Wednesday 15 March 2017
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A380 flips Challenger 604 upside down

15MAR Wake turb from an A380 passing 1000' above sent a Challenger 604 into uncontrolled flight, losing 10,000 feet, rolling 3-5 times, and forcing the aircraft to be written offRead the article.

The problem of
Bullshit Notams

15MAR We communicate the most critical flight information, using a system invented in 1920, with a format unchanged since 1924, burying essential information that will lose a pilot their job, an airline their aircraft, and passengers their lives, in a mountain of unreadable, irrelevant bullshit. Read the article.

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 International Ops Briefing   Wednesday 15th March

This weeks changes. Published by FSB for OPSGROUP covering Airports, Airspace, ATC, Weather, Safety, Threats, Procedures, Visas. Active Bulletins from previous weeks are in the full briefing summary further down. 

UKKK/Kiev Zhuliany will shut for 12 days in May - from the 14th-24th - so that they can fix their runway. Zhuliany is the downtown, domestic airport for Kiev.

FACT/Cape Town Fuel shortage at the airport, likely to remain until the end of March. They ask that you don’t tanker outbound.

LOWI/Innsbruck, Austria Due to limited parking space, until 16APR private and charter flights will only be allowed 1 hour on the ground between Wednesdays 1800z to Sundays 1800z.

LIZZ/Italy Next ATC strike for Europe just announced: Italy, on March 20th - next Monday. It's for four hours from 12-16Z. Skinny: - 'Usual' Italian strike format - Overflights not affected - Intercontinental arrivals allowed - So, no intra-Europe deps/arrivals, and no intercontinental departures unless specifically auth by CAA.

DIBK/Bouake, Ivory Coast On 14th March, hundreds of protesters blocked access to the airport in response to a request by the Ivorian Construction and Real Estate Management Company (SICOGI) to vacate their residences. 

BIKF/Keflavik If you’re departing KEF eastbound into the Shanwick FIR in the morning between 7-9Z, then you should route PIXUM PETUX ORTAV ODPEX. If you’re crossing into Shanwick south of GOMUP, then go via 63N022W CELLO.

DRRN/Niamey Since March 10th, if you’re staying longer than 48 hours, it’s mandatory to cover your engines. Our tip: don’t stay longer than 48 hours.

EDDB/Berlin has had Ground Staff strikes last Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at both EDDB and EDDT. More are exceedingly likely.

KZZZ/USA and a few other places advanced to summer time (DST) last weekend, so keep an eye on those plans for local time conversions. EST/Eastern time is now UTC-4 until November 5th. Europe makes their change on March 26th, so the weekend after next. Good list of all countries here.

TNCB/Bonaire is closed for two hours on Thursday for an emergency exercise, 14-16Z, no traffic accepted.

EGMC/Southend, UK Airport not available to diversions except in an emergency, until 30APR.

LSZH, Zurich, Switzerland Both main runways will be closed on the following dates/times: 26 March-14 April, Sun-Thu 2100-2359z & Mon-Fri 0000-0400z.

OAKX/Kabul FIR FL330 now not available for overflights entering the Kabul FIR, between 1800-0245Z daily.

EGFF/Cardiff Airport PPR only from 17-19MAR.

DNAA/Abuja New rule from Nigerian government: Transfer between Kaduna Airport (DNKA/KAD) and Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (DNAA/ABV) must be undertaken over land - not charter helicopters - while the latter facility is closed.

EPWA/Warsaw Airport closed overnight for parts of April, check AIP SUP 14/17.

LKPD/Pardubice Airport is closed 16-18MAR.

LYBE/Beograd Max turn time for big aircraft over 17M wingspan is 6 hours for ad-hoc flights, and helicopters limited to 4 hours, until after the summer.

MRLB/Liberia GA parking overnight not allowed, ongoing issue.

OEDF/Dammam Shortage of parking bays, aircraft will not accept diversions until April.

ZSAM/Xiamen Gaoqi Airport closed, 1610-2210 daily, from 11MAR to 31MAY for construction.

