View Full Version : Min FL's Across Afghan - Virgin

Capt Fathom
18th Mar 2004, 05:45
Last week, a Virgin A340 was given FL330 for entry into Afghanistan's airspace. He 'politely' told the controller the minimum FL he would accept was 370 (where he happened to be at the time). Is this a company requirement?. Most airlines are happy to accept the FL310 minimum on the chart.
His refusal to go lower caused some problems for others in the area at the time.
The controller was very patience.
Personally, I would have rerouted him based on his 'unhelpfulness' alone. Just as well I'm not an ATC!

18th Mar 2004, 07:37
Well, guess it depends on the reason...

18th Mar 2004, 09:30
Pardon my ignorance but I was not aware Afghan overflights were allowed. When was the order rescinded to allow civilian overflights of such airspace.

Presumably the same order still exisits for Iraqi over flights still?

18th Mar 2004, 15:56
So what if he wanted to fly at that level. There was obviously some legitimate reason for doing so!

18th Mar 2004, 20:17

Been able to overfly Afghan airspace for while now Approx 14months... Coordinate with MOCAT in KBL and you get permission :ok:


Capt Fathom
19th Mar 2004, 05:08
Well, guess it depends on the reason... So what if he wanted to fly at that level. There was obviously some legitimate reason for doing so!
Yeah, well that was what I was trying to ascertain. Great help, thanks guys!

19th Mar 2004, 08:08
Our co. notams state that we can overfly Afghan airspace at FL350 or better, as the Foreign Office, on military advice, says that SAM"s can not reach that far. This is why our Delhi service, which is the only flight that routes via this airspace returns via the Pakistan and Iran route, as the A343 is unable to reach FL350 at the FIR boundary, adding about an hour to the flt. time.
However the decision to go lower than 370 eastbound is up to the crew on the day. The alternatives are thin on the ground, and the airway is v busy at that time of day, full of Qantas, BA, CX, SQ etc.

19th Mar 2004, 10:03
Hey, thanks for the updates ref Afghan overflights folks.

Capt Fathom
19th Mar 2004, 13:08
Thanks Pnooze
We can accept FL310 as the minimum, as per the Jep Chart. Virgin is obviously a bit more conservative than that!

19th Mar 2004, 14:04
Yr welcome Capt. Fathom
To be honest FL350 or better does seem a bit conservative. The last time i was on this route we ended up at 290. The alternative was a big re-route which would probably ended up needing a tech stop. C'est la vie

7th Apr 2004, 18:23
As far as SAMs go I'm not sure FL370 makes me feel any safer than FL330.

Hotel Mode
7th Apr 2004, 19:16
Been flying over Iraq for nearly 6 months too.

8th Apr 2004, 01:54
FL370 schmero, what happens if you lose a donk over Iraq or Afghanistan? Hotel accomodation's pretty thin on the ground in downtown Kabul is it not? You might be immune from SAMs at FL350, but not when you're looking for a diversion somewhere in the middle of a firefight...