Menu

Special Operations Letter of Agreement


This document describes the Standard Level of Agreement for all Operational Air Traffic in or passing through the EHAA FIR. This document ensures that everyone is aware of the duties for all pilots and ATC flying/handling Special Operations traffic and ensures a safe working environment.
This document shall be adhered to by Special Operations air traffic or controllers handling Special Operations air traffic at all times.

Submission of a flight plan

Flightplan
All IFR and VFR Special Operations Traffic on IVAO shall submit a flightplan.

Callsigns
Domestic based aircraft:
Aircraft shall use a tactical callsign (e.g. ANVIL01) or Netherlands Air Force callsign (NAF). Tactical callsigns shall end in 2 digits. Aircraft flying in the same formation shall use the same tactical callsign followed by consecutive numbers (e.g. TIGER01 and TIGER02). NAF callsigns shall end in 3 digits (e.g. NAF312). Aircraft flying in formation with NAF callsign shall use consecutive letters following the 3 digits (e.g. NAF 323A and NAF323B). 
The use of tactical callsigns for aircraft travelling from EHAA FIR to another FIR is prohibited. Aircraft shall use their nation’s callsign (see below).

Non-domestic based aircraft:
The use of tactical callsigns within the EHAA FIR, outside exercise areas, is prohibited.
Aircraft shall use their nation’s ICAO callsign (e.g. German Air Force). 

Flightplan items:
Item 13: estimated departure time (ETD) shall be filed instead of estimated off block time.
Item 15: Non-RVSM equiped aircraft shall refrain from filing flightlevels between FL290 and FL410.
Item 18: specifying persons on board (POB) is mandatory. If POB is unknown, file TBN (to be notified).
Item 18: aircraft making use of Window 1-3 shall also specify this as RMK/Window# (aircraft shall mention the use of a window in the route as well).


General rules and procedures

Flight rules
VFR: Police, Lifeliner, Search and Rescue, military and Coast guard flights shall adhere to GAT VFR rules, including special VFR procedures. 
IFR: Military and Coastguard flights shall adhere to Operational Air Traffic (OAT) rules. In some exceptional conditions military or coast guard traffic shall adhere to General Air Traffic (GAT) rules. Lifeliner and police helictopers shall adhere to GAT rules, they do not classify as OAT.

Figure 1 flow chart for military traffic operating in the EHAA FIR FL195-245 or crossing FL245


Figure 2 flow chart for military traffic transiting EHAA FIR with an entry and exit level above FL245

See "Upper Airspace Routes" header for OAT routes.

Airspace structure and ATS airspace classification

http://www.ais-netherlands.nl/aim
Enroute chart 6-2.1 Airspace structure and ATS airspace classification

Prohibited/Restricted/Danger areas, Temporary Reserved Airspace and Cross Border Area

Click on the following link for the chart:

Or visit:
http://www.ais-netherlands.nl/aim
Enroute chart 6-5.1 Prohibited / Restricted / Danger areas, Temporary Reserved Areas and Cross Border areas

CAT B exercises shall be confined to the following training areas as announced in a NOTAM for the Cat B event: EHD 1-9/1A-9A, EHR2/2A/2B/2C, EHR8/8A, EHR4/4A/4B/4C/4D/4F, EHR1A/1B, TRA 10/10A/10B, TRA 12/12A and CBA SEA 1.

Area restrictions

OAT traffic shall stay clear of the Schiphol and Rotterdam TMAs and CTRs.  Appropriate windows (window 1,2 or 3) should be used to travel between Dutchmil TMAs or exercise areas.

Access to the Schiphol and Rotterdam TMAs and CTRs for military or OAT traffic shall only be obtained with prior divisional approval. Contact the NL-SOC and NL-SOAC for prior approval.

Coastguard aircraft stationed at EHAM are exempted from this rule for the Schiphol CTR and TMA.

Special Operations traffic shall file a GAT flight plan when prior divisional approval has been obatained to enter the Schiphol and Rotterdam TMAs and CTRs. 

Lifeliner, police and other HEMS helicopters solely classify as GAT traffic and do not require prior approval to enter the Schiphol and Rotterdam CTRs and TMAs.

Low flying operations

All military low flying operations (e.g. air-to-ground operations, combined air force and army operations etc) shall be limited to the assigned low flying areas. 
Low flying areas shall only be used under VMC. 
The use of the NVG areas shall only be permitted for military helicopters.

