International Ops Top 10 FAQ’s

In reference to ATC Clearances, I can't find a good working definition of the words "At" or "By".

"At" would indicate that the pilot takes the appropriate actions so as to arrive at the correct position (vertical, lateral, horizontal) specified in the clearance at the specified time or location.

"By" would indicate that at the pilot’s prerogative the appropriate action would be taken so as to arrive at the correct position (vertical, lateral, longitudinal) before the position specified in the clearance. If unsure of what the clearance is requiring, query the controller and get confirmation. ICAO Document #4444, Paragraph 12.3.1 J, K and L Operational Data Link Document (GOLD), 2nd Edition Appendix A, UM 20 thru UM29 and North Atlantic Operations Bulletin #2014_002

If ADS-C is sending position reports to a ground station, why do I have to make HF radio calls?

It depends on the OCA’s monitoring needs. If they state that “Voice reports not required” then do not make routine voice reports. in this case, HF radios would be used to maintain a back up to CPDLC. SELCAL would also have to be checked for functionality. Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD), 2nd Edition Chapter 5, Paragraph 5.6.3, NAT Document007 Paragraph 6.1.22.

Where and when do I really need to temperature compensate the altimeter readings for cold weather?

The Canadian’s know a lot about cold weather flight operations. Inside their AIM it states that all Procedure Turn, FAF, MDA and missed approach altitudes should be corrected by the pilot and then advised to ATC.  Transport Canada TC/AIM RAC 9.0 Instrument Arrival Flight Rules, IFR Procedures 9.17.

Since 17SEP15 the FAA has directed cold weather altimeter corrections a specific airports. In response to recognized safety concerns over cold weather altimetry errors, the FAA completed a risk analysis to determine if current instrument approach procedures in the United States National Airspace System are at risk during cold temperature operations. The study used the coldest recorded temperature for the airport in the last five years and specifically investigated if there was a probability that expected altitude errors in a barometric altimetry system, during these non-standard day operations, could exceed the Required Obstacle Clearance used on procedure segment altitudes. Please see InFO#15002 and AIM Paragraph 7-2-3 for complete details. ICAO Document #8168, PANS-Ops Volume 1, Part 3, Chapter 4 has another good description of what and how to apply altimeter corrections. It specifically address’ the fact that only while on Radar vectors is the controller responsible and applies a cold weather altimeter correction. This ATC correction is not uniformly applied worldwide.

What navigation problems do I need to know about when operating at an airport such as Resolute Bay, CYRB or Thule Air Base/Pituffik Airport, BGTL ?    

Besides the extreme cold temps, ground based navigation facilities are reference to True North vice Magnetic North. Aircraft FMC and Navigation displays will need to be re-configured to allow for IFR operations. This may be an automatic function or require manual selection. Individual AFM’s will contain the details. This is also correct for the Canadian Northern Domestic Airspace. Canadian AIM Rules of the Air and Air Traffic Services Section 2.0 Para.  2.2.1 “Canadian Domestic Airspace”

Is the Russian Federation a WGS-84 compliant country?

The national geodetic geocentric coordinate system “The Parameters of the Earth - 1990” PZ-90, (PZ-90.02), which is practically identical to WGS-84, is used in the Russian Federation. The geodetic sys- tem of 1942 (SK-42) shall be used temporarily at the aerodromes and on the airways where the accurate geodetic survey has not been carried out according to the coordinate system PZ-90. Russian AIP, General 1.7 “Annex 4 2.18.1”

What is a Journey Log Book?

A Journey Log Book shall be maintained in respect of every aircraft engaged in international navigation. In this log shall be entered particulars of the aircraft, crew and each journey.  Recommended items are aeroplane nationality, registration, date, crew names and duty assignments, departure and arrival times and points, purpose and observations of the flight, PIC signature. In some cases the General Declaration “GenDec” can be used for this. ICAO Article 29, 34, ICAO Annex 6, Part 1, Paragraph 11.4. Annex 6, Part 2, Paragraph 2.4.2 and 2.8.2. AC 91-70A, Paragraph 3-1 and 3-5, EASA AMC Guidance Material ORO-20


Are there fuel remaining requirements from and Equal Time Point to the diversion airport?

For private operators, there are no regulatory requirements for fuel remaining at an ETP.

Commercial operations (121 or 135) do have extensive planning requirements. Specifically, fuel required at the ETP point is the standard IFR alternate fuel required (135.223) or the greater of:

1. Cabin decompression cruise profile

2. One-engine inop, OEI and simultaneous cabin decompression cruise profile

3. One-engine inoperative cruise profile.

Followed by:

IFR hold above alternate at 1,500AFL for 15 minutes then, approach and landing. Then factor in:

5% to headwinds at cruise/5% decrease in tailwinds at cruise. Without a reliable icing prediction, any cruising to alternate must include fuel for engine/wing anti-icing system use at OAT’s below +10C. APU fuel burn must be accounted for if planned for use during these profiles. AC 120-42B and 135-42, Paragraph #402

Where can I find a list of the PIC special qualification airports?

The Special Pilot-In-Command Qualification Airport List is maintained in the FSIMS and is associated with operations specifications C050 and C067. The current list can be found at: http://fsims.faa.gov

When is a revised ETA required?

ICAO modified Annex 2 with Amendment #43 in 2012 with this newer 2 minute/120 second threshold so as to be consistent between voice and ADS-C reporting. That being said, some regulators describe this reporting requirement as "3 Minutes or greater" vice the “Greater than 2minutes” found in Annex 2. It is the same threshold… just described from the other end of the number line. 

c. Change in Time Estimate: If the time estimate for the next applicable reporting point, flight information region boundary or destination aerodrome, whichever comes first, is found to be in error in excess of 2 minutes from that notified to air traffic services, or such other period of time as is prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority or on the basis of air navigation regional agreements, a revised estimated time shall be notified as soon as possible to the appropriate air traffic services unit. ICAO Annex 2, Rules of the Air, Chapter 3, Paragraph

When London Control asked me “What services were we requesting”. What are they asking for?

Basic Service = for the purpose of giving advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights. This may include weather information, changes of serviceability of facilities, conditions at aerodromes, general airspace activity information, and any other information likely to affect

Traffic Service = a surveillance based ATS, where in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides specific surveillance-derived traffic information to assist the pilot in avoiding other traffic. Controllers may provide headings and/or levels for the purposes of positioning and/or sequencing; however, the controller is not required to achieve deconfliction minima, and the pilot remains responsible for collision avoidance.

Deconfliction Service = is a surveillance based ATS where, in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides specific surveillance-derived traffic information and issues headings and/or levels aimed at achieving planned deconfliction minima, or for positioning and/ or sequencing. However, the avoidance of other traffic is ultimately the pilot’s responsibility. This is similar to what VFR aircraft get from ARTCC here in the USA

Procedural Service = is an ATS where, in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides restrictions, instructions, and approach clearances, which if complied with, shall achieve deconfliction minima against other aircraft participating in the Procedural Service. Neither traffic information nor deconfliction advice can be passed with respect to unknown traffic. This is similar to what IFR aircraft get from ARTCC here in the USA and what is being provided to IFR aircraft in the ICAO countries in South America/LatinAmerica. CAP 774 UK Flight Information Services, 2rd Ed., 4FEB15, Chapters 2,3, and 4