EGXX/United Kingdom The UK has updated their security warnings, in ENR 1.1, warnings still apply to Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen. We compile these, and all other authorities warnings at

MUFH/Havana FIR Cuba has an ATC staff shortage, so they’re slapping a longitudinal separation of 40nm on enroute traffic, daily from 2330/0400 and 1000/1200, at least through May.

PAZA/Anchorage ACC has a couple of tips for CPDLC:
-There are two logins:  PAZN when in the Anchorage Oceanic FIR, and PAZA when in the Anchorage Arctic FIR—73N is the separation line from north/south.
-After departure from Alaskan airports, log in before climbing above FL180. 
-Use of CPDLC does not release crews from using HF or VHF requirements—you’ll need to monitor and communicate as normal.
-Aircraft with VHF coverage may make position reports via CPDLC
-Continue to make all ATC requests by HF, if you have coverage
-After login in, ARTCC automation will provide automatic FANS Address forwarding between PAZA/PAZN to RJJJ, CZVR, CZEK and KZAK.
-Questions?  Give them a call at 907-269-1801

#goatshow We're looking for the worst NOTAMs that you come across in your Briefing packages. The NOTAM Goat Show is accepting entries.

#opsgroup will close to new members on March 31st. We have new, simpler Individual ($27/mo) and Team ($75/mo) pricing
#contact us  Did we miss something? Do tell us.


 International Public Holidays for the coming week 

15MAR Hungary - Revolution Memorial Day, Liberia - Decoration Day
17MAR Ireland (and most of the world, even if it's only official in Ireland) - St. Patrick's Day
18MAR Aruba - National Anthem and Flag Day
19MAR Vatican City, Liechtenstein, Malta, Venezuela - St. Joseph's Day
20MAR Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan - NowruzTunisia - Independence Day
21MAR Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan - Nowruz, Namibia - Independence Day, South Africa - Human Rights Day


 Headlines from recent weeks 

New Shanwick NAT procedure (Confirm Assigned Route)


 Active Bulletins Summary 

Your check of critical flight information for each region
Valid: Wednesday 15th March

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. Each week we'll move the significant news items into this section.
  Unlock full weekly content with an OPSGROUP membership.
EGGW/Luton From 26MAR until 01MAY, No ad-hoc parking, except for aircraft operating through the GA Terminal.

EHZZ/Netherlands Maastricht ATC ask that all aircraft (assuming you are equipped) entering the Maastricht UIR, log on to EDYY. If you want to chat with them about this, you can email muac.datalink(at)

ENOB/Bodo FIR Free Route Airspace (FRA) is on the way, you can plan direct without using airways from March 2nd.

LOWW/Vienna If you’re heading to VIE, these are the busiest times at the moment, where you can expect holding or a 150nm tour of the Austrian countryside at 220 knots. 0630-0850, 1020-1130, 1240-1340, 1440-1600, 1715-1900 and 1940-2040Z.

LSGG/Geneva EBACE is on from Monday, 22 May through Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Now would be a good time to get those slots booked if you’re planning to head over. 

LIRF/Rome Fiumicino is working on 16R until March, so 25 will be used for deps and 16L for arrivals. This means delays, especially if you want 16L/34R for departure - they say up to a 60 minute taxi time.

EGPH/Edinburgh Until Apr 1st, you will need PPR to operate to Edinburgh, due to reduced parking capacity.

EZZZ/Europe The deadline for retrofit for TCAS 7.1 was January 1st. From now on, you can't go to Europe unless you have it. Read more at Eurocontrol, Skybrary, and the FAA.

LLLL/Tel Aviv FIR If you’re entering the FIR on airway UL550 or R560 via NALSO, make sure you include AFTN addresses LLSCZRZX and LLBGYDYX when filing your flight plan. Failure to do so might cause holding and delays prior to clearing the flight into the FIR.

 2016  LTZZ/Turkey Also, we've had reports of GPS intermittent dropouts in the Ankara and Istanbul FIRs, which might not be overly surprising given the proximity to Syria and Iraq. Let us know if this has affected you.

 2016  EZZZ/Europe Eurocontrol has confirmed the date of 01JAN18 for all aircraft to be 8.33 kHz compliant. Currently 8.33 kHz is required only above FL195 but as of 01JAN18 it will be required below FL195 to the surface. 

