SkyUp Airlines comments on changes to their flight schedule caused by poor weather conditions

25 Oct 2019

Changes to the flight schedule

Changes to the flight schedule unfolding from October 22, 2019, are caused by weather conditions. Some of the planes landed at reserve airports due to a limited visibility at the arrival airport. This caused changes to the scheduled arrival and departure time of the subsequent flights.

Landing in low visibility conditions is subject to weather permits given to the airline, airport, and crew. The highest category is the Category 3, which allows the aircraft to be automatically landed with a minimum visibility of 200 m.

SkyUp Airlines and airports category

Currently, SkyUp Airlines is authorized by the State Aviation Administration to operate flights in the Category 2. This means that under current regulations, company’s aircraft are allowed to land at a visibility of at least 300 meters.

Boryspil International Airport is the only airport in Ukraine that has the Category 3 and allows for automatic landing with a minimum visibility of 200 m. Some Ukrainian airports have a Category 1 and only Kharkiv and Lviv airports have a Category 2. It allows aircraft to land with a minimum visibility of 400 m. At Boryspil Airport, a Category 2 landing with a minimum visibility of 400 m can also be applied. Given all these considerations, SkyUp Airlines landed its planes at airports of the appropriate category and only under appropriate weather conditions.

SkyUp Airlines has begun all the preparations necessary to get the Category 3 flight authorization in advance. This permit takes into account pilot training, operating instructions, aircraft technical capabilities, and company’s technologies. All these criteria must be confirmed by the airline, having completed several dozen training flights with automatic landing including results fixation and demonstration of the reliability of the aircraft systems. Each pilot must also undergo reduced visibility training and confirm their competence to operate Category 3 flights.

SkyUp Airlines team

We’re a young, dynamic airline. The top priority of our activity is passengers’ safety. To ensure this, we have recruited professionals to our team – aircraft captains and second pilots, most of whom are authorized to perform the highest Category 3 flights. At the same time, we also have many young pilots in our team.

Each pilot upgrades the category through gaining necessary flight hours and successful completion of ground training, training on aviation simulators, and passing inspections. It takes time.

Therefore, we design our crews in a way that the team is led by experienced captains and to create the conditions necessary to build the capacity of new personnel who, in terms of meteorological lows, are authorized to perform the Category 1 flights.

Under the approved regulations in difficult landing conditions, the crew is obliged to act in accordance with the experience of the pilot of the lowest category. That is, if the PIC (the pilot in command) has a Category 3 and the second pilot has the Category 1, then the landing of the aircraft is based on the experience of the pilot of the lower category.

We would like to emphasize that SkyUp Airlines always operates within the framework of the effective regulation of air traffic and on the grounds of passengers’ safety.