Chart of low flying and NVG areas
Chart of GPS coordinates low flying and NVG areas

Speed restrictions

Aircraft shall adhere to ICAO speed restrictions, except for aircraft that cannot adhere to a 250kts restriction (like fighter jets).
GND-FL100: 250 kias.
FL100-UNL: < Mach 0.95 (for supersonic restrictions see header "supersonic restrictions" below).

Aircraft incapable of adhering to 250 kias restriction shall adhere to the following rules:
GND-FL100: 350 kias.
FL100-UNL: < Mach 0.95 (for supersonic restrictions see header "supersonic restrictions" below).
In case an aircraft is incapable of adhering to a speed restriction of 250 kias below FL100, the aircraft shall adhere to the following rules:
  • minimum visibility for VFR flights increased from 5 km to 8km
  • minimum visibility in Class G airspace below FL100 increased from 5 km to 8 km
  • ATC shall be informed of the inability to adhere a 250 kias restriction

Window 1: < Mach 0.85
Window2: < Mach 0.85
Window3: 350 kias

For operational purposes, all speeds restrictions for OAT may temporarily be suspended at ATC discretion.

Supersonic restrictions

For aircraft in the EHAA FIR to accelerate to speeds in excess of Mach 0.95 prior permission from ATC shall be acquired and shall only be permitted if the following rules are taken into consideration:

Supersonic restrictions over sea:
  • further than 35 NM from the coast (this includes both main land and the Wadden Isles)
  • if the distance from the coast is less than 35 NM, then altitude shall be above FL350 AMSL on a seabound course

Supersonic restrictions over land:
Supersonic flights over land shall only be permitted in the Nieuw Milligen CTA North, if the following conditions are met:
  • altitude above FL350
  • in horizontal or climbing flight
  • on a northbound course

For operational purposes, all supersonic restrictions for OAT traffic can temporarily be suspended at ATC discretion.

Use of afterburner

The afterburner is restricted from being used  below FL100, except during takeoff and landing.

For operational purposes, all afterburner restrictions for OAT traffic can temporarily be suspended at pilot discretion.

Formation restrictions

Aircraft flying in formation in the EHAA FIR shall adhere to the following rules:
  • formation aircraft shall remain within 1NM lateral and longitudinal separation from their leader
  • formation aircraft shall remain within 100ft vertical separation from their leader
  • only the formation leader shall activate his transponder unless otherwise instructed by ATC

Altitude restrictions

Fixed wing aircraft shall adhere to the following rules:
  • minimum of 1000ft separation with the highest obstacle within a 600m radius
  • minimum altitude over the Waddenzee is 1500ft
  • minimum altitude 100ft AGL over sea, further than 1NM from the coast

Additional rules for jet aircraft:
  • Outside UDP minimum altitude 3000ft AGL

Helicopters shall adhere to the following rules:
  • minimum of 700ft vertical separation with the highest object within a 600m radius in populated or industrial areas
  • minimum altitude 150ft AGL over other land areas
  • minimum altitude over the Waddenzee is 1500ft
  • minimum altitude 100ft AGL over sea, further than 1NM from the coast

Lower airspace routes

The following routes can be used for low flying:

AWX routes:
  • AWX1 for day- and night flying, VFR only. Reserved for national use.
Link to chart
  • AWX2 for day- and nightflying, VFR only. Reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • AWX2A for day- and nightflying, VFR only. Reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • AWX2B for day- and nightflying, VFR only. Reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • AWX5 for day- and nightflying, VFR only. Reserved for national use.
Link to chart

BENE routes:
  • BENE1 for day- and nightflying. Both IFR and VFR. Dayflying reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • BENE1A for day- and nightflying. Both IFR and VFR. Dayflying reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • BENE1B for day- and nightflying. Both IFR and VFR. Dayflying reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • BENE1C for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR. Reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • BENE1S for day- and nightflying. Both IFR and VFR. Dayflying reserved for traffic from EHVK.
Link to chart
  • BENE3 for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR. Starting in Belgium. Ending at Nordhorn range.
Link to chart
  • BENE3A for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR.Starting in Belgium.Ending at Nordhorn range.
Link to chart
  • BENE4 for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR. Starting in Belgium.
Link to chart
  • BENE5 for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR. Reserved for RNLAF and BAF. Route shall end with Vliehors High Level Departure.
Link to chart
  • BENE6 for nightflying only. Both IFR and VFR. Starting and ending in Belgium.
Link to chart

Upper airspace routes

OAT operating FL195-245 shall adhere to the following rules:
  • OAT shall file DCT TACAN routepoints in the upper airspace 
  • minimum cruising level FL200/FL210
  • OAT entering the EHAA FIR shall enter via the TACAN entry points.
  • it is mandatory for OAT to use the window1, window2 or window3 to travel between the Dutchmil TMAs or exercise areas.