 2016  UZZZ/Simferopol FIR EASA published an updated SIB 2015/16 regarding the use of Simferopol FIR on 17FEB. This airspace provides routes UL851 and UM856 (Odesa South Sector), which since 17FEB are suggested by EASA for use by overflying traffic.

 2016  EZZZ/Europe New Wake Turbulence Categories began a slow introduction in Europe on 22MAR where the current four (Light, Medium, Heavy, Super) will become six: Light, Medium (with Lower and Upper), and Heavy (with Lower, Upper and Super). Read full article.

UKZZ/Ukraine  AIRSPACE WARNING  There are two risk issues in Ukraine. First: arms fire. Including MH17, multiple aircraft (the others all military) have been shot down since the beginning of the Donbass region war in 2014. The 10th ceasefire was declared in December 2016, but not holding. This risk is contained within the Dnipropetrovsk FIR – UKDV. The second issue affects the Simferopol FIR which is Disputed Airspace. (Ukraine:UKFV, Russia:URFV). In March 2014, Russia annexed Crimea. The ATC Center is in Simferopol, Crimea, and is now run by Krymaeronavigatsiya. Russia claims the airspace. Ukraine refuses to recognise the change, and asks crews to talk to Ukrainian controllers in Dnipro/Odesa ACC instead of Simferopol ACC. Four routes are approved by EASA through the high seas portion of the airspace. Check current status.

LTZZ/Turkey AIRSPACE WARNING Throughout 2016, there have been reports of GPS signal interference in Turkish airspace. Operations to LTAJ/Gaziantep should be carefully reviewed – proximate to Syrian border. Check current status.

EGGX/Shanwick New NAT guide published by Flight Service Bureau, which also incorporates the changes in the new 2017 NAT Doc 007. Read the article.

EGGX/Shanwick Six weeks in to 2017 and there have already been some important changes on the NAT: TCAS 7.1, Cruising Levels, Datalink exemptions, New contingency procedures, and Gross Nav ErrorsRead the article.

 2016  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 in advance. There will be additional costs, especially heavy on a Sunday.

 2016  EGGX/Shanwick and Oceanic NAT FIRs - revised definition of Gross Navigation Error, changed from 25nm to 10nm. 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.

 2016  NAT/North Atlantic Phase 2 of the North Atlantic datalink mandate began with Phase 2a on 05FEB2015, at which time flights within the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT) between FL350 and FL390 must be equipped with CPDLC and ADS-C systems. The program expands to these altitudes in the entire ICAO NAT region on 07DEC2017, and to all flights in this region above FL290 on 30JAN2020.


YMML/Melbourne is introducing 2.5nm separation on final, and the ICAO 2400m runway separation, from March 2nd. You’ll hear the comforting words: “Traffic is an A330 on the runway, Runway 34 cleared to land”. Hopefully the A330 hears them too.

YZZZ/Australia The most recent deadline in the Australian ADS-B mandate was February 2nd. Since then, all IFR aircraft must have ADS-B except for foreign aircraft that are happy to operate below FL290 - read the article.

 2016  YZZZ/Australia A last minute relaxation on 25MAY by CASA has exempted Foreign private operators from having to be RNP2 compliant, ahead of many Navaids being switched off. Eff 26MAY around 180 different VOR’s, NDB’s, and other ground-based Navaids are switched off. All international operators will be required to have GNSS/GPS as primary navigation. Read the article.

KZZZ/USA There are multiple changes to the US Border Overflight Exemption process effective March 2017. Unusually, there is no official notification of the changes from either CBP or DHS, and so you may find that even the Customs Officer on arrival does not know about them. Read the article.

CZZZ/Canada has now got CPDLC throughout most domestic airspace and the Ocean, and clearly a good number of crews aren’t listening out like they used to on VHF. Have a read of AIC 4/17.

KZZZ/USA President Trump’s travel ban on the 7 countries has been (temporarily, perhaps) rescinded. For now, all is as it was on New Years Day. There’s enough about this in the mainstream media, so we’ll leave it at that.

MRLB/Liberia, Costa Rica Overnight stops for Private flights are not being accepted; this is a recurring problem. MROC perhaps, if you need to reposition.

