ENR 7. Oceanic Operations

ENR 7.1 General Procedures

  1. IFR/VFR Operations
    1. Flights in oceanic airspace must be conducted under Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) procedures when operating:
      1. Between sunset and sunrise.
      2. At or above Flight Level (FL) 055 when operating within the New York, Oakland, and Anchorage Oceanic Flight Information Regions (FIRs).
      3. Above FL180 when operating within the Miami and Houston FIRs and in the San Juan Control Area. Flights between the east coast of the U.S., and Bermuda or Caribbean terminals, and traversing the New York FIR at or above 5,500 feel MSL should be especially aware of this requirement.
      4. At or above FL230 when operating within the Anchorage Arctic FIR.
    2. San Juan CTA/FIR VFR Traffic.
      1. All VFR aircraft entering and departing the San Juan FIR/CTA will provide San Juan Radio with an ICAO flight plan. All aircraft must establish two-way communications with San Juan Radio on 126.7, 122.2, 123.65, or 255.4.
      2. Communication can also be established by transmitting on 122.1 and receive using the appropriate VOR frequency for Borinquen (BQN), Mayaguez (MAZ), Ponce (PSE), and St. Croix (COY). For St. Thomas (STT), transmit on 123.6 and receive on the VOR frequency. If unable to contact San Juan Radio, the pilot is responsible for notifying adjacent ATS units and request that a position report be relayed to San Juan Radio for search and rescue purposes and flight following.

        NOTE-

        This is in accordance with ICAO Doc 4444, Part II, paragraphs 14.1.1, 14.1.4; Part VI, paragraphs 1.2.1, 2.2.2; Annex 11, chapter 6, paragraphs 6.1.2.1, 5.1.1, 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.2.2.3, 5.3.2.4, 5.4.1.

    3. Non-RVSM aircraft are not permitted in RVSM airspace unless they meet the criteria of excepted aircraft and are previously approved by the ATS unit having authority for the airspace. In addition to those aircraft listed in ENR 1.1, General Rules, Paragraph 38, Operational Policy/Procedures for Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) in the Domestic U.S., Alaska, Offshore Airspace, and the San Juan FIR, the following aircraft operating within oceanic and offshore airspace are excepted:
      1. Aircraft being initially delivered to the State of Registry or Operator.
      2. Aircraft that was formerly RVSM-approved but has experienced an equipment failure and is being flown to a maintenance facility for repair in order to meet RVSM requirements and/or obtain approval.
      3. Aircraft being utilized for mercy or humanitarian purposes.

        NOTE-

        These exceptions are accommodated on a workload or traffic-permitting basis.

  2. Flight Plan Filing Requirements

    NOTE-

    In addition to the following guidance, operators must also consult current Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) and chart supplements (Supplement Alaska, Supplement Pacific) to gain a complete understanding of requirements. NOTAMs and supplements may contain guidance that is short term and/or short notice – i.e., having immediate effect.

