Casablanca MV (GMMN)
With just under 8 million passengers passing through the airport in 2014, it was the busiest airport in Morocco and the fourth busiest in Africa. In August 2014, ONDA reported a year-on-year increase of 7.28% passenger traffic, to 918,238. The airport serves as hub for Royal Air Maroc, Royal Air Maroc Express and Air Arabia Maroc. It is named after King Mohammed V of Morocco, who led the country's successful push for independence from French and Spanish colonial rule.
Airspace Boundaries and Classes
|ATZ Casablanca||GMMN_TWR||D||SFC - 2 000 ft|
|CTR Casablanca||GMMN_APP||D||SFC - 2 000 ft|
|CTA Casablanca||GMMN_APP||D||2 000 ft - 6 500 ft|
|TMA Casablanca||GMMN_APP||D||6 500 ft - FL 195|
|SFC - FL 195
FL 195 - FL 460
FL 460 - UNL
|GMMN_APP||Mohammed V Approche / Mohammed V Approach||119.900 MHz|
|GMMN_TWR||Mohammed V Tour / Mohammed V Tower||118.500 MHz|
|GMMN_GND||Mohammed V Sol / Mohammed V Ground||130.600 MHz|
|GMMN_ATIS||Mohammed V information||126.300 MHz|
Aerodrome Geographical Data
|ARP||N33°21.85' / W7°34.90'|
|Aerodrome Location||16 NM S of Casablanca|
|Elevation at ARP||656 feet|
|Magnetic Variation||1.0° West|
|Transition altitude||4 000 ft|
Radio Navigation & Landing Aids
|ILS 35R||INR||-||109.900 MHz||3° GP, Cat III|
|ILS 17R||ICAS||-||108.300 MHz||3° GP, Cat I|
|ILS 35L||INL||-||110.700 MHz||3° GP, Cat III|
|VOR/DME||BNS||BEN SLIMANE||117.450 MHz||-|
|NDB||CAE||BEN SLIMANE||275 kHz||-|
|NDB||HA||EL TANK||301 kHz||-|
Published Holding Procedures
|FIX||Min/Max Alt||Inbound Track||Turn Direction||RWY|
|BIRVO||4,000 ft / FL 130||288°||Right||17L and 17R|
|CAE NDB||7,000 ft / FL 130||261°||Left||17L and 17R|
|DEVNO||4,000 ft / FL 130||250°||Left||35L and 35R|
|KOTAG||4,000 ft / FL 130||261°||Left||35L and 35R|
|NASRO||6,000 ft / FL 130||177°||Right||-|
|NDB||3,000 ft / FL 130||114°||Right||17L and 17R|
|VOR/DME||6,000 ft / FL 130||345°||Left||17L and 17R|
|Runways||Dimensions||Magnetic Bearing||Threshold Elevation|
|17L/35R||3,717 x 45 m||165° / 345°||633 m / 656 m|
|17R/35L||3,711 x 45 m||165° / 345°||640 m / 656 m|
|17L||3,717 m||4,617 m||3,777 m||3,717 m|
|35R||3,717 m||4,117 m||3,777 m||3,717 m|
|17R||3,717 m||4,601 m||3,771 m||3,711 m|
|35L||3,717 m||4,011 m||3,771 m||3,711 m|
Aprons and Parking
Mohammed V Ground
The SMC controller’s callsign, for radio communication and coordination, is “Mohammed 5th Ground”.
The SMC controller is the first station for all departing aircraft (IFR/VFR) to call and is responsible for operations on the surface of Mohammed V International Airport, such as pushback/engine start-up, repositioning and taxi.
En Route Clearance and Start-up
To prevent any unnecessary delays, pilots are provided with their start-up clearance along with their en route clearance. This clearance should conform to the following format and each of the following items must be read back.
An IFR clearance shall be in the following format:
- Departure procedure;
- Initially cleared altitude;
- SSR code
RAM810D: "Mohammed 5th Delivery, Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, information charlie, request start-up clearance to Frankfurt"
GMMN_DEL: "Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, Mohammed 5th Delivery, start-up approved, cleared to Frankfurt, TOLSI3D departure, climb initally FL50, squawk 6403"
RAM810D: "Start-up approved, cleared to Frankfurt, TOLSI3D departure, climb initally FL50, squawk 6403, Royal Air Maroc 810 delta"
GMMN_DEL: "Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, readback correct, report ready for pushback."
