FLYING SAFELY WITHIN THE BAGRAM RADAR APPRAOCH CONTROL’S
This handbook has been developed to assist you with the information to be useful as you
fly within Bagram’s Approach Control airspace. Midair collisions are an area of vital concern to
everyone who flies an airplane. Because there are many multi-national large military and
civilian aircraft, high-speed fighters, propeller driven cargo planes, and various types of
helicopters share the skies in and around Bagram Air Base (OAIX) and Kabul International
Airport (OAKB), the potential for a midair collision is high.
The purpose of this pamphlet is to highlight the potential for midair collisions around
Bagram and Kabul in the AOR. It will also provide information regarding the difficulties
associated with the “SEE AND AVOID” concept, methods to improve your scan, and give you
some advice and tips on how to avoid a possible mid air collision. The most important and
effective way to avoid a midair collision in the AOR is to know the SPINS and adhere to them at
all times. The information on Bagram Approach is only general in nature, but should give you
an idea of the type of traffic you may encounter.
Finally, this pamphlet is intended to provide information on aircraft and ATC capabilities
and limitations to ensure safe separation between aircraft. In the interest of flight safety, we
encourage you to familiarize yourself with its contents. Please take a few moments to read the
information in this handbook. We recommend you carry it with you in-flight. The pilots and
controllers assigned to Bagram are firmly committed to maintaining a valid and active midair
collision avoidance program. We hope this handbook will serve to increase your understanding
of Bagram’s flying activities so that we may safely continue to share the skies. Thank you for
sharing our interest in flight safety.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
MINIMUM VECTORING ALTITUDES
VFR DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL PROCEDURES
BIRD STRIKE HAZARD
PROFILE OF A MIDAIR
MID AIR COLLISION AVOIDANCE
GUIDE TO AN EFFECTIVE SCAN
HATR REPORTING PROCEDURES
This handbook is intended to provide general information only and is not a definitive
manual or chart. Always consult current FAA/ICAO regulations, available charts,
and consider existing meteorological conditions. The United States Air Force
accepts no liability for any claim arising under or as a result of reliance upon this
handbook, and reserves protection from liability as afforded under the Federal Tort
Claims Act, 28 USC Section 2680.
*Maps contained in this Guide are NOT to be used for navigation.
The information contained in this guide is current as of January 2004. This pamphlet will be up-
dated annually by 455 EOG/AFCAP. All other versions are obsolete.
TERMINAL AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL (ATC)
DEPARTURES/ARRIVAL AND OVERFLIGHT INTO BAGRAM
Civilian air traffic controllers provide terminal air traffic control for Bagram Air Base. Radio
contact with air traffic control is mandatory within the Class C and D airspace. All aircraft
arriving and departing Class C airspace will contact ATC for service. Pilots will contact tower
10 minutes prior to departure so ATC can de-conflict military operations taking place in the
immediate vicinity of the airport or affecting their outbound route of flight.
If no contact is made with ATC 10 minutes before the CTZ, the pilot will discontinue the
approach and either hold at pilot’s discretion outside the CTZ and continue to attempt contact
with ATC or divert to an alternate airport. If divert is not possible due to low fuel state, declare
an emergency and apply lost communications procedures.
WARNING: AIRCREWS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENSURING TERRAIN CLEARANCE.
LOWER REGION AIR ROUTES ARE FOR DAYTIME, VMC USE ONLY. SOME AIR
ROUTE FLIGHT LEVELS PROVIDE ONLY VMC TERRAIN CLEARANCE.
OPERATIONAL AREA BAGRAM RADAR APPROACH CONTROL
Tower : Class D: The Bagram operational airspace is Class D, encompassing a 5nm radius
from the center of the airport, up to and including 7400’ MSL (2500’ AGL).
RAPCON: Class C: The Bagram operational Class C airspace lies within 20 nautical mile
radius of the Bagram TACAN (BGM), from 1000AGL to FL290 with the following exceptions:
Bagram Tower Class D surface area.
Area from BGM 160 radial to the BGM 235 radial, FL280-FL290.
Class E: The Bagram operational Class E airspace extends from 10 to 50 nautical
miles of BGM from 1000’ AGL to FL290 with the following exceptions:
NOTE: USE CAUTION AND AWARENESS IN THE VACINITY OF BAGRAM AIR BASE.