KZZZ/USA Since 27JAN17, an immediate ban on US visas (and therefore US travel) for citizens from 7 countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya. This is distinct from the Visa Waiver Program ban in effect since January 2016. 

KBPI/Palm Beach is going to see some new TFR restrictions due to the proximity of Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago estate. If operating when he's down here, you'll have to depart from a gateway airport to PBI - those are TEB, HPN, IAD, MCO and FLL. NBAA has the details.

 2016  KZZZ/USA Check your passport! Effective 01APR16, if you're travelling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you will also need to have a valid e-Passport along with your ESTA.

 2016  CZZZ/Canada The new Canada Entry Rules - requiring most visitors to have an eTA before departing - came into force on 15MAR; with a caveat. Visa-exempt foreign nationals can enter and exit Canada by air without an Electronic Travel Authorisation until 09NOV16. Read the full article.

 2016  KZZZ/USA The requirement for foreign operators to obtain a TSA Waiver for domestic flights within the US has been dropped, but only for aircraft under 45 tons.

 2016  KZZZ/USA Several changes to the rules for the US Visa Waiver program are now in effect, restricting the moment of travellers having visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria in the last 5 years. Read more here.
SVZZ/Venezuela is back to issuing NOTAMS, at least to let everyone know about some flow management at major airports for the holidays beginning of March.  Best to keep an eye on this, it seems to be a very limited amount of information for how long they’ve been silent.

SOCA/Cayenne Staff shortage ongoing at SOCA, so don’t plan this one as an alternate. If you are arriving at SOCA between 0200-1100Z, get PPR at +594 594 35 93 72.

SBZZ/Brazil In January a Boeing 767 was shot on approach in Brazil. A bullet was found lodged in the wing. Some updates to that story are here, and's Brazil page is updated.

SPQU/Arequipa, Peru is limiting parking to 2 hours for non-scheduled flights, and can't accept overnighters.

 2016  SOCA/Cayenne, French Guyana has staff shortages, and from September 1st will not accept any diversions unless in an emergency. Do not plan SOCA as an enroute alternate. If inbound, with an ETA for SOCA 0200-1100Z, you need to call for an arrival slot. If you need it, ATC phone is +594 594 35 9372 or 9302.

 2016  SPZO/Cuzco, Peru is busy at the moment; non-scheduled and GA flights cannot park overnight, and there are Traffic Management procedures inbound. Don't forget if operating to Cuzco that special crew training is required.

 2016  SPJC/Lima, Peru Struggling with Airport capacity. A variety of significant restrictions for General Aviation, Non Scheduled, and Cargo flights in effect. Check carefully with your handler or dispatcher as all movements should be co-ordinated at least 24 hrs in advance.

LTAA/Ankara FIR, Turkey There are two waypoints to enter Baghdad FIR and one of them is now closed - KABAN. So, file NINVA-OTKEP-SRT, and above FL320. See Iraq Sup 01/17 for the full deets.

UTZZ/Turkmenistan. Time to update your Flight Planning info for the UT’s. Ready? File all plans to UTAAZDZX (The main ATC centre), and depending on which FIR you cross, also to UTAA/Ashgabat FIR - UTAALMXX, UTAAZRZX, UTAK - UTAK/Turkmenbashi FIR - UTAKZRZX, UTAKZQZX, UTAV/Turkmenabat FIR - UTAVZRZX, UTAVZQXX, UTAT/Dashoguz FIR - UTATLMXX. For permits, talk to UTAAZXZX, or ASBITT5, or email Phew.

UHPP/Petropavlovsk Great report from one of our OPSGROUP members - "Delighted to say that the new ICAO standard runway is now open for use. The old Russian military block runway is out of service. The ramp has finally been completely repaved. Handler is great. Handling agent speaks English. Services are good. Russian authorities are heavy on the paperwork, but the handler will deal with this quickly”. More reports like this in Aireport for OPSGROUP members

VTCC/Chiang Mai is also busy - they won't accept non-scheduled or private flights between 1300-1700Z, and will not be allowed to stay overnight.

RPLL/Manila is not moving as quickly towards a complete ban of non-scheduled and General Aviation traffic as feared. This is good news for International Operators. Read the article.