If a clearance cannot be immediately granted by the controller for any reason, the pilot shall be instructed to standby for clearance. Additionally, the controller may issue 'technical start-up' approval to the pilot, indicating that their start-up request has been approved but the en route clearance is still being processed.
It is important to note that pilots are not authorised to start their engines when positioned at nose-in stands and a separate clearance for pushback is still required. The start-up clearance will be recorded as Estimated Off-Block Time (EOBT). If the start-up clearance cannot be provided within the next 5 minutes, the start-up shall not be approved, and the pilot shall be given the Target Start-Up Approval Time (TSAT).
In situations of high traffic volume, when a pilot requests start-up, they may receive a Target Start-up Approval Time (TSAT). This TSAT indicates the anticipated time for the pilot to receive approval for start-up/pushback.
If the pilot requests start-up while also requesting the en route clearance, the TSAT will be provided simultaneously. The pilot is responsible for initiating the start-up process by informing the controller when they are ready for start-up.
GMMN_DEL: "Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, start up time at 1415 (TSAT 14:15z), report aircraft ready"
RAM810D: "Wilco, Royal Air Maroc 810 delta"
The runway will be confirmed either prior to taxi or during the pushback clearance by Ground.
The pushback direction depends on the location of the aircraft and runway configuration.
Example: "Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, pushback approved, face south, runway 35L”.
VFR circuits shall not be permitted at the aerodrome during times of increased IFR departure or arrival activity and shall be permitted only after prior coordination with TWR.
Taxiway Usage and Restrictions
Although there are no regulated taxi routes in Casablanca, it is advised that outbound traffic use outer-taxiways and incoming traffic use apron inner-taxiways.
To ensure a smooth taxi flow and avoid conflicting routes, it is recommended to utilise entries and exits in a unidirectional manner.
To allow sufficient time for receiving clearance to cross the runway, Ground must handoff traffic well before it reaches the holding point of 17L/35R. In order to expedite the flow of traffic, Ground may, subject to coordination and agreement with Tower, issue the runway crossing clearance in the taxi clearance.
In any circumstance, it is expected that Ground will handoff traffic to Tower in advance.
Runway Change Procedure
Tower shall provide ample notice to Ground before changing runway configuration. The last departure using the old configuration shall be coordinated between Tower, Ground and Approach.
Aircraft that have already been cleared to taxi using the old configuration shall be re-cleared if they have not already reached the holding point.
Mohammed V Tower
The aerodrome controller’s (ADC) callsign, for radio communication and coordination, is "Mohammed V Tower".
Tower is responsible for all aerodrome movements on runways and their associated taxiways and all operations within the Casablanca ATZ below 2 000 ft.
Tower shall also ensure separation between IFR aircraft that are arriving at and departing the aerodrome, as well as provide traffic information about VFR flights operating within the aerodrome traffic zone.
Tower determines the direction of operations. Runway configurations should not be mixed and arrivals and departures should remain segregated.
Up to a tailwind component of less than or equal to 7 KT, RWY 35R/L is to be used.
As part of the take-off clearance, Tower shall include instructions for the pilot to contact Approach on the designated frequency once airborne.
A conditional clearance is a clearance issued by an air traffic controller which does not become effective until a specified condition has been satisfied. Conditional line up instructions must include the traffic that the aircraft is to follow, as well as the word “behind” at the beginning and end of the transmission.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, behind the departing company Boeing 737-800, line-up and wait, runway 35L, behind".
However, if the aircraft ahead is already well clear, the next aircraft may be instructed simply to: “line-up and wait.”
Aircraft shall be separated on departure in compliance with standard IFR departure wake turbulence separation requirements. Departures with the same flow point must be separated by at least 7 NM or the appropriate wake turbulence requirement, whichever is greater. A greater separation needs to be coordinated between the radar controller and TWR.
All fixed-wing IFR departures with the same TMA flow point shall be transferred to Approach with 7 NM in trail. For separation of 7 NM, the proceeding traffic needs to be 4-5 NM away from the end of the departure runway. If no radar screen is used, two minute separation can be used in this case as well.
If the distance ends up being less than 7 NM but more than 3NM (ensured), coordination is required and avoiding action to be taken by the pilot is given when the controller considers that an imminent risk a collision will exist if action is not taken immediately.
