Oceanic procedures

Oceanic Areas

Gander Oceanic (CZQX_FSS - 131.70 MHz - Voice callsign „Gander Radio“) covers the area West of 30°W. As with Shanwick, Gander may also be split into CZQX_N_FSS (131.70 MHz) and CZQX_S_FSS (131.75 MHz).

Iceland Oceanic (BIRD_FSS - 127.85 MHz - Voice callsign „Iceland Radio“) covers the airspace North of 61°N, and West of 000°E/W.

Bodø Oceanic (ENOB_FSS - 127.72 MHz - Voice callsign „Bodø Radio“) covers the airspace East of 000°E/W and North of 63°N, outside ENOR FIR.

Shanwick Oceanic (EGGX_FSS - 131.80 MHz - Voice Callsign „Shanwick Radio“) covers the airspace South of 61°N, between 30°W and landfall with UK and Ireland. During Special Events or Fly-ins, Shanwick may be split into EGGX_N_FSS (131.80 MHz) and EGGX_S_FSS (131.85 MHz).

South of Shanwick you will find Santa Maria Oceanic (LPPO_FSS - 127.90 MHz).

Available links:

Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM)

Minimum Navigation Performance Specification (MNPS)

MNPS is only used within RVSM airspace and inside conventional areas, ensuring minimum longitudinal and lateral separation.

  • Airplanes on same route: 10 minutes longitudinal and 60 miles lateral
  • Airplanes on different, but crossing routes: 15 minutes longitudinal and 60 miles lateral

Communications, Clearances

Oceanic Clearance

It is the responsibility of the pilot to obtain the Oceanic Clearance at least 45 minutes prior to entering the oceanic region. In cases where this is not possible, the pilot must immediately obtain a domestic re-clearance, and remain outside the oceanic control area.

Clearance Request

Before entering a NAT, you will have to request an oceanic clearance. This has to be done on COM2 (the second voice channel or via text) unless you are under radar control of an ATC station.

Example:

PILOT: “Shanwick clearance, Austrian 71, request north atlantic clearance.” SHANWICK CLEARANCE: “Austrian 71, you are cleared Track Alpha, FL350, Mach 82. Clearance is valid for track entry at MIMKU from 1145Z to 1155Z.”. PILOT: “Shanwick clearance, Austrian 71 is cleared track Alpha via MIMKU, north 58 west 20, north 60 west 30, north 62 west 40, north 62 west 50, north 61 west 60, MIBNO and RODBO. FL350, Mach 82. MIMKU between 1145Z and 1155Z. Austrian 71.” SHANWICK CLEARANCE: “Austrian 71, readback correct.”

Position Reports

The pilot must make a Position Report when passing each point of his/her flight plan!

In the oceanic regions, position reports are made up of 10º times 10º of longitude, or 5º times 5º of latitude, depending on direction of flight, and in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Any flight to operate predominantly East/West will have to report its position when entering and leaving the FIR, and then every 10º
  • Any flight to operate predominantly North/South will have to report its position when entering and leaving the FIR, and then every 5º
  • The Oceanic Control centres can request a flight to report any intermediate points, if it is considered necessary, i.e. 25W, 35W, etc.

Contents of a position report

1 - ATC station 2 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 3 - Present position 4 - Time at the present position 5 - Flight Level 6 - Mach 7 - Next position enroute 8 - Time at the next position 9 - Following position 10 - Any additional information (e.g. weather report)

Example:

PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, with position report.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, go ahead.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, position north 62 west 50 at 1320Z FL350 M.80 estimating north 61 west 60 at 1405Z, MIBNO next.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, north 62 west 50 at 1320Z FL350, estimating north 61 west 60 at 1405Z, MIBNO next.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, position correct.“

Revised Estimate

Used when a new estimated time for a position is obtained, which is different from the one indicated in the last Position Report:

Pilot report: 1 - „Revised Estimate“ 2 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 3 - Next position enroute 4 - Time at the next position 5 - Any additional information (e.g. weather report)

Example:

PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, revised estimate.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, go ahead.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, estimating north 61 west 60 at 1415Z, MIBNO next.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, north 61 west 60 at 1415Z, MIBNO next.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, correct.“

Altitude Changes

Used for alterations in Flight Level, whether requested by the pilot or the controller.

