Special police patrols, airspace with limited access, possible delays in air traffic - the reality during the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Objective - safety.
The military, police and air traffic controllers have implemented special procedures securing airspace over Poland during the organization of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. The Armed Forces Branches Operational Command (DORSZ) introduced restrictions to air traffic for many types of aviation activities, and has even banned flights within a radius of 100 km from the National Stadium. The police will send out additional patrols to the immediate vicinity of the airport.
The restrictions in the Warsaw region (FIR EPWW) during the NATO Summit will be effective from July 7 from 0:01 hours (UTC) until July 10 at 23:59 hours (UTC) in accordance with the Supplement to the Aeronautical Information Publication AIP Poland - SUP 44/16 (ENR 5). The first Region of Flight Restrictions (EA97) is a circle with a radius of 100 km and its center having the following co-ordinates: 52°14′22″N 021°02′44″E (National Stadium) applicable from the ground level (GND) all the way up to Flight Level 285, i.e. the height of 8700 m.
The second Region of Flight Restrictions (EA98) is a circle with a radius of 3 km over Warsaw and its center having the following co-ordinates: 52°14′22″N 021°02′44″E (National Stadium). Its lower limit is GND and the upper - the height of 2000ft AMSL.
- The bans apply to general aviation, including, for example unmanned aircraft - "drones" - or paragliders. Of course, they do not apply to rescue, fire brigade, state or IFR flights in the controlled airspace to / from airfields (airports) - says colonel Robert Stachurski, Chief of Air Defense of the Armed Forces Branches Operational Command
In the EA 98 designated area, only flights with status HEAD (the highest authorities of the state), SAR (flight performed in a search - rescue operation), HOSP (flight performed to provide health assistance, reported by the respective medical service), Air Rescue (LPR) flights, flights following the GARDA password (the password using which which an aircraft is performs tasks associated with common safety, public order and the protection of the state border) and state aviation flights are exempt from the ban, with the exception of state flights of unmanned aircraft.
Categorical ban on drone flights for all types of aviation activities performed both for sports and recreation purposes, as well as others, that is for "commercial" purposes. The flight ban on "drones" also applies to those operators of flying aircraft models and unmanned aircraft, for whom long-term conditions for flights in the controlled zones of airports were issued by the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency.
The Armed Forces Branches Operational Command has envisaged the ability to perform air operations in special, unplanned situations for flights that are not exempt from the restrictions. Such a possibility exists only with the consent of the Chief of Air Defense of the Armed Forces Branches Operational Command upon previous submission of an application, no later than 24 hours before the scheduled flight.
- During the NATO summit, the Airport Police Station will be staffed by additional officers. Thanks to this the number of police patrols in the immediate vicinity of the airport will be increased. They will both be uniformed and operational officers - says Mariusz Ciarka from the Police Headquarters.
Policement from the Airport Police Station during the NATO summit will function as part of a specially appointed Task Force for the preparation for the NATO summit, and as a part of the work of the Support Center coordinating the work of all entities involved at the Chopin Airport during the arrival and departure of members of delegations.
The flow of information pertaining to the location of incidents involving unmanned aircraft to other units of the capital garrison will be coordinated at the Aviation Police Station.
In association with the ongoing NATO Summit the organization and rules of road traffic in the vicinity of the airport will change. Drivers must pay particular attention to additional signage, and everyone should obey the commands of officers and representatives of other security services.
- The challenge for all controllers and operational services will surely be the increased traffic associated with handling of the NATO summit, as well as intense traffic associated with the holiday season. However, we will utilize our experience, also from the organization of EURO 2012, to make sure delays are as small as possible - says Janusz Janiszewski, Senior Controller from the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) managing Polish airspace.
Difficult weather conditions can also be a test for the controllers. The storm fronts that passed through Poland in recent weeks caused serious problems in air traffic, resulting in delays in take-offs and landings of aircraft.
- Planes are guided away from the storm clouds, which results in the designation of a flight route longer by hundreds of kilometers - adds Marcin Wilkowski, Senior Controller from PANSA.
Such situations result in the need for an automatic reduction in airspace capacity by up to 30 percent.
On the photo: Janusz Janiszewski and Marcin Wilkowski - Senior Controllers of PANSA