UHPP/Petropavlovsk is not available as an alternate to foreign aircraft between 0800-2000z, although the airport will remain available for emergency landings H24.

VHHH/Hong Kong Double check that you’re: not filing more than two alternates, filing the right route into Hong Kong (check AIP ENR 1.10), and don’t put in STARS in the FPL. Then, send it to the right place - there are two AFTN addresses: VHHKZQZX for arrivals and overflights, and VHHHFPLM.

VIDP/Delhi Two of the airport’s three runways will have multiple closures during January for maintenance work at various different times each day. Expect delays, and be sure to check the NOTAMs carefully prior to ops.

 2016  VHHH/Hong Kong Ongoing issues with lack of slots, and difficult procedures to arrange non-scheduled flights. Consider yourself lucky if you get to line up the schedule you want. Airport capacity is critical. See of AIC 02/2016 - or Read full article.

Iran AIRSPACE WARNING Iran is geographically involved in the ongoing conflict in Syria and Iraq. In Oct 2015, several Russian missiles crossed the Tehran FIR and several busy international routes. Check current status.

Afghanistan AIRSPACE WARNING There is an ongoing War in Afghanistan, which since NATO’s withdrawal in December 2014, has been fought between the state and several factions. Diversion/Landing to Afghanistan – don’t. Nowhere is safe. Overflight advice averages out at a minimum FL250, though as with other mountainous countries we think FL320 is a better starting point. There are comms issues in the Kabul FIR – long periods without ATC contact is possible. Monitor TCAS and Air-to-Air channels. Check current status.

Pakistan AIRSPACE WARNING Couple of issues: War in Northwest Pakistan, and concentration of terrorist group representation in the country. The consensus among foreign authorities is to cross the OPLR/Lahore and OPKR/Karachi FIR’s at higher flight levels. Diversion/Landing in Pakistan is recommended against. Above all avoid Peshawar, Quetta. OPKC/Karachi Airport was attacked in 2014. Recent bombing in Lahore. Check current status.

North Korea AIRSPACE WARNING The level of tension on the Korean peninsula can change with little notice. Multiple missile launches in 2016, increasingly without prior notice to ICAO. The range of these has increased – previously safe airways B467 and G711 are now at risk. Over 1000 reports of GPS jamming issues reported by operators in the vicinity of the North/South Korean border. SFAR79 prevents US operators from operating west of 132E, other Authorities restrict operations east of that line. Check current status.

HECA/Egypt On 22FEB, reports emerged that a civilian had discovered an SA-7 surface-to-air missile launcher near Cairo International Airport. There are conflicting reports of the details, but the authorities were notified and are investigating.

HKZZ/Kenya and GAZZ/Mali The FAA has issued fresh warnings for Kenyan and Malian airspace, warning US operators of the potential dangers in operating through both the Nairobi and Malian FIR’s. Read the article.

HECA/Cairo GPS jamming is happening again at Cairo. Don’t plan on using your GPS for approaches. We reported on this last year as well.

GUZZ/Guinea has a measles epidemic, make sure you have your shots if you're operating to GUCY/Conakry.

DGAA/Accra Aircraft stands are only available for aircraft doing a quick turn. In any case, parking is available for a max of 3 days.

HECC/Cairo FIR now requires TCAS 7.1.

DNAA/Abuja will be completely closed to all traffic from March 8th - April 19th.

FZZZ/Democratic Republic of the Congo: The security situation remains unpredictable in the DRC, despite a political agreement reached on December 31 2016. Large-scale demonstrations could occur at any time and lead to violence in Kinshasa and other large cities. During demonstrations, the only road to the N’Djili Airport in Kinshasa may be blocked and flight schedules may be disrupted.

 2016  HAZZ/Ethiopia The Ethiopian government has declared a six month State of Emergency from 9 October 2016. Measures to restrict communication, movement and political expression are expected.

 2016  HECA/Cairo GPS Jamming still occurring at Cairo Airport, RNAV approaches should not be planned. Read the article.

 2016  DNZZ/Nigeria Several Nigerian commercial carriers have issued notice that the worsening shortage of Jet A1 fuel in Nigeria could lead to a grounding of all flights. International Operators are being advised to tanker wherever possible.

