - Prince Louis Rwagasore Day
14OCT Georgia - Svetitskhovloba, Yemen - Revolution Day, Tanzania - Mwalimu Nyerere Day
15OCT Cambodia - Commemoration Day of King's Father, Sri Lanka - Vap Full Moon Poya Day, Tunisia -Evacuation Day
17OCT Haiti - Dessalines Day, Jamaica - National Heroes' Day, Colombia - Columbus Day, Israel - Sukkot
18OCT Azerbaijan - National Independence Day
19OCT Albania - Mother Theresa Beatification Day

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Active Bulletins Summary

Your check of critical flight information for each region

We've improved this section recently: it's shorter, with more concise bullet points, and only the critical information you need to know if operating to the region.
Full version restricted to OPSGROUP members
EISN/Shannon ATC would like to remind eastbound operators of a simple but important procedure when crossing 15W, entering the Shannon domestic UIR after Shanwick. After 15W you will normally receive a clearance to fly to the exit point of Irish airspace, and this may involve a healthy turn to the north or south. However, some aircraft are turning BEFORE the boundary (eg. MALOT, LIMRI, DOGAL) and this can lead to a loss of separation for Shanwick (who operate without radar). So - make sure that you fly OVER the 15W boundary point before taking that new direct.

EHAM/Amsterdam The military will help provide security at the airport, sharing responsibility with border patrol officers for inspecting trains and vehicles. Expect delays of approximately 30 minutes.

LIRA/Rome Ciampino will be completely closed from 14-29OCT for runway maintenance and upgrades. According to CIA, maintenance work will be carried out on a 24/7 basis on parts of runway 15/33, at various junctions and taxiways.

LTBA/Istanbul has issued a long list of restrictions to discourage additional flights from operating to LTBA. New requests for charter flights are denied. LTBA cannot be carried as an alternate on your FPL.

ESSA/Stockholm has a CDM Trial (Slot control locally instead of via Eurocontrol) at present. Start up according to TSAT+5. The current list of CDM airports is: Brussels, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Madrid, Milan Malpensa Munich, Paris CDG, Oslo, Rome Fiumicino, Stuttgart, Venice, and Zurich.

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.

EPZZ/Poland has 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.)

EGZZ/UK Much has been written about Britain’s departure from Europe this month (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).
BGBW/Narsarsuaq Current hours are Monday to Saturday 1000-1900Z. If you want to plan a visit outside these hours, or even use BGBW as an alternate, get permission from bgbw@mit.gl in advance. There will be additional costs, especially heavy on a Sunday.

BIKF/Keflavik beginning 01MAY, BIKF is imposing a new Terminal Navigation Charge.

EGGX/Shanwick and Oceanic NAT FIRs - revised definition of Gross Navigation Error, changed from 25nm to 10nm.

North Atlantic Effective 04FEB MNPS Airspace is replaced by HLA/High Level Airspace on the North Atlantic. RNP4 or RNP10 now required. Read our International Ops Notice 01/2016 or our blog post: Did you know MNPS is over?and download the new NAT Planning Chart.

CZQX/Gander FIR / EGXX/Shanwick FIR / North Atlantic Multiple airspace and procedural changes took place 14DEC2015 with RLAT/Reduced Lateral separation in the NAT region. Flight Service Bureau has issued International Ops Notice 11/15 "NAT Track Structure", with a simple summary of the changes.

NAT/North Atlantic To assist Aircraft Operators with the changes on the North Atlantic, we have produced a new Aircraft Plotting Chart effective 03MAR16. A copy is available here. 
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Country Lowdowns

A one page summary: critical operating information

What's the Lowdown on Flight Ops to?

Here's a link to some of the more recent ones we've published: Country Lowdown: Cuba, Country Lowdown: Colombia, Country Lowdown: Turkey, Country Lowdown: Russia, Country Lowdown: USA.

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ARTICLES International Ops

NAT Changes in the last 12 months

There have been quite a few changes and these are the most important ones. Read the article.


Back in 1977 ...

There was once a helicopter service that connected downtown Manhattan with JFK. Was aviation better back then? Read the article.


Robbed by the CAA ...

Three of the most recent headlines are:

Rough Runway, Cash Only
Don’t go you'll be robbed by the CAA
Inbound ATC was frightening.

Read the article.


International Ops Bulletin

If you're enjoying reading this bulletin, then how do you make sure you get a copy every week? Read the article.


Aireport now online

OPSGROUP has built a member review site for Handlers, ATC, and Airports - 2000 reports already online. Read the article.


End of Canada Leniency

Earlier this year Canada introduced a requirement for an eTA - like the US Esta. For a while, it was OK to travel without one. That’s ending in September - from which time you need one. Read the article.


Zika Map

A few weeks back, we reported that Zika was on the decline, thanks to winter in South America and a declining mosquito population. Turns out, that optimism was premature. Read the article.


What is OPSGROUP, exactly?

Well, we’re not exactly sure yet. The question mark may well be part of the name, because to us it represents both a lack of constraints and limitless possibility. A beginners mind? Read the article.


Intercept Avoidance and Missile Evasion

One of our OPSGROUP members, James Albright, has kindly provided us with this informative piece. James will be familiar to many of you as the author of the amazing Code7700.com ... Read the article.