VFR aircraft may be instructed to maintain visual separation with preceding aircraft and given a take-off clearance if no wake turbulence or flow separation minima exist.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, cleared for take-off 35R, wind 070 degrees, 12 knots.".
When traffic is clear of DER (if there is no WTS minima) or the respective minima between the two aircraft, a departure may be cleared for aircraft that do not require separation along the same flow point or a WTS minima greater than 7 NM. However, the controller shall provide traffic information as appropriate to ensure traffic is separated upon TMA entry.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, R, wind 070 degrees, 12 knots, proceeding traffic ATR-600".
ADC shall use caution when departing aircraft with different speed profiles and is fully responsible for ensuring that horizontal or vertical separation exists at all times. It is thus advised that a VFR aircraft on a visual climbout must turn more than 45° from the runway track in order to allow succeeding IFR traffic to depart with separation of less than 3 NM in trail.
Cancelling or Stopping a Take-off
IFR departures shall be instructed to contact the radar controller once airborne in the take-off clearance. When an aircraft has commenced the take-off roll, and it is necessary for the aircraft to abandon take-off in order to avert a dangerous traffic situation, the aircraft should be instructed to stop immediately and the instruction and callsign repeated.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, stop immediately, Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, stop immediately".
For aircraft that have been given a take-off clearance, but have not yet started the roll, they shall be instructed to hold position and the take-off clearance must be cancelled along with the reason for cancellation.
The Approach controller is responsible for establishing longitudinal separation between arrivals until touchdown. If they fall below the separation minima, ADC has to instruct the pilot to go around. In this case, coordination with Approach is strongly recommended.
The minimum separation between two aircraft approaching the same runway is always 7 NM or wake turbulence separation, whichever is higher.
If it is apparent that minimum separation is infringed, Tower may apply a speed reduction to maintain in order to ensure separation, however, controllers must use caution as proceeding arrival flows may be inconvenienced. As such, continuous coordination between Approach and Tower is highly recommended.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, reduce to minimum approach speed".
Aircraft may be instructed to maintain their separation visually if speed control alone will not resolve the conflict. This shall only be done in VMC and with an agreement with the pilot. If no other solutions are practical, the succeeding aircraft shall be instructed to go around.
Missed Approach Instructions
Instructions to carry out a missed approach may be given to avert an unsafe situation. When a missed approach is initiated, cockpit workload is inevitably high. Any transmissions to aircraft going around should be brief and kept to a minimum.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, go around".
Once the traffic has acknowledged the instruction and is observed to be safely climbing away, they shall be handed off to the Approach controller.
"Royal Air Maroc 810 delta, fly runway heading, climb 4 000 ft, contact Mohammed V Approach 119.9".
In the case that there is a risk that the go-around aircraft will overtake the departing aircraft, instructions for avoiding action shall be given to the departing aircraft in the form of altitude restrictions. Additionally, if separation is infringed, each aircraft shall receive relevant traffic information, respectively.
Departures shall not be permitted to commence their take-off roll until separation with go-around traffic is assured.
Entry, exit and transit VFR as well as special VFR routes are mandatory within the TMA.
In the vicinity of the aerodrome traffic zone, traffic shall report their entry/exit at 2 000 ft or below.
VFR traffic shall be cleared using the most appropriate VFR route on track to the destination, in accordance with the published VFR routes.
“CN-BOB, after departure runway 35L, turn right KOSAD, 1 700 ft, VFR”.
Only after prior coordination with Approach shall traffic that requests clearance to climb into the TMA be released. If not, they will be instructed to remain outside of controlled airspace after exiting the control zone and to squawk the VFR standard code”.
“CN-BOB, approaching KOSAD, contact Approach 119.900”.
Aerodrome Traffic Circuits
VFR aircraft wishing to do circuits at Casablanca shall receive clearance in the following format:
“CN-BOB, runway 35L, standard [LEFT/] circuit, 1 700 ft, VFR”.
VFR traffic wishing to remain in the circuit shall be cleared only after prior coordination with Tower and shall either be assigned right-hand patterns for runway 17R or standard circuits (left-hand) for runway 35L.
Circuit direction should be assigned to prevent aircraft from overflying the airport and shall be conducted at an altitude of 1 700 ft. Aircraft may also be cleared to conduct circuits at 2 000 ft if required for high-performance aircraft.
