Flight Following Intl' Ops

International travel involves extensive attention to detail that must be timely, correctly documented and properly acted upon. A trip that is not well planned can cause complications, delays and/or denial of entry/exit. Begin the planning with the basic “who, what, where, when, how” when preparing an international itinerary. Below here are some of general subjects that should be covered in ANY trip planning and traning programs for Schedulers/Dispatchers. 

A one-day/8-hr customized International Procedures recurrent is very popular with out clients. We can provide this as an On-Line training presentation or Live/in-person. A combination of these methods can cover both those in the classroom and those individulas meeting flight schedule demands and unable to attend in-person. 

Initial Scheduler/Dispatcher operational familiarzation instruction usually takes two to three 8hr days depending on previous experience and familiarity with the subject material and regions desided to be covered. Please email us (via the contact form on the right side of this page) to discuss your specific requirements. We can provide you with a detailed cost estimate, standard rate sheet and course outline for your budgeting decisions.

Permit Requirements

Acceptance of a flight plan and issuance of a flight clearance by a foreign ATC unit does not constitute official approval for airspace penetration. CAAs may require prior permission for airspace penetration. Pursue airspace violations that occur in such instances as in-flight interception may result. Depending on the country, receipt of overflight, landing (and in some cases operating and parking permits) can take anywhere from hours to months. Requirements vary from country to country. Overflight and landing permits must be one of the first steps in planning any flight outside the U.S. Once obtained, copies of permits should be kept onboard for in-flight reference and presentation upon landing. Landing within a country must be made at one of the designated airports of entry, which are listed in the ICAO Regional Air Navigation Plan or the country’s AIP. In some cases, mandatory routes to be flown will be specified as well.

Handling Provided vs. Self Arranged

A wide range of services for international operators are available from professional firms that specialize in obtaining overflight and landing permits, security information, computerized flight planning, weather information, charts, NOTAM dissemination, communications, flight following and ground handling for passengers, aircraft, and crew. The decision on whether to use such a firm, and which firm to use is based primarily on the operator’s level of experience in the region and what level of service the operator desires. Depending on the country/airport, specific handling services and agents may be mandated.

Datalink Mandates

CNS/ATM mandates are developing and vary from region to region based upon different overseas regulators. A typical timeline of a country’s required equipment implementation begins with a period of trial and evaluation. This is followed by a voluntary participation period. Sometime after that, an equipage mandate is issued. From this point forward, operators are required to equip and participate or be excluded from the airspace.  Usually relief is granted for maintenance ferry flights, delivery flights or search-and-rescue operations. Non-compliant normal operations are typically excluded.

Weather Considerations... Seasonal, Expected, Severe

Understanding weather forecasting techniques and the limitations of the various phenomena is an essential skill that can help you plan around significant weather phenomena. Be proactive in alerting your passengers to weather impacting their flight, especially if timing will be affected.

Equipment Considerations

Regional airports will be more limited in GSE options. Individual AIPs and ICAO regulations are consistent in that they require survival equipment to be carried when operating over sparsely populated or remote areas. Separate from the required first aid kits, an emergency medical supply kit provides for the more frequent cases of medical diversions and critical in-flight medical treatment. Many operators choose to carry and train for the use of automated external defibrillators, AED. A supply of drinking water, non-perishable snack food, condiments, eating utensils and cleaning supplies should be considered for carriage.

Crew Considerations

U.S. flight crews traveling abroad are required to carry all appropriate FAA certificates. Temporary certificates are rarely acceptable. ICAO bases medical certificates on the type of license held rather than operation. Airline Transport Pilots are required to have a valid first class medical. These certificates are typically considered valid only to the actual date of exam, not the end of the month. A restricted radiotelephone operator’s license issued by the FCC is required, even though this license no longer is required domestically. A passport is required for all international travel and should be valid for a period of at least six months at the time of arrival in a foreign country. This varies by country and visa requirements. Sleep loss is one of the primary contributors to fatigue in flight crewmembers and is directly related to a variety of scheduling factors.

Passenger Considerations

Most countries hold the pilot-in-command responsible for any improper documentation held by crew or passengers and can deny entry and possibly impose penalties. Coordination and oversight of passenger and flightcrew documentation requirements is needed to ensure delay free and efficient international operations. As a standard, personal documents normally required include a passport to verify citizenship, immunization records that are recognized by the WHO to prove acceptable health status and a visa to permit admission to the countries requiring them. The generally accepted international procedure for children under the age of 18 traveling without BOTH parents is to have written consent of a non-accompanying parent. While state procedures vary, if state officials and you do not have it, you may be detained until the circumstances of the child traveling without both parents can be fully assessed. 

Trip Contingencies

Having a plan in advance on how to get care when you’re overseas and become sick or injured without warning is the key to successful treatment. This applies to all travelers, but is especially important for senior citizens, pregnant women, people with pre-existing conditions, or people who will be in a foreign country for an extended period of time. 

In general, maintenance away from home base can be separated into two areas of responsibility. The first occurs when the company has a maintenance manager or someone with responsibility for the aircraft’s maintenance. The second occurs when no one fills that position. In either situation, the flight crew should consult the MEL. The availability of maintenance outside the United States should be balanced against the need to carry spare parts and an aircraft technician on the flight. A list of FAA-approved maintenance bases outside the U.S. and foreign repair stations can be obtained from the FAA.

Although your hull and liability policy may state "Worldwide", there are many areas generally excluded from coverage due to hostilities of one form or another. Specific written underwriter approval from your insurance agent/broker confirming underwriter acceptance of the flight is recommeded if you are going to a "Garden Spot"