Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

French Strikes - impact on GA IFR

Worked. Perfectly. I got an IFR clearance very early on and nothing was said by anybody. It’s a total charade.

It was the right thing to hack this system and depart on time. Another hour and the buildups would have been above my ceiling, which was not all that great (maybe FL180) given ISA+13 conditions.

filed so far in a way that will give the minimum total delay

I am honoured to be sharing my delay with x others

One thing which concerned me was whether Eurocontrol compute a proper intercept of the filed route and the polygon representing the messed-up region. It looks like they do. If they did the simpler thing and just fitted a circle to the polygon (as is done with notams) it would not have worked today, with the VFR section ending only a mile or two after the boundary.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That’s an impressive flight, Flight Radar has it in excess of 5 hours, how much fuel did you have left? I took my TB20 to Sion last week and used just under half tanks (from Lydd) a little more on the return flight last Monday.

On that last flight I would love to understand a bit more how the process goes?

So you file amended flight plan by moving the vfr tag to about half way in france. I understand that.

But how do you manage it in flight? You depart vfr, stay below the class delta, and ask the fis for clearance to climb vfr into d above fl115?

Then you ask them if they can switch you IFR? Do you have to give them your whole route over the radio? Or they have it? Or you wait until you get to your filed IFR pick-up?

Sorry, I am somewhat unclear and so far I either waited for the ctot or departed vfr but then was mess in practice of weather/imc, airspace, fis contact radio messages etc once vfr…

Would love to learn a better way…

Last Edited by roznet at 13 Aug 23:00
EGTF, United Kingdom

Get airborne from EGKA, fly at 5000ft (Class A CAS base 5500ft), then climb FL070 (Class A CAS base FL075), call up Paris Info even well before French airspace boundary, and ask for an IFR clearance

They transfer me to Lille which gives me an IFR clearance. I continue FL070 (nice wx), later ask for FL100 (to stay above some cloud), and nearer the Alps ask for FL160. The route requires FL140 only but a) I see some buildups ahead and b) FL160 enables shortcuts across that dogleg over the Alps.

So ATC never knew anything about any staffing issue. In France all ATC has your FP.

I don’t think any ATC anywhere is aware of any “staffing issue”. They also see only your current FP, not the one with the long CTOT which you cancelled. CTOTs are just a Eurocontrol computer generated thing.

Landed with 29 USG. Max usable is 86.2 USG. With 29, one could go all the way to, probably, Kefalonia, landing with empty tanks I will post more later on the fly-in thread. Delaying today’s return by 24hrs due to really bad wx all along the return flight. Or maybe to LFMT today…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Come to LFMD and we’ll take you to the best pizza in the world. Or come round for dinner.

LFMD, France

Peter, thanks a lot for the write up! Ultra useful.

I didn’t know france atc has the flight plan,

I will probably try your method if the opportunity arises.

EGTF, United Kingdom

The result of the VFR leg through the affected region is here.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

From here

Despite what some may think, I do not believe that this routing restriction has anything to do with the French national sport of striking.
If it was then I would have thought it would have been carried on tv news. After all if there is to be a strike the unions want everyone to know about it and not just a few ga pilots flying through French airspace on their way to Germany, Switzerland or Greece.
At the moment it is farmers who are indulging in our other national sport. Protest. Supermarkets and roads are being blocked by tractors and other agricultural machinery. This may well cause staff shortages for ATC as they struggle to get to and from work. But logic tells me that, this is not the it would be difficult to know when there are going to be such staff shortages in time to stop flight plans being validated.
I am, however, inclined to take staff shortages at face value, as the reason for such restrictions.
I can’t speak for other countries, but I am aware that before Covid we were beginning to see staff shortages in certain sectors. This appears to have been dramatically exacerbated since Covid.
I know I often ask myself “where have all the workers gone?” It’s not as if there is a huge rise in people applying for jobs, even in the most sought after professions.
Does anyone have the answer?


I know I often ask myself “where have all the workers gone?” It’s not as if there is a huge rise in people applying for jobs, even in the most sought after professions.
Does anyone have the answer?

This happened in the UK too and probably in every modern country, where people (roughly) in their 50s are mostly paid-off (they own everything they have) and don’t need to remain in a high stress job, and covid was the trigger for a “life re-evaluation”. The slight problem is that these were statistically the best most experienced and generally most reliable (attendance-wise) people in the workforce.

And the extra “problem” is that ATC are extremely well paid. They must be in the top 2% in the UK (NATS area controller – was around 110k in 2010). Spanish may lead the universe (and I am not talking about the €800k scams they used to run) but France won’t be far behind, and if you earn so much that going on a strike for say 10-20% of your working year doesn’t affect your standard of living, it is easy to do that. I live in a fairly big house and if I didn’t have any expensive hobbies I could probably just about live on £20k net, so you can see the potential for stress reduction.

Poor people can’t afford to strike…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The problem when you switch threads with a post is that it no longer refers to the particular thread I was responding to and perhaps should be deleted.

Sign in to add your message

Back to Top