AIRCRAFT ENTER AND EXIT CLASS DELTA AIRSPACE AT NUMEROUS POINTS AND NOT
ALL AIRCRAFT ARE IN DIRECT COMMUNICATIONS WITH BAGRAM AIR TRAFFIC
CONTROL. ADDITIONALLY USE CAUTION FOR LOW FLYING HELICOPTERS. SEVERAL
OPERATIONS REQUIRE BLACKED OUT OPERATIONS AT NIGHT TIME IN THE VACINITY
OF BAGRAM AIR BASE.
Transition Altitude: 14,000 feet
Flight levels begin at FL160
15,000 will not be assigned by Bagram ATC.
Bagram Approach Airspace: Bagram Approach Airspace has
Class C, D, E, a Terminal Movement Area (TMA) and NM
special use airspace located within its boundary.
Kabul Approach Airspace: When approaching 1,000’ AGL to FL290
Kabul within 50NM and below 16,000 MSL contact
Approach on V131.6 or 360.6 for advisories.
Kabul TMA: Similar to Tower Class D 20NM
airspace, this is Kabul Tower’s operational NM
airspace, 10 NM radius, surface to 11,900 MSL. Class C
VFR operations only. NM
NOTE: MAINTAIN AWARENESS IN AND
AROUND KABUL INTL, NOT ALL ACFT
IN COMMUNICATION WITH ATC AT 1,000’ AGL to 30,000
Special Use Airspace: Poseidon Refueling Area. TMA
Southern tip of Class E Airspace from FL260-FL280. Kabul
Bagram MVA Chart
VFR DEPARTURE/APPROACHES INTO BAGRAM AIRFIELD:
Runway 21 – left traffic - downwind 6,000 MSL
Runway 03 - right traffic - downwind 6,000 MSL
Runway 21 - initial 6,500 MSL, left break
Runway 03 - initial 6,500 MSL, right break
Approach airport/enter traffic as directed by tower at 5,500
No radar pattern has been established
High Key FL 160; Low Key 6,500 MSL
TACAN IAF FL 160
SEE CENTAF TAC CARD FOR CURRENT PROCEDURES
Approach Code Names Examples:
Name Departure Instructions
GEYSER Aircraft spiral up to en-route altitude within 10nm of bullseye.
SPOUT Tactical departure to en-route altitude
Name Approach Type
WHIRLPOOL Spiral down VMC within CHARLIE
MAYTAG Descent to tactical approach (i.e. random steep)
AUDREY Local IFR clearance for an IMC Letdown to VMC – Report
reaching VMC and canceling IFR
CODY Local IFR clearance for an IMC Letdown to TACAN FINAL
with an optional PAR pickup.
FAITH Airborne Radar Approach (ARA) to RWY 03. If the aircraft is
IFR, you may clear the aircraft for a Visual Approach (if you
have the minimums and the aircraft has reported the field in
sight) and state, “ARA Procedures Approved”
Airport construction under way near active runway to include construction of new runway and
several taxiway tie ins. Runway and taxiways under construction are CLOSED. Closed runway
surface is marked with a vertical, lighted “X” at both ends and a red “X” at the southern end of
the runway under construction as well as several yellow “X’s”. DO NOT LAND ON THIS
SPECIAL OPERATIONS AREAS
East River Range: Area from the BGM145R/5DME, Surface-FL170
Big Cat Range: Airspace from a point centered 12.5 nm south of BGM 180 radial. From this
point the airspace is a 7- mile radius from FL170 to FL270. This area is used to train for close
air support, small arms and mortar firing.
Poseidon Refueling Area: Southern tip of Class E airspace (Area from BGM 160 radial to the
BGM 235 radial) from FL260-FL290
External Stores Jettison Area: Conducted only in VMC, proceed to BGM130R/04, then fly
heading 030 (parallel to Runway) and release stores in a deserted area between BGM130R/04
and BGM090R/04. After release, advise Tower for pattern entry
Controlled Bailout: Controlled bailout should be made on a 120-180 degree heading at the
BGM 145 Radial at 4 DME at 7,000 feet MSL (2,000 feet AGL). Intent is for the airplane to
impact into the side of the Zin Ghar Mountain and the pilot to land on the East Range.
WARNING: DO NOT DELAY EJECTION PAST THIS POINT AS THE RISING TERRAIN
IS WITHIN 2 NM OF THIS POINT. DO NOT MOVE AFTER LANDING, EVEN THOUGH
ROUTINE RANGE CLEARING IS PERFORMED AND IT HAS BEEN DE-MINED. UXOS
AND MINES MAY STILL EXIST. WAIT FOR RECOVERY FORCES TO COME GET YOU.