    1. If you are eligible for oceanic 50 NM lateral separation:
      1. PBN/A1 or PBN/L1 in Field 18.
      2. R in Field 10a.
      3. See FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-105, Approval Guidance for RNP Operations and Barometric Vertical Navigation in the U.S. National Airspace System and in Oceanic and Remote Continental Airspace, for guidance on RNP 10 (RNAV 10) authorization.
    2. If you are eligible for oceanic 50 NM longitudinal and lateral separation:
      1. PBN/A1 or PBN/L1 in Field 18.
      2. P2 in Field 10a.
      3. D1 in Field 10b.
      4. (J5, J6, or J7) and R in Field 10a.
      5. SUR/RSP180 in Field 18.
      6. See FAA Advisory Circular 90-117, Data Link Communications, for guidance on Required Communication Performance (RCP) and Required Surveillance Performance (RSP) authorization.
      7. See FAA Advisory Circular 90-105 for guidance on RNP 10 (RNAV 10) authorization.
    3. If you are eligible for oceanic 30 NM longitudinal and lateral separation:
      1. PBN/L1 in Field 18.
      2. P2 in Field 10a.
      3. D1 in Field 10b.
      4. (J5, J6, or J7) and R in Field 10a.
      5. SUR/RSP180 in Field 18.
      6. See FAA Advisory Circular 90-117 for guidance on RCP and RSP authorization.
      7. See FAA Advisory Circular 90-105 for guidance on RNP 4 authorization.
    4. Oakland Oceanic FIR
      1. In accordance with ICAO Doc 4444, flight plans with routes entering the Oakland Oceanic FIR (KZAK) must contain, among the estimated elapsed times (EET) in Field 18, an entry point for KZAK and an estimated time. It is not mandatory to file the boundary crossing point in Field 15 of the route of flight, but it is permitted.
      2. The use of CPDLC and ADS-C in the Oakland Oceanic FIR (KZAK) is only permitted by Inmarsat and Iridium customers. All other forms of data link connectivity are not authorized. Users must ensure that the proper data link code is filed in Item 10a of the ICAO FPL in order to indicate which satellite medium(s) the aircraft is equipped with. The identifier for Inmarsat is J5 and the identifier for Iridium is J7. If J5 or J7 is not included in the ICAO FPL, then the LOGON will be rejected by KZAK and the aircraft will not be able to connect.
    5. New York Oceanic FIR
      1. The use of CPDLC and ADS-C in the New York Oceanic FIR (KZWY) is only permitted by Inmarsat and Iridium customers. All other forms of data link connectivity are not authorized. Users must ensure that the proper data link code is filed in Item 10a of the ICAO FPL in order to indicate which satellite medium(s) the aircraft is equipped with. The identifier for Inmarsat is J5 and the identifier for Iridium is J7. If J5 or J7 is not included in the ICAO FPL, then the LOGON will be rejected by KZWY and the aircraft will not be able to connect.
  3. Flight Plan Addressing
    1. In an effort to eliminate erroneous or duplicate flight plans that may be received from diverse locations, and to increase the safety of flight, operators must adhere to the following procedures when filing flight plans for departing flights from foreign aerodromes entering the United States National Airspace System:
      1. If the filer sends an FPL to an FAA En Route facility in addition to the air traffic service unit (ATSU) responsible for the departure aerodrome, the filer must ensure that the flight plan filed is the same as the flight plan entered by the ATS unit having authority for the departure aerodrome. Note that per ICAO Doc. 4444, an operator may request that movement messages distributed by the responsible ATS unit be routed to the operator.
      2. Changes to IFR flight plans must be submitted as soon as possible, but no more than 24 hours prior to the flight, to ensure proper processing and distribution before departure.
      3. The FAA expects changes to be transmitted using the DLA and CHG messages as outlined in ICAO Doc. 4444. Transmitting changes to the FAA by canceling (CNL) and refiling an FPL creates the potential for multiple FPLs in the computer system.
      4. If Cancel and Refile is used, it is imperative that the cancellation of the original FPL in the FAA system be verified by computer response or verbal coordination before submitting another FPL.
      5. Changes to an IFR flight plan less than 30 minutes prior to departure must be accomplished via verbal coordination with the ATSU having authority for the departure aerodrome.

        NOTE-

        These references are contained in ICAO DOC 4444 and FAA Order JO 7210.3, Facility Operation and Administration. Operators should be aware that failure to adhere to these procedures could result in an operational delay or pilot deviation.

    2. Oakland Oceanic FIR
      1. All flights that will enter the Oakland Oceanic CTA/FTR must address flight plans to KZAKZQZX.
    3. New York FIR
      1. All flights entering the New York Oceanic CTA/FIR must address flight plans to KZWYZOZX.
      2. All flights entering the New York Oceanic CTA/FIR and a U.S. ARTCC (except Boston) and/or Bermuda airspace must address flight plans to both KZWYZOZX and the appropriate U.S. ARTCC. (See TBL ENR 7.1-1).

        TBL ENR 7.1-1

        Airspace to be Entered: New York Oceanic CTA/FIR and U.S. ARTCCs

        Required AFTN
        Addresses

        New York (NY) Oceanic CTA/FIR

        KZWYZOZX

        Boston ARTCC & NY Oceanic

        KZWYZOZX only

        NY domestic and/or Bermuda & NY Oceanic

        KZNYZQZX & KZWYZOZX

        Washington (KZDC) & NY Oceanic

        KZDCZQZX & KZWYZOZX

        Jacksonville (KZJX) & NY Oceanic

        KZJXZQZX & KZWYZOZX

        Miami (KZMA) & NY Oceanic

        KZMAZQZX & KZWYZOZX

        San Juan & NY Oceanic

        TZSUZQZX & KZWYZOZX

        Houston (KZHU)

