Eddie Sez:

The International Flight Operations Manual was published in January 2016, though editing was closed out a month prior. I am doing my best to keep up with changes in international flight operations and have a number of readers helping out too. Here are the changes that (a) I am aware of, and (b) I think are applicable to the users of this manual.

Latest update: Mach Number Tolerances.

If you find anything in the manual that needs correction, addition, or deletion, please "Contact Eddie" below.


Australia RNP Compliance

In a last-minute about face, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has advised that non-commercial operators of foreign-registered aircraft that do not wish to take advantage of RNP 1 and RNP 2 traffic services that go into effect May 26 will not be required to apply for a two-year exemption to operate in Australian airspace. Only commercial operators that can comply with the requirements and want RNP 1 and RNP 2 traffic services are required to apply for an exemption.

“There is no exemption needed for foreign-registered aircraft for the foreseeable future if they are not RNP 1 and and/or or RNP 2 compliant,” according to the agency. Starting on May 26, ATC will continue to accept aircraft that are not RNP 1 and/or RNP 2 capable as long as the operator notates on the flight plan the navigation capability of the aircraft the crew is qualified to use. Operations into Australian airspace by aircraft that are RNP 1 and RNP 2 capable and operated by qualified crew are required to flight plan in accordance with the appropriate specifications starting on May 26.

Source: AIN Alerts, May 23, 2016


Canada electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

This new system goes into effect 15 March 2016 and will impact anyone travelling to Canada under the Visa Waiver Program, except those travelling with a United States passport. For more information about this, see International Operations / Canada electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).

Checking the eTA website on the date the program was to go in effect there is this bit of news: "However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travellers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport."

For future editions of the manual, this will generate a new chapter to Section VII, a note in Section VIII, Chapter 12, CANPASS; and a note to Section VIII, Chapter 38, Visa Waiver Program.

Updated: 21 Mar 2016


Confirm Assigned Route

In October of 2016 Reykjavik will automate a "Conform assigned route" message to all FANS 1/A aircraft about 5 minutes after entering the Reykjavik Control Area. If there is no response to the CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE message, or the response is via FREE TEXT, an alert will be sent to the controller. All of this is detailed in Iceland AIC 2016 A 012/2016, which also notes that "It should be noted that in some aircraft types there are identified anomalies that inhibit the display of a SEND prompt and thus prevent the crew from responding correctly to the uplink. In this case the crew should respond with free text message UNABLE TO SEND ROUTE."

I don't know how typical corporate aircraft CPDLC will react to this; it could be that we will need to use the UNABLE TO SEND ROUTE method. If you have experience with this, one way or the other, please send a photo of what you see, just click "Contact Eddie" below. Thanks!

Updated: 11 Sep 2016


Disinsection

Disinsection is the process of spray an aircraft before, during, or after a flight to get rid of insects. Some countries take this pretty seriously and others don't. Things appear to be changing as a result of the Zika Virus. For more information about this, see International Operations / Disinsection.

For future editions of the manual, this will generate a new chapter to Section VII.

Updated: 19 Feb 2016


North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA)

North Atlantic Minimum Navigation Performance Specification (MNPS) Airspace has been replaced by North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA). Current authorizations are good until the year 2020. The airspace has grown a little (it now includes Bodo) and new authorizations will require RNP-4 or RNP-10. For more information about this, see North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA).

For future editions of this manual, this will generate a change to Section III, Chapter 7, North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA).

Updated: 2 Mar 2016


Mach Number Tolerances (Oakland Oceanic)

Oakland (KZAK) Oceanic now requires a call if Mach Number varies by Mach 0.02 or more. See International Operations / Mach Number Technique / Tolerances.

For future editions of this manual, this will generate a change to Section VIII, Chapter 26, Mach Number Technique.

Updated: 23 Oct 2016


RNP 1 Authorization Required in Hong Kong FIR (VHHH)

HKCAD (Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department) is now enforcing a November 2015, requirement that Operators possess State Authorization (LOA or Ops Spec) to exercise RNP1 within the Hong Kong FIR (VHHH), the whole of which is RNP1. "PRNAV authorizations", for now, will not be acceptable means of compliance for RNP1. Greatest effect is upon FAA Part 91 Operators since the FAA currently does not issue C063 to private operations. Bermuda and Cayman registered aircraft have access to and may already possess RNP1 Authorization. Operators of US / FAA aircraft or of other States / Flags should check their approvals before entering or transiting the VHHH FIR.

For future editions of this manual, this will generate a new chapter in Section III, Navigation.

Updated: 17 Apr 2016


Wake Turbulence Categories (EU)

The EU added subcategories to the already established Medium and Heavy categories to come up with new distance and time separation criteria. While filing codes are the same, aircraft are separated on departure and approach based on the categories light, lower medium, upper medium, lower heavy, upper heavy, and super heavy. More about this here: Basic Aerodynamics / Wing Tip Vortices / EU Wake Turbulence.

For future editions of this manual, this will generate a new chapter in the Appendices.


WGS-84 (Operating GPS in Non-WGS-84 Countries

Most manufacturers first adopted the position that you should not use GPS whenever operating in a non-WGS-84 country, even when en route. In April 2016 Honeywell officially amended their position to say you should use it while en route, you can use it while flying a radio-based approach provided the underlying navaid is tuned and monitored, but you may not use it for a RNAV GNSS approach in non-WGS-84 airspace.

For future editions of this manual, this will generate a change to Seciton VIII, Chapter 40, World Geodetic System-84.