Special Operations aircraft operating FL >245 shall adhere to the following rules:
  • RVSM Aircraft shall file a GAT flight plan, except when operating in Temporary Reserved Airspace (TRA) or in danger/restricted areas. UT601 shall only be used in combination with a GAT flight plan. 
  • Non-RVSM Aircraft shall file an OAT flight plan. OAT shall file DCT TACAN routepoints in the upper airspace. Minimum cruising level FL200/FL210. OAT entering the EHAA FIR shall enter via the TACAN entry points. It is mandatory for OAT to use the window1, window2 or window3 to travel between the Dutchmil TMAs or exercise areas.

All Special Operations aircraft crossing FL245 shall change their flight rules from GAT to OAT or vice versa depending on above mentioned rules for FL195-245 and >FL245.

Charts:

Air-to-Air Refueling tracks

  • CAROL track, WTM R-270 45/127 DME, LWD R-273 0/69DME
  • POLLY track, LWD R-334 16 DME/R-245 30 DME/R-272 34 DME/LWD TACAN
Altitude block for both tracks is FL260-290. Both tracks shall be flown in a left handed pattern.
CAROL track shall be used as default track. POLLY track shall only be used in case sea water temperature <10°C.

Link to chart of tanker tracks

Air-to-Ground range

Vliehors range. VFR and IFR allowed. All traffic operating on Vliehors range shall remain within vertical, longitudinal  and lateral limits of EHR4/4A/4B/4C/4D/4E/4F. The EHR4 areas shall be activated in coordination with the online ATC and should be confined to a minimum amount of areas necessary for an operation as much as possible. 
IFR traffic shall use Vliehors departure when operations are finished.

Link to Vliehors departure charts

Interceptions

Aircraft shall adhere to the following rules when intercepting other air traffic in the EHAA FIR:
  • Military aircraft shall be used to perform interceptions
  • Interceptions are prohibited unles prior approval is obtained from the aircraft that is to be intercepted and the ATC station the intercept is to be performed on.
  • Non-RVSM equipped aircraft shall not proceed within 2000ft vertical separation or 5NM longitudinal and lateral separation of any other aircraft unless prior permission from the intercepted pilot and ATC has been acquired.
  • RVSM equipped aircraft shall not proceed within 1000ft vertical separation or 5NM longitudinal and lateral separation of any other aircraft unless prior permission from the intercepted pilot and ATC has been acquired.
  • ATC stations shall notify the appropriate other ATC stations of the (intention to) intercept in case the aircraft involved are about to transition into another ATC station's airspace.

Aircraft (re)joining their own or other formations are not considered to be performing an intercept and are thus exempted from above mentioned rules.

Controllers

  • All military airports except Eindhoven and EHVK_R_APP (Volkel approach) are restricted to  ADC and higher rated controllers. 
  • The RAPCON ATC stations are responsible for the following traffic:
    • Rapcon North: OAT (and GAT) traffic to/from EHLW and EHKD in or all traffic passing through the TMA A
    • Rapcon South: OAT and GAT traffic to/from EHVK, EHGR and EHEH in or all traffic passing through the TMA D
    • Rapcon West: OAT (and GAT) traffic to/from EHWO in or passingh through the TMA G1 and G2
  • Dutchmil (military area control) and Bandbox (mission control) are restricted to APC and higher rated controllers

For an overview of all positions see: Link to NL division FRA overview

Airports

  • EHEH, Eindhoven AB: military cargo and air-to-air refueling aircraft (combined with civilian air traffic)
Link to chart
  • EHVK, Volkel AB: fighter aircraft
Link to chart
  • EHLW, Leeuwarden AB: fighter aircraft
Link to chart
  • EHGR, Gilze Rijen AB: attack helicopters and transport helicopters
Link to chart
  • EHWO, Woensdrecht AB: propeller training aircraft and aircraft maintenance
Link to chart
  • EHKD, De Kooy AB: naval helicopters and search and rescue aircraft
Link to chart
  • EHDL, Deelen AB: training area for air force and army
Link to chart
  • EHAM, Schiphol Airport: coastguard aircraft
Link to chart