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Airspace Infringement

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Airspace Infringement

Old 22nd Jan 2021, 17:52
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Airspace Infringement

Has anyone ever received a notice of proceedings by Bundesaufsichtsamt für Flugsicherung for an airspace 'violation' (assume infringement) on an IFR flight in German airspace, several months after the alleged event - without being told what the infringement was? No recollection of anything happening that day, and certainly not highlighted by ATC. What are the possible consequences if the accusation they come up with cannot be countered?
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Old 22nd Jan 2021, 22:30
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As far as i remember a fine of up to €50.000 or two years in prison (usually a lot less, but i've seen proposed fines of around €10.000 for missing a noise waypoint during departure for example), theoretically revocation of the license if it is an EASA one. But in most cases in the end nothing at all.
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 08:32
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I think its quite nasty to raise something like this many months after the alleged event, whatever it was. It should have been pointed out there and then so that one can file their own report, and preserve things like CVR etc. This was an IFR flight out of a busy airport, in controlled airspace and under radar the whole time.

I'd like to look into this in more detail from a legal perspective. Can anyone provide a link to an English translation of German Air Traffic Regulation "Luftverkehrs-ordnung " and German Air Traffic Act "Luftverkehrsgesetz"?

Last edited by Sidestick_flyer001; 23rd Jan 2021 at 11:46.
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 14:37
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It happens. It is quite possible that it has not been initiated by ATC at all, so they would not have been aware. Especially noise complaints are usually either flagged by the noise monitoring system after the fact, or private citizens. Those take quite a bit of time to wander through the system until they can reach the correct person.

As usual, laws are only published in the national language, in this case german. There are no official translations i could find, the closest thing i could find was a mention in the AIP. One thing to note here, as words in german are often combined words and get rather lengthy, they will be abbreviated especially in regards to laws, even in official texts which makes them barely readable, even for german nationals without legal training. The Luftverkehrsgesetz is usually shortened to LuftVG (Air Traffic Act), and the Luftverkehrsordnung to LuftVO (Air Traffic Ordinance).
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 16:01
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I was under the impression that it is pretty much impossible to infringe airspace while flying IFR under ATC (and complying).
Can you tell us what kind of flight it was? Below FL100? Departure/Arrival in Germany?
I assume that you do not hold a german issued license. In this case I would not worry about the license. Do some research if fines by this Banana Republic Deutschland can generally be drawn-in in your home country. Maybe your flavour of AAA is a good starting point.
For "simple" infingements, I have heard from as little as €250 up to €4000. If you take it to court, the problem is that it is that always the same court with the "Amtsgericht Langen" is responsible (because the "Bundesaufsichtsamt für Flugsicherung" (Federal agency for supervision of air traffic control) are residing in this hessian provincial town). The court and the guys from the "Bundesaufsichtsamt für Flugsicherung" know each other by first name, that says something on what to expect from a trial.

Last edited by BDAttitude; 23rd Jan 2021 at 16:11.
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 18:08
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From the time given, its 2 mins after takeoff from EDDF, therefore on the SID, so it looks like a noise issue. They have quoted paragraph 58 (1)(10) of the Luftverkehrsgesetz (German Air Traffic Act) - which I found here (which subrefers to Section 32, 32b, and 32c); in connection with paragraph 44 (1) of Luftverkehrs-Ordnung (German Air Traffic Regulation) here. Chrome gave decent translations.
Although legislation is quite wide-ranging, it pretty much fits that it's noise related, which is quite baffling as I'm pretty sure we were on the SID. How on earth am I supposed to defend myself? Noise related offences are fines on the PIC for up to €50,000. This is insane!
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 19:15
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So as I see it:
§58 (1) 10. LuftVG refers to §32 and this is §32 only not §32a or §32b.
§32 LuftVG basically only defines which agency is allowed to govern what by delegated rulemaking. $58 (1) 10. that you shall get a ticket if you don't comply with their rulemakeing
Nothing interesting so far.
Now LuftVO is part of that delegated rulemaking - for road vehicles one would call it road code - and §44 (1) lists 34 naughty deeds from 1.: using the wrong measurment unit to 34. performing supersonic flight.
So far I can see nothing which points towards noise. I could be anything. We only know it's a "Ordnungswidrigeit" according to LuftVO. This is the stuff you get a simple ticket for. I don't know if there is a proper translation, translator says misdemeanor - but that's too much. Maybe administrative offence? Are you sure nothing else is mentioned?
Another thing we know that it is nothing goverend by SERA, because those offences are in §44 (2).

