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International Procedures

Getting Back to Flying

There’s been a lot of talk about getting back to flying as the pandemic winds down. Some of the more complex work that is done around flying are international procedures. Everyone in your operation must be on the ball for international flying, such as flight followers for different airport rules and approvals, and maintenance personnel for required operating equipment. I, for one, have expired for ETOPS flying, so I’m taking this opportunity to prepare for my return. International flying may have training requirements based on where your operation resides, but, regardless, it’s always a good idea to get some international procedures training and, just as importantly, keep your skills fresh with recurrent training and, of course, regular oceanic and remote continental flights when you can.

Oceanic Errors

Now that flying is starting to return as the pandemic subsides, more oceanic flights are happening, but, unfortunately, the oceanic errors are way up. The most frequent errors are incorrect weather deviation procedure and lateral errors due to lack of plotting chart usage. The North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual (NAT Doc 007) states, “errors associated with re-clearances continue to be the most frequent cause of Gross Navigation Errors in the North Atlantic HLA.”
Plotting your route is critical and required. Also, the weather and non-weather contingency procedures changed for the globe in November of 2020. The good news is that there is only these procedures for the globe; however, when you are checking the AIP of the countries you will be flying through, it’s a good idea to verify that these countries have adopted ICAO’s new contingency procedures for their offshore operations. At this time, I don’t know of any countries that have not adopted the new 5-mile offset contingency procedures.

Take The International Procedures Training by

Other than international procedures training itself, another helpful tool is a Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) specifically for international procedures that resides on your EFB or in the cockpit or airplane library. Some crews have made their own, but will be providing a QRH as a part of the International Procedures Recurrent topic, which will be released later this year. A QRH could contain checklists for required aircraft equipment, preflight checklist, oceanic checklist, required radio verbiage, ETP procedures, waypoint passage procedures, SLOP procedures, contingency procedures, ditching procedures, communications failure procedures, WATRS or RNP 10 procedures, and more.

Spend some time before your next international flight to refresh your knowledge. If you enjoy podcasts, then listen to our podcasts on International Procedures and checklists. Have fun out there!

– Brent Fishlock, Technical Advisor Team Lead,

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