Egypt AIRSPACE WARNING Since the Arab Spring, Egypt’s stability and security situation as a state has declined. In October 2015 a Russian A321 was brought down over the Sinai peninsula by a bomb loaded at HESH/Sharm El Sheikh. In the aftermath, it was initially feared that a missile had caused the crash. Multiple warnings still in place from that fear. 19 May 2016 EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo disappeared over the Mediterranean, cause unknown. GPS jamming reported at HECA/Cairo several times in 2016. High threat from terrorism in Egypt. Further attacks are likely. Not recommended as a tech stop.. Check current status.

Sudan AIRSPACE WARNING One current warning, from France. See South Sudan for more warnings. Check current status.

Mali AIRSPACE WARNING Northern Mali conflict ongoing. Situation unstable. 2015 Radisson Blu hotel attack which killed several aircrew overnighting in Bamako. Considered as the deadliest place to serve in the UN. A US warning exists. Potential for attacks throughout the country, including in Bamako, remains high. Avoid if at all possible. Check current status.

South Sudan AIRSPACE WARNING Conflict Zone. South Sudanese Civil War since 2013. The security situation in Juba has been relatively calm since the July 2016 crisis. Daily reports of fighting throughout the rest of the country. The security situation is especially unstable in the Equatorias in the south. MANPADS risk to overflights. In addition, the South Sudanese army has declared intention to shoot down Aircraft without permits. Most Authority guidance recommends min FL260. We think FL300 is a better minimum for overflights. Check current status.

Libya and Somalia AIRSPACE WARNING We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. All countries have multiple warnings, and your country of registry is likely to have issued specific instructions not to penetrate these airspaces. Each of the main information providers for Conflict Zone information – the US, UK, Germany, and France – has strong wording recommending avoiding landing or overflight. We do not list specific NOTAM, AIC, AIP or Notice references for these countries, because the guidance is very clear and the only updates are refreshing existing warnings.. Check current status.
OEJD/Jeddah FIR The SCATANA status remains active due to the ongoing intervention in Yemen. Saudi Authorities on Jan 30th released ATC route G650 (JDW-RIBAM-RASKA). 

OSZZ/Syria On 6th Jan reports emerged that a military aircraft took off from Aleppo International Airport (OSAP/ALP) for the first time since 2013. Reports indicate that the flight was a test of the facility prior to opening the airport to civilian traffic. The airport could reopen as early as February 2017; however it is unclear if it will open for full civilian traffic.

 2016  OMZZ/United Arab Emirates The new requirement for TCAS 7.1 also applies to the Emirates FIR. All aircraft must be compliant since 01DEC15, or a re-route around UAE airspace will be required. UAE AIP ‘Gen Carriage of ACAS-II’.

 2016  OZZZ/Middle East Russian military launched 26 missiles on 06OCT15 from 4 ships in the Caspian Sea at targets in Syria, routed through the airspace of Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria. We have published International Ops Notice 10/15 as a summary. To obtain a copy, email

Saudi Arabia AIRSPACE WARNING Due to military activity related to the involvement in Yemen, it’s suggested to avoid the southwestern region of the Jeddah FIRs. Check current status.

Iraq/Syria/Yemen AIRSPACE WARNING We strongly recommend avoiding this airspace entirely. All countries have multiple warnings, and your country of registry is likely to have issued specific instructions not to penetrate these airspaces. Each of the main information providers for Conflict Zone information – the US, UK, Germany, and France – has strong wording recommending avoiding landing or overflight. We do not list specific NOTAM, AIC, AIP or Notice references for these countries, because the guidance is very clear and the only updates are refreshing existing warnings.. Check current status.

 2016   Zika Virus The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has listed the ZIKA virus as an "Alert Level 2". You can find more details on which countries are specifically affected through the CDC website

 2016  MHTG/Central America FIR reminds operators that a CENAMER notification by AFTN is required for all flights planning to enter the airspace.

Yep, there is. It’s called OPSGROUP. We’re a big mix: pilots, dispatchers, controllers, managers, tech specialists, aviation authorities – all with one thing in common: International Flight Operations.