Some general information on how things are going in Germany.
Defending yourself at this stage is of no use. You can only make things worse.
If you get a questionaire, then you usually only fill in personal information.
If you then get an actual ticket, you decide based on the sum if it is worth defending yourself. At this point you will know for sure what you have been charged with, but not what they actually have in hand against you.
Then you need a lawyer. Not by law but by practical considerations. Only a lawyer can take a look into the records and see what they actually have against you.
When you know the contents of that record you decide on what you do. First line of defence is often disputing their evidence and e.g. make them produce all radar tracks by all stations instead of the sigle fusioned track.
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Old 23rd Jan 2021, 20:50
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Were you flying your own plane, or were you acting as PIC for an AOC?
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 02:18
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Could be related to the acceleration height also even you fly the sid with insane precision. depends on the noise characteristics of the plane also what you get away with , as i remember the spiderweb of noise monitoring points in some places are set for a max decibel value. 2 minutes in could be difference between a nadp 1 or 2. Not sure which one they want you to do in Frankfurt. Think they should be able to send a printout with their complaint so you can check the track and see your track in relation to the sid.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 06:52
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Originally Posted by BDAttitude View Post
I don't know if there is a proper translation, translator says misdemeanor - but that's too much. Maybe administrative offence? Are you sure nothing else is mentioned?
Many thanks for your research BSAttitude. The only thing I can see that is relevant is that it says "pilot-in-command violated basic rules of the air during the flight" Not sure what the word basic infers.

However Paragraph 44 (1) does mention "3.contrary to Section 5, causes noise during the operation of an aircraft that is stronger than is inevitably required for proper guidance or operation,", which is a reference to noise.
This was an A320 flight at reduced power for takeoff, and i was PIC, but not PF. But that counts for nothing. I too have a feeling that it has to do with the NADPs.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 08:50
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"Basic rules of the air" that would be the content of LuftVO.
This letter was to inform you, that there are proceedings aganinst you. They need to do that, because your name were given to them as PIC by the aircraft owner (or his delegate if it was leased).
There could be more details in the questionaire the owner/lessor replied to giving your name.
Otherwise you will have to wait for a questionaire to yourself or the ticket to know more.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 09:03
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Is this real?

You were PIC of an a320 and you have been issued a fine for violating noise abatement on a departure?

Why is your employer not dealing with this notice?
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 10:21
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Originally Posted by BDAttitude View Post
"Basic rules of the air" that would be the content of LuftVO.
They need to do that, because your name were given to them as PIC by the aircraft owner
They do not know my identity. They have asked my company for my personal details but my company has asked what this is all about. BfB refuse to say. Rightly so, my company has argued that if this is a violation, it is also a safety issue that has to be dealt with immediately through its internal SMS, and not 6 months later. If it has a cowboy amongst its ranks, its a big safety issue. BfF retorted that they are not concerned with safety, but in starting preliminary proceedings against the PIC. This may turn into a legal wrangle whether the company has any obligation to pass on personal details of staff to third parties. As far as I was aware, such issues were always tackled organization to organization, and not on a personal level. The company can then of course take its own measures internally against any employee proven of violations.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 10:40
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As I tried to point out before, this is about equivalent to a speeding ticket with a company car from the legal side.
If the outfit was in Germany they would comply with that request or face significant backlash by the authorities, culminating in troubles with their AOC.
How that can be enforced within the EU or internationally is intresting - please keep us updated.

Generally the persecution pressure has increased drastically in the last years. I blame mode S. In former times they would have to send the men in blue to the airfield to discover possible perpetrators from the log books. Today ATC is required to report every so slight deviation by compliance rules - and it requires zero effort to identify the violating aircraft.
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 12:07
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Frankfurt Airport has its noise monitoring in real time here. It is actually searchable, so you can check events that happened previously by using the calendar and inserting a past date. However the search only seems to go back 3 months. as any date before that returns no activity on the map of noise monitoring stations. Does anyone know if there is a way to search further back?
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Old 24th Jan 2021, 12:32
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 04:59
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Thanks. I'll look into it.
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 07:22
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In the end the PIC is responsible for the flight and of course can be prosecuted for any wrongdoing, one of the reasons he is usually paid a bit more. That is not limited to germany, once got a 10.000 Swiss Franc fine for turning 0.2NM too late on departure in ZRH. Got the company to pay it, but the PIC was responsible for it as he was responsible for the flight, no matter that the FO was flying.

Hope it clears up and nothing comes off it, just shows, in todays world at airports where noise or routing is an issue: put the automatics on early and pass the buck on to the FMC database provider and aircraft manufacturer if the aircraft is not able to follow the procedures precise enough.
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Old 25th Jan 2021, 09:27
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Denti : you are correct in affirming that the PIC is responsible but later, suggest passing the buck to the FMC provider. Can't pass the buck I suggest. Doesn't matter who is flying the aircraft and SOP's these days will often dictate that automatics are engaged. If P2 is handling and or automatjics are handling, PIC remains PIC and responsible.

Seems rather harsh by the Germans though unless it was a wanton , gung ho type of transgression. So unlikely in this case that it would be dismissed by any competent Authority.

Sidestick : hope your company supports you totally. Very lonely feeling out there when you find yourself in the X hairs. Wish I could do more to help.

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Old 25th Jan 2021, 12:56
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BAF - this is from their latest look-how-great-we-are yearly report. Marked are the deviations from SID/STAR, blue cases where they issued a ticket, grey where charges were dropped.

Doesn't look that bad ;-)
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