Aviation Safety News Roundup | August 2021

Aviation Safety News Roundup | August 2021
Claire Ealding
Sep 1, 2021

Afghanistan Emergency Order For FAA Aircraft

  • Taliban forces have overthrown the Afghan government and taken control of the country after seizing the capital, Kabul. NOTAM’s imply no ATC availability within the Kabul FIR or at Kabul Airport (OAKX).
  • Effective immediately, US operators and flight crew are prohibited from operating in the Kabul Flight Information Region (OAKX). The FAA cites three specific risk factors: extremist/militant activity, limited risk mitigation capabilities, and disruptions to Air Traffic Services (Ref KICZ NOTAM A0022/21).
  • Overflights are limited to one airway: P500/G500. “[This] airway crosses the sliver of Afghan airspace in the east of Afghanistan between Pakistan and Tajikistan.”
    Major airlines have now stopped using Afghanistan’s airspace for overflights, most electing to route south via the airspace over the United Arab Emirates and Arabian Sea.
  • There are exemptions to the NOTAMs. “You can operate in the Kabul FIR (OAKX) if another US government agency authorizes it together with the FAA… You can operate into Kabul International (OAKB) if you follow the PPR (Prior Permission) process and are aware of the service limitations at the airport, including lack of fuel and no possibility of overnighting.”
  • There are fears that there may only be a short window for additional evacuation flights to take place now that the Taliban are effectively in control of Kabul.

Federal Aviation Administration

Europe Business Aviation Accident-Free In 2020

  • This month the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published their annual safety review. During 2020, there were no fatal and non-fatal accidents involving an EASA registered part NCC (non-commercial) business airplane.
  • Despite being accident-free, part NCC was not incident-free. “Serious incidents have inherent risk profiles that may be equal or even exceed the risk of some accidents.”
  • According to 5 years of data, business aviation has an increased propensity for high-risk occurrences than low-risk occurrences. However, the report explains that a lack of safety reporting is the likely cause for this. “This is likely due to the low reporting in the NCC domain, where there is a tendency for higher risk accidents and serious incidents, normally very visible and with severe outcomes, to be reported and investigated.”
  • EASA defined some key risk areas for part NCC business aircraft as airborne collision, runway excursion, and aircraft upset.

European Union Aviation Safety Agency

‘Tis The Season For Bird Strikes | Migration Season Has Officially Begun

  • The risk of bird strikes increases during migration season, beginning in August and running through until November.
  • In 2019, data shows that there were on average 48 bird strikes per day in the USA (that equates to one for every 1812 flights). However, only 739 of these events caused aircraft damage. Still, even if no damage occurs, it can cause precautionary diversions and aircraft downtime for post-strike inspections.
  • Experts put total damages from strikes at $196 million annually and 110,000 hours of downtime.
  • According to the US DOT, 13 of the 14 largest bird species have increased in population and become more acclimatized to urban environments, such as airports.
    AIM 5.6.2 contains helpful information for avoiding and coping with bird strikes.
  • Pilots are strongly encouraged to report a bird strike to ATC, your company, and submit a report on wildlife.faa.gov. The data helps to track bird strike hotspots and make airports safer for the wider aviation community.

Federal Aviation Administration Safety Briefing

Experts Explain The Overlooked Security Issues That Can Endanger Biz Jet Crew And Passengers

  • Greg Kulis, security officer for IS-BAO and corporate pilot, says, “each flight operation, no matter the size, should have a security coordinator who facilitates communications with corporate security and flight operations.”
  • “Today, we have advanced aircraft with [internet] connectivity, and the aircraft is connected to the company. That makes it not only a physical target but a target for hackers seeking a backdoor into a business’s executive suite.” In addition to potential internet breaches, there are various other security issues that flight departments can overlook.
  • One serious issue is not having enough fuel on the aircraft to leave quickly in an emergency and fly at least one country over. Global political instability and natural disasters can cause situations to develop rapidly, resulting in problems obtaining fuel.
  • When it comes to ground security, operators should only use vetted ground transportation providers and have on-the-ground safety plans. “When it comes to criminal activity, your highest-risk segment is from the FBO to the hotel. The reason for that is that your ground transportation providers have an enormous amount of information. They know who you are and where you are coming from. They know that you are coming off a U.S.-based aircraft, what hotel you are going to, and how long you will be staying there.”
  • Other security issues mentioned include food security (safety, transport, and storage), baggage identification and security, and thermal containment bags for electronic devices.

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