DO NOT TRY TO WALK TO THE HIGHWAY WEST OF THE RANGE, SINCE MOST
ROADWAYS AND ADJACENT AREAS MAY BE EXTENSIVELY MINED.
Fuel Dump: Current mission does not require a fuel dump area. Arriving aircraft needing to
dump fuel will contract Bagram Approach Control and coordinate an area for holding that
deconflicts with arriving/departing traffic.
BIRD AIRCRAFT STRIKE HAZARD
During the months of March to the end of May and from August through mid-October migratory
birds are very prevalent. The period of most activity is from sunset through the early morning
hours. Bagram Air Base lies beneath the Salang Corridor; a major migration route for birds
traveling to and from breeding grounds near the Pakistani border. These birds include Black
Kites, Eurasian Cranes and a few species of vultures. Large water fowl move through
Afghanistan throughout the winter months.
Raptors inhabit the airfield and occasionally loiter over the runway and infield areas. Anyone
spotting a raptor should notify Bagram Tower as soon as possible. Due to the land fill and burn
pit area, raptors have made Bagram a migratory stop.
Crows and ravens are most common near the land fill on the northeast corner of Bagram Air
Base, just past the departure end of runway 03.
Swallows normally inhabit the area around the airfield and do not normally pose a threat to
aircraft operations due to insect control and discouragement of nesting.
Doves and pigeons are common in open areas and are seed eaters. The hazard they present is
generally near the approach/departure end south of the runway where crops are planted.
PROFILE OF A MID-AIR
During a three-year study of midair collisions involving civilian aircraft, the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that:
(1) The occupants of most midairs were on a pleasure flight with no flight plan filed.
(2) Nearly all midair collisions occurred in VFR conditions during weekend daylight hours.
(3) The majority of midairs were the result of a faster aircraft overtaking and hitting a slower
(4) No pilot is immune. Experience levels in the study ranged from initial solo to the 15,000-
(5) The vast majority of midairs occurred at uncontrolled airports below 3,000 feet.
(6) Enroute midairs occurred below 8,000 feet and within 25 miles of the airport.
(7) Flight instructors were onboard one of the aircraft in 37% of the midairs.
MIDAIR COLLISION AVOIDANCE
As aviation activity increases throughout AOR (Area of Responsibility), the possibility of being
party to a near midair or an actual collision increases. The FAA has instituted several policies to
alleviate the midair collision potential, but the ultimate responsibility rests with you, the pilot.
Here are seven simple rules of engagement you can follow to make flying safer, and hopefully
reduce your chance of being the victim of a midair collision.
(1) PLAN AHEAD – thoroughly review your intended route of flight before walking out to your
airplane. Plan to avoid alert areas, restricted areas, MTRs and MOAs if possible. Check
NOTAMs and identify possible conflict areas.
(2) SEE AND AVOID – scan the airspace ahead of you and to the side using proper scanning
techniques. Periodically check behind you since the majority of midairs occur with one
aircraft overtaking another.
(3) CLEAR – before executing a climb, turn, descent or any other maneuver, ensure the area is
clear using appropriate clearing procedures.
(4) COMMUNICATE – when flying into or out of uncontrolled airports, broadcast positions
and intentions. Make frequent position reports along your route. If radio contact with
Center, Approach, or Tower is not required, monitor an appropriate facility frequency.
Finally, request and use available radar services. Remember, you are ultimately responsible
for seeing and avoiding other traffic and should not relax your visual scanning vigilance.
(5) SQUAWK – if your aircraft is transponder equipped turn it on and adjust it to reply on both
Mode 3/A and Mode C. You are reminded that Mode 3/A and Mode C operations are
required: (1) at or above 10,000 feet MSL over the 48 contiguous states, excluding the
airspace below 2,500 feet AGL; (2) within 30 miles of Class B Airspace primary airport
below 10,000 feet MSL; (3) within and above all Class C Airspace.
(6) BE SEEN – in order to enhance the SEE of the See-And-Avoid concept, you are encouraged
to turn on your anti-collision lights or other appropriate lights whenever your engines are
running. You are further encouraged to turn on your landing lights when operating below
10,000 feet MSL, day or night, especially within 10 miles of an airport, or in areas of reduced
visibility. While use of landing lights is appreciated, please observe aircraft manufacturer’s
recommendations for landing light(s) operations.
Note: “Subject to current SPINS or local procedures”
ABOVE ALL, AVOID BECOMING COMPLACENT!!!!
