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LFKB / Bastia-Poretta / BIA

10 mai 2016 (mis à jour le 1er juin 2016) - Transports
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This page is intended to draw commercial and private pilots’ attention to the aeronautical context and main threats related to an aerodrome. They have been identified in a collaborative way by the main organisations operating, to, on the platform (airlines, airport operator, air navigation service provider, aero clubs, Meteo France…) by comparing items from their respective safety management systems (SMS). Such information has been validated by the members of the Local Safety Teams (LST) of the aerodromes.

Click on the titles of the contents to get more details on the identified threats.

Updated on 01 June 2016



CONTENTS

GENERAL / ENVIRONMENT

ARRIVAL

RUNWAY

IFR CLEARANCE / TAXI

DISCLAIMER

 


GENERAL / ENVIRONMENT

Risks related to wind, low clouds and thunderstorms

 

The moderate to strong and even very strong West wind causing tailwind at both thresholds of the runway, turbulence and then crosswind ;

Low clouds, mist and fog at sunrise ;

Thunderstorms especially during summers but also in autumns and winter.

 

  • Wind  
As a reminder, the direction of wind patterns at Bastia-Poretta airport is :

- Land breeze (night) : 220°

- Sea breeze (day) : 140°

Although the mountain chain to the West is generally a protection for Bastia-Poretta airport against the stronger West winds, the cases 1 and 2 below occur around 10 days a year.
 
Case 1 : moderate to quite strong wind coming from the west sector
The wind at runway 16 gains a North-West component which is canalized and accelerated by the Venturi effect in the Lancône gorge up to 20/30 kt, while the wind at runway 34 has still a normal South-East breeze of 5/10 kt. Sometimes this breeze is strengthened by up to 15 kt due to a draught coming from the Golo valley. This draught created by diverging effect causes also turbulence as it leaves the valley. The airfield is then subject to horizontal windshear.
 
 
 
 
Case 2 : quite strong to strong wind from the South-West sector (Libecciu)
Even if there is no wind or very little wind on the airfield, turbulence may be generated by a strong horizontal and vertical windshear (wind above 500 m and/or in the Cap Corse).
Indeed, strong turbulence appears on the lee side of the mountains and is generally observed on the East side of the Cap Corse as well as to the East of the airport usually above 2000 ft. This phenomenon is recognizable by the appearance of clouds with a lenticular shape over the turbulence.
It is then very important to check the wind values and to be careful of the vertical windshear effects while on approach runway 34 that are liable to cause plane stall (a wind of 30 kt at 5000 ft in the boundary layer of Castagniccia and very little wind at sea level).
 
 
  • Low clouds, mist and fog
Low clouds : continuous and sustained maritime airflow (at least 12h) from the East to South-East for 10/15 kt.
This situation produces widespread areas of low clouds (stratus and/or stratocumulus) that can come to a standstill on the mountain chain.
Low ceiling (BRK/OVC 800 ft to 1500 ft) with possibility of light rain and drizzle, and reduced visibility that may vary between the North and the South of the runway (2000 m to 8000 m) may be observed.
This phenomenon is particularly a problem for VFR flights because passing points such as the Lancône gorge (W), the Teghime pass (NW) and the Golo valley (SW) are being hidden in the clouds.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mist and fog at threshold 16 (5 to 6 days per year lasting 1 to 2 hours)
In winter, a thin layer of fog (MIFG : less thick than 2 m) covering the North part of the runway is frequently observed when the wind is calm at sunrise. This surface fog appears when cold air lies on a wet surface and lasts 1 to 2 hours before dissipating by the heat of the sun.
 
Mist and fog at threshold 34 (10 to 15 days per year lasting 1 hour) :
The Golo river generates a continuous night breeze that brings a fresh airflow all year round at sunset or at night. This breeze cools a wetter and warmer layer of air issued from the daily sea breeze, causing fog banks (BCFG) in the threshold 34 area.
These fog banks are associated with low clouds (stratus lower than 1000 ft) which normally do not cover more than half the runway. The North part of the runway remains clear with better conditions.
 
 
  • Thunderstorms
1) Nearby terrain to the West is frequently subject to thunderstorm cells building up during the day in summer and especially on the Castagniccia region. It is worth noting that they can be close to the approach tracks and that they often advance over the airfield in the middle of the afternoon.
 
2) In autumn and winter the Tyrrhenian sea to the East is an ideal source of energy for developing thunderstorm cells as it remains in general warm. These cells remain above the sea and hardly ever go over the airfield but they may disrupt the traffic anyway in being close to the approach tracks.
However these unstable airflows coming from the South are those responsible for the strongest rainfall on the East side of the island with possible flooding.
 
 
 

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Risks related to aeronautical activities performed around the CTR

Paragliders, parachutes, aircraft performing air training or touristic VFR flights can be seen in the CTR or in the vicinity of it.
Possible paraglider activity between NW (Teghime pass) and W (Lancône gorge) as well as on the terrain close to S point.
 
Frequent parachute dropping inside area n°405 which is located close to the runway 16 final and initial climb runway 34. The activity of this area is available on the ATIS or with Bastia Information.
 
From April to the end of October, the touristic VFR flights are likely to be numerous in the vicinity of the airfield. These aircraft usually fly along the coast line at 1000 ft and make touristic circuits over the highest summits of Corsica between 4500 ft and 6500 ft before refuelling at Bastia-Poretta airport. Thus, it is important to apply the “SEE AND AVOID” principle while following these paths. 
 

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Risks related to increased traffic on the airport during high season

Additional commercial and private planes come to Bastia-Poretta airport from April to October. Fire-fighting airtankers such as Turbo Firecats and Superscoopers can also be on fire missions. This increased number of flight may cause holding patterns, more holding on the ground and sometimes apron saturation.