Pilot request: 1 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 2 - „Request“ 3 - New Flight Level

Controller clearance: 1 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 2 - „Amended Flight Level Clearance“ 3 - New Flight Level 4 - „Report leaving - Report reaching“

(The pilot must report both leaving current flight level, as well as reaching the new flight level)

Example:

PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, request new flight level.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, go ahead.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, maintaining FL350, request FL360 at 1420Z.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, amended flight level clearance, new flight level FL360 at 1420Z. Report leaving and report reaching.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, new flight level FL360 at 1420Z. Will report leaving and reaching.“ At 1420Z PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, leaving FL350 for FL360.“ Reaching FL360 PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, reaching FL360.“

Route Changes

Used when there is a route alteration, whether requested by the pilot or the controller.

Pilot request: 1 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 2 - Last position 3 - Time at the last position 4 - Next position on current route 5 - Time at the next position 6 - „Request“ 7 - New Route

Controller clearance: 1 - Identification of the aircraft (callsign) 2 - „Amended Route Clearance“ 3 - New route

Example:

PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, request new route.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, go ahead.“ PILOT: „Gander, Austrian 71, last position north 62 west 40 at 1320Z FL350 M.80 estimating north 62 west 50 at 1405Z, request new route via north 62 west 50, north 62 west 60, MIBNO and RODBO.“ GANDER: „Austrian 71, Gander, amended route clearance, new route via north 62 west 50, north 62 west 60, MIBNO and RODBO.“

North Atlantic Tracks (NATs)

Flying across the Atlantic Ocean is different from Europe. Huge areas are not radar controlled. There is simply no way setting-up radar stations in the middle of the ocean. Hence, Pilots report Position Reports to Oceanic Center air traffic controllers in order to maintain seperation and localization of aircrafts on these NATs.

These North Atlantic Tracks strech from Ireland to Canada and keep-up with the heavy traffic travelling back and forth from Europe to North America. On these tracks you have to fly between 29'000 and 41'000 feet. Thus, NATs are not only limited in there direction but also in there altitude.

Another interesting and important fact is the daily change of these route according to the recent weather (esp. winds) situation over the ocean. This results in *M*inimum *T*ime *R*outes (MTR) to safe fuel and decrease the time needed. In addition westbound tracks fly more to the north to avoid strong winds coming from the Americas (Jetstream). In eastbound direction the opposide appears, Pilot want to make sure, they „surf“ on these heavy winds. They can shorten time by several hours.

As you have just read, NATs are valide for a specific timezone. Hence, on the following official Internet-page you might find only eastbound, only westbound or both kind of tracks depending on the time you are accessing them.

Track Message Identifiers (TMI)

One word on Track Message Identifiers: Likewise on VATSIM and in Real Life you have to indicate how old your track information is. Hence, you have to put the recent TMI Code into the remark field of your flightplan (→ FSInn or SquawkBox) flying on NATs. You will find this TMI on the same internet page where you have found the track. It is given in the first row of the REMARK-SECTION:

„REMARKS: 1.THE TMI IS 215 AND OPERATORS ARE REMINDED TO INCLUDE THE TMI NUMBER AS PART OF THE OCEANIC CLEARANCE READ BACK. 2. …“

Moreover, when possible, you may insert the TMI into the Remark Field of ACARS.