GUIDE TO AN EFFECTIVE SCAN
So you want to know what is the perfect scan? There is none, or at least there is no one scan that
is best for all pilots. The most important thing is for each pilot to develop a scan that is both
comfortable and workable. The best way to start is by getting rid of bad habits. Naturally, not
looking out at all is the poorest scan technique, but glancing out at intervals of five minutes or so
is also poor when you remember that is only takes seconds for a disaster to happen. Check
yourself the next time you are climbing out, making an approach, or just bouncing along over a
long cross-country route. See how long you go without looking out the window.
Learn how to scan properly; first by knowing where to concentrate your search. It would be
preferable, naturally, to look everywhere constantly, but that’s not being practical, concentrate on
the areas most critical to you at any given time. In the traffic pattern especially, clear yourself
before every turn, and always watch for traffic making an improper entry into the pattern. On
descent and climb out, make gentle S-turns to see if anyone is in your way. (Make clearing
turns, too, before attempting maneuvers, such as pylons and S-turns about a road.) During the
very critical final approach stage, do not forget to look behind and below, at least once; and
avoid Tunnel Vision. Pilots often rivet their eyes to the point of touchdown.
In normal flight, you can generally avoid the threat of a midair collision by scanning 60 degrees
to the left and right of your central visual area. This does not mean you should forget the rest of
the area you can see from your side windows every few scans. Vertically, the statisticians say,
you will be safe if you scan 10 degrees up and down from your flight vector. This will allow you
to spot any aircraft that is at an altitude that might prove hazardous to your own flight path,
whether it is level with you, below and climbing, or above and descending.
Your best defense against midair collisions is an efficient scan pattern. The basic scan best for
most pilots is called the ‘block’ system. This type of scan is based on the theory that traffic
detection can be made only through a series of eye fixations at different points in space. Each of
these fixes becomes the focal point of your field of vision (a block 10-15 degrees wide). By
fixating every 10-15 degrees, you should be able to detect any contrasting or moving object in
each block. This gives you 9-12 blocks in your scan area, each requiring a minimum of one to
two seconds for acclimation and detection.
One method of block scan is the ‘side-to-side’ motion. Start at the far left of you visual area and
make a methodical sweep to the right, pausing in each block to focus. At the end of the scan,
return sight to the instrument panel. The second form is the ‘front-to-side’ version. Start with a
fixation in the center block of your visual field. Move your eyes to the left, focusing in each
block, swing quickly back to the center block, and repeat performance to the right.
There are other methods of scanning of course, some of which may be as effective for you as the
two preceding types. Unless some series of fixations are made, however, there is little likelihood
that you will be able to detect all targets in your scan area. When the head is in motion, vision is
blurred and the mind will not register targets as such.
Developing an efficient time-sharing plan takes a lot of work and practice, but it is just as
important as developing good landing techniques. The best way is to start on the ground, in your
own airplane, or the one you usually fly, and then practice your scan during every flight. Also,
take a few moments to brief your passengers on the importance of detecting traffic; they can
greatly assist you in your responsibility to SEE AND AVOID!!!
HAZARDOUS AIR TRAFFIC REPORTING PROCEDURES
Information on the Hazardous Air Traffic Report (HATR) Program is found in AFI 91-202
Attachment 3. The purpose of the HATR program is to report and investigate all near midair
collisions (NMAC) and alleged hazardous air traffic conditions. Information in HATR reports is
only used for mishap prevention. Individuals submitting HATRs are granted immunity from
disciplinary action if:
o Their violation was not deliberate.
o They committed no criminal offense.
o No mishap occurred.
o They properly reported the incident.
A NMAC, where the aircrew took abrupt evasive action to avoid a collision or would
have taken evasive action if circumstances had allowed.
A hazardous air traffic situation, where there was less than required separation between
aircraft IAW all applicable directives or any occurrence that did or could compromise
Communications or navigation aids (NAVAID) that contributed to or could have
contributed to a hazardous air traffic condition.
Any incident, including vehicle operations, on the movement area that endangered an
airborne aircraft or an aircraft on the ground.
Report the details on AF Form 651 within 24 hours to the base safety office if you are at the Air
Force base where the incident occurred. Submit the form to the nearest US Air Force Base
Safety Office after landing if the incident occurred during flight. You can obtain an AF Form
651, HATR, from your squadron safety officer or the Wing Safety office.
If you have a NMAC, inform the nearest air traffic control agency and provide the following
o Your identification or call sign.
o Time and place (name of NAVAID, radial, and distance) of the incident.
o Altitude or flight level.
o Description of the other aircraft.
Advise the agency that you intend to file a written Near Midair Collision Report and request the
controllers save all data.