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Useful informations

In order to facilitate the preparation for VFR flights in Polish airspace, we suggest a few steps that will allow a pilot to gather necessary information.

1. Map for VFR flight

A pilot is obliged to prepare the flight by making himself familiar with the Polish airspace by using the ICAO map for VFR flights.

It should be noted that, in addition to permanent zones
- EP R [Restricted area – note that in Poland all Restricted areas are permanent],
- EP P [Prohibited area],
- ADIZ [Air Defence Identification Zone])
there are flexible areas such as
- TSA [Temporary Segregated Area],
- TRA [Temporary Reserved Area],
- MRT [Military Route]
- EP D [Danger area]
- MATZ [Military Aerodrome Traffic Zone],
- ATZ [Aerodrome Traffic Zone]
which can be activated according to order published in Airspace Use Plan (AUP).
TRA, MATZ, ATZ allow all the pilots the possibility of flying through also when they are active. The condition is, however, to get approval at least just before entering that area.
TSA, MRT, EP R should be absolutely avoided.

It is necessary to make sure that you prepare your flight using the latest version of the ICAO map. You are also required to have this map with you during the flight. Once a year, the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency issues a printed 1:500000 ICAO map for VFR flights. This usually occurs at the turn of April and May, shortly after the introduction of changes in the airspace planned for a year.

2. Airspace Use Plan – AUP

On a stage of flight planning it is possible to check Airspace Use Plan (AUP) by visiting amc.pansa.pl The service allows to gain basic knowledge about restrictions in the airspace planned for the current day and the next day.
On the webpage, under the “AUP” tab, the AUP is available in a text form, under the “CHARTS” tab - in a graphical form.
www.amc.pansa.pl

3. Contact with ASM-3

The recommended way of checking the accessibility of airspace is calling ASM-3 (Airspace Management department of PANSA).
After providing flight details (the airport of taking off and landing, turning points, planned: altitude of a flight, take off and landing time) an analysis will be carried out taking into account the latest confirmation or cancellation of ordered zones. The result will be given in few minutes by phone.
The service is available in Polish and English languages.
Please note that ASM-3 does not provide filling a flight plan.
ASM-3 phone number: +48 22 574 57 33

4. AIP

You should be aware that some of the flexible zones visible in AUP or listed by ASM-3 are not presented in the VFR ICAO map. In particular: EA (Exercise Area) – usually activated for the purpose of military exercises or air sports. Information about the location of these zones and the respective limitations can be found in AIP Poland, AIP VFR or AIP MIL. These zones are published in the AIP supplements and refer to the AIP section ENR 5.
Please note that the content of ENR 5 - and thus supplements to this chapter – is different in AIP Poland, AIP VFR and AIP MIL. AIP VFR is prepared as publication for VFR General Aviation pilots, AIP MIL – for military pilots and supplement 22/16 in AIP differs from supplement 22/16 in AIP VFR or AIP MIL.

In AIP can be also found detailed information about:
- the airports serving VFR traffic - AIP VFR AD4.
- the rules for submitting flight plans are in AIP Poland ENR 1.10. (AIP VFR ENR 1.5),
- the altimeter setting procedures are in AIP Poland ENR 1.7 (AIP VFR ENR 1.4)

The contents of each AIP is available in:
- the web page of PANSA (ais.pansa.pl, tab “publications”, the service is free of charge but requires registration),
- the web page of EAD (ead.eurocontrol.int) provided by Eurocontrol.

5. NOTAM

A number of key capabilities of flight information are published in NOTAM messages. The information concerns:
- navigational warnings associated with aviation activities taking place in an uncontrolled airspace,
- restrictions of available airports and airstrips,
- limitations of availability of navigational aids.
The sets of NOTAM messages (pre flight bulletins) for selected airports (take off, landing, alternate), and route messages to FIR Warsaw are available:
- by ordering in the ARO (ATS Reporting Office)
phone no.
+48 22 574 71 73,
Fax: +48 22 574 71 88,
e-mail: aro@pansa.pl
- the web page of EAD (ead.eurocontrol.int) provided by Eurocontrol.

6. Flight plans

The Polish airspace requires to submit the flight plans for VFR flights:
- held (even partially) in a controlled airspace,
- at night beyond the immediate proximity of an airport,
- to the Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) placed in the proximity of European Union border,
- with crossing the border of the Polish Republic (with the exception of the Schengen group of countries that do not require flight plan for VFR international flights: Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia).

In Polish airspace, it is allowed to submit flight plans during the flight (AFIL) on frequency of Flight Information Service, whereby:
- a pilot is required to provide information for all boxes of the flight plan form (abbreviated flight plan is not valid in Poland),
- it may not be feasible due to intensity of traffic on FIS radio frequency and the radio coverage at low heights.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to submit a flight plan before a flight and then check if it was not rejected.

In the Polish airspace, it is allowed to close flight plans from the air as long as a pilot foresees difficulties with the execution after landing. In accordance with the provisions of SERA, it is possible just before landing.
We strongly recommend to close a flight plan after landing. This allows the air traffic services to know that landing was safe for sure. This is particularly important in relation to international flights, after which a message about landing is sent to the air traffic services of the countries through which a flight was conducted.

Please note that due to the conditions of closing a flight plan before landing imposed by SERA (flight plan may be closed from the air just before landing), in practice it is not feasible to submit sectional flight plans for a part of the route.

To file, confirm acceptance, change, delay, close flight plans please contact the ARO (ATS Reporting Office)
phone no.
+48 22 574 71 73,
Fax: +48 22 574 71 88
,
e-mail: aro@pansa.pl

Note: acceptance of a flight plan for a flight in an uncontrolled space does not mean that there is no conflict of the planned route with flexible or permanent areas of the airspace. Such an analysis (see above points 1, 2, 3) of flight plans is not executed by the ARO (ATS Reporting Office). It is the responsibility of the pilot in command.

7. Good to know that…

In Polish flight information region (FIR) civil air traffic services are provided by Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA).
In Polish airspace there are only C, D and G airspace classes.
Controlled airspace lays above FL95 in all FIR – class C. Below – only in CTR (Control area – class C and D) and TMA (Terminal Area – class C and D).
In uncontrolled airspace (class G) there is provided area Flight Information Service (FIS) available in English as well as in Polish language.
Aerodrome Flight Information Service (AFIS) is available only on 5 aerodromes (EPBC, EPML and EPSY, EPRA, EPMO – when ATC is not provided). The majority of small airfields having own radio frequency do not provide aerodrome information service, so radio communication in English language may not be available.
CTRs and TMAs of the main airports are 24/7. At smaller airports (for example EPSY, EPZG, EPLB, EPRA) ATC is provided only in hours published in AIP or NOTAM.
Transition altitude in FIR Warsaw is 6500 ft altitude. Transition level – FL80 or FL90 (when QNH is very low). Flight planning in transition layer (between 6500 ft alt and FL80) should be avoided.