Aircraft may request either touch and go, a stop and go, a low approach, or a full stop.
Once the Tower Controller is aware of the aircraft’s intentions within the control zone, they may be sequenced to the runway, with due consideration given to runway occupancy time.
Aircraft on the downwind should be passed the following information:
- Expected runway;
- Traffic information if applicable
Inbound VFR aircraft shall be sent to Tower with enough time such that two-way radio communications have been established before aircraft enter the ATZ.
On initial contact, Tower will pass the instructions for joining the circuit, as well as any other pertinent information such as traffic information with the sector.
“CN-BOB, runway 35L, enter ATZ via A5 Autoroute, VFR”.
During times of heavy IFR arrival activity, VFR arrivals may be denied entry into the control zone and instructed to hold outside of the CTR awaiting further instructions. Once a slot has been coordinated between Tower and Approach, VFR arrivals may proceed, however, the estimated delay must be given to the pilot if the clearance limit surpasses 5 minutes.
“CN-BOB, hold outside of the CTR, expect onward clearance time 55”.
Low Visibility Procedures (LVP)
The three stages of Low Visibility Procedures are:
|Factor||Preparation Stage||In-force Stage||Termination Stage|
|RVR||1 000 m or less||Less than 800 m||More than 1 500 m and increasing|
|Cloud Base||Less than 400 ft||Less than 200 ft||More than 300 ft and increasing|
"Royal Air Maroc 1415, runway 35L, cleared to land, wind 070 degrees, 12 knots, runway visual range 650 metres, 700 metres and 600 metres”.
Arriving aircraft should be given the easiest taxi route to allow them to clear the localiser-sensitive area expeditiously.
Landing clearance shall not be issued until:
- Preceding landing aircraft has vacated the localiser-sensitive area.
- Preceding departing aircraft is airborne and has passed over the localiser antenna (DER).
The Localiser Sensitive Area in front of an arriving aircraft shall not be infringed from the time it is 2 NM from the touchdown unit it has completed its landing roll.
During Take-off in CAT II/III condition, the Localizer Sensitive Area in front of a departure aircraft shall not be infringed from the time take-off clearance is issued until the aircraft has departed and passed over DER/the stop end of the runway.
Mohammed V Approach
Mohammed V Approach (APP) is in charge of all traffic within the Casablanca TMA as well as the Casablanca CTR and is required to offer approach control services to aircraft from the time and location at which arriving aircraft are transferred from Casablanca ACC until control is transferred to ADC, departing aircraft on specific routes are transferred from ADC until they are transferred to Casablanca ACC or until an aircraft is clear of controlled airspace.
Approach provides services suitable for approach control tasks and ensures uniform separation between Special VFR and IFR flights as well as between Special VFR flights.
7 NM radar separation minima between all aircraft is to be applied by Approach.
Departing aircraft shall be cleared to their final level before handoff to ACC unless they were cleared to a lower altitude in their departure clearance and are to be handed off 2 minutes prior to reaching the vertical or lateral limits of the TMA.
When issuing deviations off track are required, Approach shall ensure departures are above MRVA or are able to maintain visual separation from the terrain.
Speed restrictions below FL100 may be cancelled by Approach in order to increase separation.
Aircraft must be transferred to the appropriate ACC controller at the designated flight levels:
|NIKZO/FOBAC||FL120||Climbing between FL090 - FL100|
|ODAXA/LAKAM||FL120||Climbing between FL090 - FL100|
|TOLSI||FL150||Handoff initiated FL130B|
|SADIC||FL150||Climbing between FL110 - FL130|
|LACAJ||FL110||Handoff initiated at FL90|
Effective coordination between Casablanca ACC and Approach is essential for efficient management of arrivals into GMMN airport. Tactical directs are often issued early on to establish a sequence for arrivals, who typically do not fly STARs and are instead sequenced via various arrival points. They are subsequently vectored to align with the final approach. On occasion, arrivals may be assigned the STAR but then vectored prior to reaching the Initial Approach Fix (IAF).
During periods of high traffic, arrivals will be cleared to FL160 and transferred to Approach passing FL200 to alleviate the controller's workload. However, in normal operating conditions, the default procedure is for arrivals to be cleared to FL200 and transferred to approach when the aircraft is approaching FL210.