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 From our International Ops Blog 

Mali & Kenya: Fresh FAA Warnings

The FAA has issued fresh warnings for Kenyan and Malian airspace, warning US operators of the potential dangers in operating through both the Nairobi and Malian FIR’s. Read the article.


NOTAMS & the E-4B

We're hot on NOTAMs at the moment. Our OPSGROUP member Eddie (who's just rebuilt the famous code - take a look) has this great story for us from his early days flying the E-4B. Read the article.


We drew some NAT Tracks

With the new (ish) RLAT Tracks, the standard NAT Track picture looks different these days... Read the article.


Big change: Russia finally moving to QNH

If you have a Russia trip coming up soon, then keep a close eye on those charts. The whole feet-meters conversion/QFE/”Descend to height” carry on is going to start disappearing effective February 2017Read the article.


The NOTAM Goat Show

Awards time is coming up soon, and we're on the hunt for prize NOTAMs. Read the article.


NAT Crossings: can I leave the track?

You're at 20 West and the HF is scratchy. Can you go off track to avoid that CB you've just spotted? Read the article.


What is the actual risk of getting shot down? 

The internationally promulgated standard safe altitude for overflight has now become about 25,000 ft AGL. Does that always work? Read the article.


China Ops: Nav Fees 

If you receive a big bill post-flight from a company called Tong Da Air Service, unfortunately it’s not a scam!  Read the article.


2017 Changes on the NAT

The first six weeks of 2017 have given us a ton of changes on the NAT already. If you're heading across the Guinness-Molson line soon, you should know about these. Read the article.


Heading for Singapore? 

You're probably going to have to use Seletar, and not Changi.The good news is that at Seletar there is much less congestion, no parking time limits, and much lower handling costs. Read the article.


 From our Flight Service Store 


 Pass it on: tell a colleague 

As of February 2017, we have a readership of about 40,000 people: Airline staff, Dispatchers, Ops Controllers, Crews, Handlers, ATC, and CAA's. Tell a colleague. The basic bulletin 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

For the full version, you can join OPSGROUP**- you'll receive your Welcome Pack, with a free copy of our latest NAT Plotting Chart, guaranteed delivery of four full International Ops Bulletins a month, direct support from our International Desk, new International Ops Notices, access to aireport - reviews of Airports, ATC and Handlers, regular Alerts for high impact Ops News, member discount for the Flight Service Store, and exchange information and help with other colleagues engaged in International Flight Ops. You can join with a single membership, or a team membership for your entire flight department. There's no long term commitment, membership is month to month, and you can cancel anytime.

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 World airspace risk map 

SafeAirspace is managed by Flight Service Bureau, with contributions from OpsGroup (1500 members), International Ops Bulletin feedback (40,000 readers), The Airline Cooperative (225 international airlines), and data from the German BMVI, the UK DFTthe FAADGAC FranceICAO, and EASARead more about our missionUpdated regularly: Last change 1 February 2017.

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 News from FSB

Flight Service Bureau provides direct service to Aircraft Operators, with a focus on International Flight Operations support.

March News:
  • We've now completed Boeing 737 delivery #25, Embraer 175 delivery #34, and DHC-6 delivery #60. Email to work with FSB on a ferry or delivery flight.
  • Our Flight Service Store is updated with new permit and planning items.


 International Ops Articles 

NAT Changes in the last 12 months

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


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.


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


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.


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


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


What is this, 20 questions?

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

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.



Find out about the changes, before they become problems: 

Our mission is single: to keep you informed of changes in International Flight Operations changes. If you find this free bulletin useful, you should guarantee weekly delivery of the full version by joining OPSGROUP. You'll also receive directly all charts and publications free of charge, connect with other people in Flight Operations, get advice from our International Desk, and be the first to see all our new cool stuff! Read the reviews - and join to receive your Welcome Pack.

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We look forward to welcoming you! Not sure which one is right for your operation? View the differences here. Questions? Email the

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The Flight Service Bureau works to improve access to pertinent flight information and resources for Aircraft Operators (AO's), with an emphasis on International Flight Operations. Individual Services are available through a network of Flight Service stations worldwide. 


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