Polar Track Structure (PTS)

„<a name=“„pts“„></a><span class=“„corange“„>Polar Track Structure (PTS)</span><br><br> The PTS!~!s routes consists of 10 fixed tracks. Although not mandatory, flights planning to operate on the Europe-Alaska axis at FL310 through FL390, are recommended to submit flight plans in accordance with one of the PTS tracks.<br> <br> The main PTS!~!s have been identified by using the letters N, O, P, Q, R and S<br> <br> Examples of flight plan insert:<br> <br> MATIK PTSR ROGSO<br> indicating the flight will operate along the whole length of the PTS R.<br> <br> LT PTSQ LIRKI<br> same as above.<br> <br> Four adjoining tracks are established, identified by the numbers 1 through 4, also laterally separated from each other.<br> <br> <br> You will find these tracks in every route planner like a normal airway.<br>“

Blue Spruce Routes

„<a name=“„bsr“„></a><span class=“„corange“„>Blue Spruce Routes</span><br><br> The following routes a) through h) are known as Blue Spruce routes, all having continuous VHF coverage at or above FL 300:<br> <br> a) STN/BEN - ATSIX (60N 010W) - 6100N 01234W - ALDAN - KEF (HF required)<br> b) STN/BEN - RATSU (61N 010W) - ALDAN - KEF<br> c) SHA/MAC/BLE/GOW - GOMUP (57N 010W) - 60N 015W - 61N 01630W - BREKI - KEF<br> d) KEF - GIMLI - DA - SF - YFB<br> e) KEF - EMBLA - 63N 030W - 61N 040W - OZN<br> f) OZN - 59N 050W - PRAWN - NAIN<br> g) OZN - 59N 050W - PORGY - HO<br> h) OZN - 58N 050W - LOACH - YYR<br> <br> i) Between Greenland and Canada<br> - SF - 67N 060W - YXP<br> - KU - 66N 060W - YXP<br> - KU - 64N 060W - 64N 063W – YFB<br> <br> j) Between Iceland and Greenland<br> - RE - 6903N 02240W - CP<br> <br> Routes for aircraft with Short Range Navigation Equipment:<br> <br> a) FLS - MY - INGO - KEF (Golf 3)<br> b) SUM - AB - MY - (Golf 11)<br>“

Selective Call (SELCAL)

„<a name=“„box“„></a><span class=“„corange“„>Selective Call (SELCAL)</span><br><br> The SELCAL procedure has been implemented in VATSIM, by using a private message with the phrase “„SELCAL“„. A pilot receiving such a message should contact the current Oceanic ATC as soon as possible.<br> <br> The SELCAL procedure is used to prevent pilots from having to listen to an ATC frequency for hours, especially on HF frequencies, where the static noise and interference level is very high. In cases where a controller needs to speak to a pilot, the ATC will transmit the aircraft!~!s SELCAL, which will activate an alarm in the cockpit (audible and/or visual), indicating to the pilot that his/her presence is required at the radio. Each aircraft has its own pre-defined and fixed (non-modifiable) SELCAL. You can find the SELCAL codes for our fleet in the hangar and in the flight board.<br> <br> The SELCAL code should be implemented in the flight plan under remarks with SEL/CS-JL.<br> <br> In real-life, the SELCAL functions by transmitting two groups of two audible tones, each different from the other, chosen from a pre-defined stack of frequencies within the audible spectre. The tone-frequencies used are non-harmonics, thus reducing interference.<br> <br> Each tone corresponds to a character; and these are:<br> <br> A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, P, Q, R and S.<br> <br> The composition of a SELCAL is subject to following rules:<br> <br> The fist tone must be lower than the second, e.g. AB, FS, EG (never GE, SF or BA)<br> A tone may not be repeated, e.g. CS-CD is an invalid Selcall as C is repeated Valid SELCAL examples:<br> <br> CS-JL<br> KS-GR<br> HS-LQ<br> CG-BS<br> BF-PQ<br> <br> A pilot should state his/her SELCAL at first contact with the Oceanic controller!<br> <br> A Selcal application has been developed for Pilots for use with SquawkBox, and is available <a href=“„http://www.satavirtual.org/fsselcal/“„ target=“„_blank“„>here</a>.<br> “

Transponder Operation

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