Turbo Firecats working on a fire close to Bastia load fire retardant on the airport while Superscoopers fill their water tanks by scooping water off the sea. When on missions these aircraft have priority over other planes.
 
As touristic VFR planes can be numerous to park on stands at Bastia, pilots should book a stand by sending a PPR to the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie () and should read the NOTAMs prior to their flight.

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ARRIVAL

 Possible restricted choice of arrival path due to meteorology

The wind from West sector or the clouds located on the mountains may sometimes prevent pilots from flying some arrival tracks and procedures.

In case of moderate to strong wind from West sector, control services may advise against some paths or procedures because of possible/reported turbulence :
  • VFR arrivals via N point and East of Cap Corse ;
  • IFR arrivals via VOR runway 16 approach (the ILS runway 34 approach or the ILS runway 34 circling 16 approach will be proposed instead).
Entering points such as NW, W and SW located in the mountainous part of the CTR are sometimes hidden in the clouds. Before trying to enter the CTR via these points, pilots can contact Bastia Information to obtain more weather details.
 
 

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VOR A 16 approach : risk of late visual acquisition

The VOR runway 16 approach ends with a visual prescribed track visual acquisition of the ground at 2.5 NM or 3.5 NM from BTA VOR. In the case of poor meteorological conditions the visual on the runway threshold may be delayed causing going around.

Video : VOR A VPT A runway 16 approach at Bastia (downloading may be slow)

Note : these are real tracks taken from commercial flights operated by airlines serving the airport and reproduced in a quasi-realistic environment (Google Earth). They have been optimized to focus on the specific threats of these approach paths.

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Situations that may cause going around after a visual approach runway 34 (via BTA then right hand downwind)

Visual approach are often accepted to reduce the approach timing from 5 min with ILS Z to 3 min (15/20 planes per hour instead of 12). But some situations may increase this timing by causing going around.

Video : visual approach at Bastia via right hand downwind runway 34 (downloading may be slow)

Note : these are real tracks taken from commercial flights operated by airlines serving the airport and reproduced in a quasi-realistic environment (Google Earth). They have been optimized to focus on the specific threats of these approach paths.

  • At sunset when the aircraft is in right hand base, the position of the sun facing the pilot may prevent an easy visual on the runway sometimes causing "go around" ;
  • Turning base too soon may end into non stabilized approach and going around ;
  • Arriving too high over BTA may lead the pilot to extend the downwind to lose altitude and thus will reduce the usefulness of a visual approach.
 

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Converging IFR and VFR tracks : risk of separation loss

VFR arrivals via the S-SA transit are on a close parallel track to IFR flights on ILS 34 procedure (or on initial climb runway 16) and those arriving via the N-NA transit are close to IFR flights on VOR 16 approach (or on initial climb runway 34).

Air traffic controllers usually ask VFR pilots to transit at 1000 ft maximum and to remain along the mountain chain between S and SA or between N and NA in order to increase the distance between IFR and VFR paths, this until one pilot has visual on the other one.
 

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RUNWAY

Limited use of the runway with crosswind

When the runway is wet and when there is a crosswind component of more than 20 kt, landings are not permitted due to the proximity of the safety area fence.

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 Bird hazard

Presence of small birds of prey (hawks, black-eared kite, red kite, etc.) that cannot be relocated because they would come back to their initial habitat when the relocation distance is less than 250 km. For information, Bastia-Poretta airport’s strategy is to limit attractive areas for birds by leaving tall grass in the vicinity of the runway.

There is no bird hazard due to migratory species as the pond attracts them out of aeronautical tracks and secures them a place to stay and rest.
 

IFR CLEARANCE / TAXI

 Possible restricted choice of the departure procedure due to the meteorology

The wind from West sector may sometimes prevent pilots from flying some departure procedures.

In case of moderate to strong wind from West sector, multidirectional IFR departures to the East over the sea will be proposed so that the plane will come back facing the mountain chain with enough altitude (around 6500 ft) to avoid most of the turbulence and fly over BTA not lower than FL 80.
 
 

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DEPARTURE

Specific manoeuvres due to high terrain in the vicinity of the airport

As the airport is located immediately to the East of a mountain chain higher than 3500 ft, the standard departures have been designed with a climb slope above 3.3%.

The VFR pilots may sometimes have to turn over the sea to gain altitude before flying towards NW point.
 

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Possible restricted choice of departure procedure due to the meteorology (VFR only)

In case of moderate to strong wind from West sector, control services may advise against VFR departing via N point and Cap Corse because of possible turbulence.
 

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Converging IFR and VFR tracks

 VFR departures via the SA-S transit are one a close parallel track to IFR flights on ILS 34 approach (or on initial climb runway 16). VFR departures via NA-N are parallel to IFR flights on VOR 16 approach (or on initial climb runway 34).

Air traffic controllers usually ask VFR pilots to fly initially along the mountain chain when airborne and then to remain along the mountains at 1000 ft maximum to join N or S point. This aims to increase the distance between IFR and VFR tracks until one pilot has visual on the other one.

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 DISCLAIMER

The pieces of information provided are published only for indication, information and are not exhaustive. We make our best to keep them updated. They are a valuable complement for flight preparation but they cannot and should not replace the reference aeronautical information contained in the AIP France (Aeronautical Information Publication), AIP supp, AIC (Aeronautical Information Circular) and NOTAM.


This page has been produced with the help of Air Corsica, Air France, HOP ! and pilots of local flying clubs, who have provided their expertise and teaching aid.

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