Minimum Cockpit Occupancy

EASA has published a new Safety Information Bulletin with recommendations on Minimum Cockpit Occupancy... Read the article.


Fake ASECNA Fees

Be aware of a new take on fake invoices. Read the article.


US Customs and TSA fines increased

Be careful when you're filing your eAPIS, is the message. Read the article.


Typhoon Nida - or is it the end of the World?

With forecast average winds of around 40 knots (that’s a wet Wednesday in Ireland), and maximum maybe 70 knots – the impending doom depicted in the graphic seems overstated  Read the article.


What are Hajj Routes?

Every year, millions of pilgrims travel to Mecca and other sites in Saudi Arabia - and this changes the predominant traffic flow over the African continent. Read the article


Hijack: It's dark and we're scared

Approaching Gander VOR, the crew typed 7500 into the box before coasting out. Around the same time, they sent a routine ACARS message to Dispatch, with a P.S. “It’s dark and we’re scared”. Read the article


The annual NOTAM battle

Have a look at the Greece-Turkey great NOTAM argument of 2016. This is an almost annual performance, the equivalent of a street argument between two kids.. Read the article


Avoiding the pain of a ramp check

Here’s how a ramp check normally goes down: The flight selected will be the arrival from a gruelling 12 hour jetlag-inducer. As you pull on to the stand, you will notice more yellow vests than normal hanging around. Read article.


South Sudan off limits

The security situation in Juba, and South Sudan, has deteriorated in the last week, with HSSJ/JUB becoming off limits due to fighting. The ceasefire announced on 11 July is holding; Juba International Airport (HSSJ/JUB) is open to charter operations... Read the article


Oceanic Errors

Over one weekend in April there was one Gross Navigation Error, and two close calls reported on the North Atlantic. Read article.


VHHH capacity problems

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


Berlin's Air Corridors - still alive?

It's a generation ago, and the airway chart landscape is unrecognisable today. For 40 years however, there were only three tiny corridors that allowed a flight into East Germany. Read the article


A lesson in emergency handling from Aer Lingus

A 757 departing JFK suffered a hydraulic failure; the subsequent handling of the emergency provides a lesson on professionalism and communication, from an outstanding crew ... Read the article


Brexit for Aviation: Meaningless

If the media were to be believed, the impending doom of Brexit - Britain's Exit from the European Union - will change the aviation landscape in the EU for ever. But what if it won't? . Read the article


US Entry requirements updated

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


We couldn't find a good Airports Database ... 

So we built one - into what we think is the best database for Ops Controllers, Pilots, Airlines, Software developers, and service providers. Best of all, you will get a free copy if you join OPSGROUP with an Annual Subscription ... Read the article


Sudan "will shoot down" aircraft

We are concerned at the language being used by the respective Sudanese governments. In response to aircraft operating without a landing/overflight permit, Khartoum and Juba have said they will "take decisive action" and "shoot down aircraft".  Read article.


What is this, 20 questions?

Yep. If you missed the first lot, test your knowledge with this series of International Ops questions! Read article.


EASA New rules for 'Suspect Aircraft'

EASA has published new guidelines for inspectors to assess which aircraft should be prioritised for SAFA ramp checks in Europe and SAFA compliant states. Read article.


Fake Navigation Fees

It’s a concern: instead of sending your Nav Fees payment to Eurocontrol, you’ve actually sent it to a suburb of Lagos. And you’re not going to get it back. Read article.


Overflights without a full Airworthiness Certificate

New deliveries, ferry flights to a new operator, maintenance flights, or positioning to storage, may all have special circumstances that normally result in the aircraft operating with a Special Airworthiness Certificate. Read article.

The three sisters: Shanwick's Tango Routes

With the changes in February this year from MNPS to HLA, the normal confusion over what is required to operate on T9, T16, and T213 has increased. Read article.


Australia Navaids are now off the air

For International Operators, in short, Australia wants you to navigate with GNSS as your primary means of navigation . Read article.


FL200 – or 2,000ft? International differences

The key to this incident in Ireland, just published by the AAIU, is the wording of a departure clearance to a corporate jet departing EIKY/Kerry. Read article.


Ferry Flight From Seattle: Boeing 707

This Flight Log is from the Delivery Flight (KSEA/Seattle-EGLL/London Heathrow) of Boeing 707 G-APFN, which took place on 18NOV1960. Read article.


Most expensive ATC in Europe?

For an hour’s worth of ATC on the Ocean, it’s 50 bucks. Next up, you’ll talk to Shannon – about $300 an hour in your B737. As soon as you enter London’s airspace – it's $1000 an hour. Read article.


IFBP: Belt and Braces for African ATC

ATC in Africa is steadily improving – investment in radar and CPDLC is helping – but vast swathes of airspace remain where ATC, quite simply, is not to be trusted to the same degree as in other parts of the world. Read article.


Do you want a copy every week? As of August 2016, we have a readership of about 25,500 people: Airline staff, Dispatchers, Ops Controllers, Crews, Handlers, ATC, and CAA's. Tell a colleague. The basic version is free and we're delighted to welcome new readers. You can forward the bulletin to someone else, or tell them to go to our signup form. Feedback? We'd love to hear it

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