What is the DIC Portal and what information can be obtained?
The DIC Portal is meant to serve as an information tool. The main purpose is to provide the current DCNs of the signatories, to be used by the other signatories. Each signatory has their own page (to be selected on the left) where the DCNs and other information is displayed. This other information deals with airports and airspace excluded from the arrangement, other national restrictions, points of contact, the interpretation regarding air-to-air refueling (AAR) and transport helicopters, as well as reporting pecularities.
It is of utmost importance to consult the respective page of each signatory that is affected by a planned flight, may it be just traversing through the airspace or also landing on the territory, in order to take the most recent information into consideration.
Diplomatic Clearance Number (DCN)
Participants that signed up for option 1 (all, but PL) agreed to issue an annual DCN. This DCN has to be inserted in item 18 of the standard ICAO flight plan.
The DCN have the following standard format:
… for routine air transport of personnel/cargo:
EUAT (XX) 2018
… for VIP flights:
EUAT (XX) 2018 V
… for flights with IATA-/ICAO-compliant Dangerous Goods:
EUAT (XX) 2018 HC
(XX) stands for the ISO 3166 two-letter country code of the signatory using the DCN for their flight, with the exception of EL being used for Greece.
A military cargo plane from Belgium carrying IATA-compliant dangerous goods intends to fly from Brussels via The Netherlands to Germany. All Member States affected by this flight are signatories of the DIC TA option 1.
The Belgian aircrew would put just the following DCN in item 18 of their ICAO flight plan:
EUAT (BE) 2018 HC
This will cover The Netherlands, as well as Germany.
The standardisation of DCNs declutters the item 18 and gives clarity as to what DCN to use for what mission type.
When joining the arrangement, the respective participant (signatory) indicates which option given in the DIC TA is chosen:
Option 1 pre-grants diplomatic clearances by issuing an annual Diplomatic Clearance Number (DCN), and a harmonisation of the process takes place through the acceptance of common timelines as well as the usage of a the standardised request/notification Form V5.
Option 2 applies the harmonised procedures to request and process diplomatic clearances for overflights and landings only.
Detailed information can be found in the DIC TA. The main points are the following:
- The Annual DCN is issued for one calendar year starting January 1st of each year.
- Besides the rules depicted in the DIC TA, aircrew have to adhere to all national rules, international agreements, ICAO rules, restrictions described in the national military and civilian Aeronautical Information Publications, ATC regulations, NOTAMs or other special requirements.
- During the missions covered by the DIC TA, any type of ISTAR and/or EW equipment as well as Defensive Aids Sub Systems will be put in “OFF”, “INACTIVE”, “SAFE” or “STAND-BY” mode.
- When using the Annual DCN based on the DIC TA, this DCN needs to be mentioned in item 18 of the ICAO Flight Plan.
Additionally, the Participants will notify the flights as follows:
- For flights with VIP on board:
- Overflights: not required
- Landings: NLT 1 working day before ETD
- For flights with ICAO-/IATA-compliant Dangerous Goods:
- Overflights and landings: not required
- For flights with ICAO/IATA non-compliant DG:
- The Annual DIC does not cover flights with ICAO-/IATA-non-compliant goods
- For all other flights:
- not required
For aircraft carrying ISTAR and EW equipment a notification period of 1 working day is required.
What kind of information is in the section "Exempted airports"?
Nations that signed up for the option 1 indicate here those airports that they exclude from the coverage of the annual DCN. In other words, the airports described or listed in this section can not be used for flight planning under the umbrella of the pre-granted DCN. Also, in no case does this section provide information on the existence of PPRs (Prior Permission Required) for specific airports. This information needs to be obtained from civilian and military AIPs or other relevant national documents for flight planning and dispatch.
What kind of information is in the section "Exempted areas"?
Some participants that signed up for the option 1 require a specific DIC number for certain airspaces, and hence annual DCN based on the DIC TA is not usable for these areas. When intending to traverse through or to these airspaces, an additional individual DCN will be required, and should be requested utilising the standard DIC TA Form V5.
What is meant by "Office of Prime Responsibility"?
The Office of Prime Responsibility (OPR) is the main office dealing with diplomatic clearances for military flights. Contact this OPR for all routine and exceptional topics pertaining to respective that participant of the DIC TA.
Typically, alternate points-of-contact are given for urgent matters outside normal duty hours.
It is also possible that a participant requires the submission of certain mission documents, for example about the kind and amount of dangerous goods (IATA-compliant) on board. This will be mentioned in the remarks section.
It is re-emphasised to consult all the content of the participants’ sites on this portal which are affected by the flight before each flight dispatch.
What are the "Reservations" participants may have?
Participants could have some specific reasons to suspend (temporarily) the annual DIC number. This is part of the fully retained sovereignty right of the signatories.
In this case they will inform all other Participants on specific reservations they could make on a particular operation (or other missions) and suspend the annual DIC until further notice. The procedure will be as follows:
- The respective OPR will inform all other OPRs and EDA about the specific reservation. The receiving OPR has to distribute the reservation without delay to all national units involved in transport aircraft mission planning and execution in order to assure that the annual DIC is not used any more for the purpose subject of the reservation.
- The suspension or restriction of DCNs will be written in an eye-catching way at the top of the signatories respective page to indicate that reservations have been made. Examples are:
a. Annual DCN suspended until political approval received for overflight/landing in support of operation XYZ.
b. Annual DCN suspended until the end of the XYZ operation.
c. Annual DCN arrangements suspended until [date]
d. Annual DCN suspended until ….
- Dissemination of the message on temporary suspension of the pre-granted DCN should additionally occur through diplomatic channels.