• Mon. Feb 13th, 2023

The Gulf Coast Sovereign Star

News from the Gulf Coast

Russian Federation Rocket Firings to Impact Alaska Flight Routes


Feb 13, 2023 ,
Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Pilots operating in Alaska are being warned of potential flight restrictions due to planned rocket firings by the Russian Federation. The Anchorage ARTCC Oceanic Flight Information Region (FIR) is set to be impacted by the firings, with the impact area defined as a region bounded by the coordinates listed in the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) issued by the FAA.

According to the NOTAM, the rocket firings are set to take place between 0030Z and 1830Z daily from February 13th to February 15th 2023. During this period, westbound traffic on NOPAC routes between Anchorage and Fukuoka is required to file their flight plan via the specified alternate route, while eastbound traffic on NOPAC routes between Fukuoka and Anchorage is required to file their flight plan via the RJJJ prescribed route to avoid the impact area.

The FAA has specified that the temporary routes described in the NOTAM are for aircraft equipped with RNP-10 navigation systems or better. For other aircraft, flight plans should be filed to avoid the impact area by at least 50NM. The times listed in the NOTAM are based on the performance of turbojet aircraft only, and slower aircraft should plan accordingly.

It is not yet confirmed if the scheduled rocket firings are related to the upcoming uncrewed Soyuz MS-23 spacecraft launch to the International Space Station. The Soyuz MS-23 mission, originally set to carry Russian commander Oleg Kononenko, Russian flight engineer Nikolai Chub, and NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara, has had its crew removed in favor of using the spacecraft as a replacement for the damaged Soyuz MS-22 docked at the ISS. This change was made after reports of a leak in the docked Soyuz MS-22 over the weekend. The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, announced on Telegram that a Progress cargo ship docked at the ISS had lost cabin pressure, which was later confirmed by NASA to be due to a coolant leak.