        KZHUZRZX

    4. Anchorage Oceanic FIRs
      1. Anchorage Arctic FIR
        1. Flight plans must be filed with PAZAZQZX.
      2. Anchorage Oceanic FIR
        1. Flight plans must be filed with both PAZAZQZX and PAZNZQZX.
    5. San Juan CTA/FIR
      1. All aircraft transitioning through San Juan FIR/CTA from a foreign facility that will operate in North Atlantic (NAT) High Level Airspace (HLA) must forward the full route of flight for flight plan verification.
      2. This must be accomplished prior to exiting the San Juan FIR/CTA by one of the following means:
        1. Via Direct pilot-controller communication; or
        2. Via New York Radio, when requested by ATC.

          NOTE-

          This requirement does not apply to aircraft operating outside of NAT HLA.

  4. Beacon Code Requirements
    1. Oakland Oceanic FIR
      1. Upon entering the Oakland Oceanic CTA and after radar service is terminated; all aircraft should adjust their transponder to display code 2000 on their display. Aircraft should maintain code 2000 thereafter until otherwise directed by Air Traffic Control.
    2. New York Oceanic FIR
      1. All aircraft transitioning into the West Atlantic Route System (WATRS) via fixed ATS routes must remain on the last ATC-assigned beacon code.
    3. Anchorage Oceanic FIR
      1. CPDLC aircraft crossing the Anchorage/Oakland FIR boundary westbound between 150W and 160W must contact San Francisco Radio by 140W to receive a discrete beacon code for use in Anchorage airspace.
    4. Anchorage Arctic FIR
      1. 4.4.1 RESERVED
    5. Houston Oceanic FIR
      1. All aircraft entering the Houston Oceanic CTA/FIR should remain on the last ATC-assigned beacon code.
    6. Miami CTA/FIR
      1. There is no primary radar or weather returns available from the Grand Turk, Georgetown, and Nassau radar systems. Since radar separation is dependent upon the receipt of transponder returns, all aircraft within antenna coverage of either system are required to squawk transponder codes as assigned by ATC, or, if none assigned, squawk the appropriate stratum code.
      2. Aircraft departing and overflying the Santo Domingo and Port Au Prince FIRs can expect ATC assigned codes from those ATS providers. If a code is not assigned by either Santo Domingo or Port Au Prince, pilots should request a code. The assigned code should be squawked prior to entering the Miami CTA/FIR.
  5. Position Reporting in the Oceanic Environment
    1. Pilots must report over each point used in the flight plan to define the route of flight, even if the point is depicted on aeronautical charts as an “on request" (non-compulsory) reporting point. For aircraft providing automatic position reporting via an Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Contract (ADS-C) logon, pilots should discontinue voice position reports.
    2. Advanced Technology and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) cannot accept CPDLC position reports containing latitude and longitude in the ARINC 424 format. The flight crew should use latitudes and longitudes encoded as waypoint names in the ICAO format (for example, 54N150W).

      NOTE-

      ARINC 424 describes a 5-character latitude/longitude format for aircraft navigation databases (for example, 10N40 describes a latitude/longitude of 10N140W). The ATSU will reject any downlink message containing waypoint names in the ARINC 424 format.

    3. Oakland Oceanic FIR
      1. Aircraft filed on PACOTS routes within Oakland Oceanic CTA/FIR airspace must make position reports using latitude/longitude coordinates or named fixes as specified in the track definition messages (TDM). Position reports must comprise information on present position, estimated next position, and ensuing position. Reporting points of reference not specified in the TDM and/or rounding off geographical coordinates is prohibited.
    4. New York Oceanic FIR
      1. Position reports should be made via ADSC, if the aircraft has ADS-C capability. The two types of ADS-C contracts that will be established with each aircraft are a twenty (20) minute Periodic Report Rate and a five (5) mile Lateral Deviation Event. This is in addition to normal waypoint reports.
      2. Operators should not use CPDLC for position reports but it should be used for all other ATC communications. Position reports should be made via HF if ADS-C is not available.
    5. Anchorage Oceanic FIR
      1. All waypoints filed in Field 15 of the ICAO flight plan (route field) must be reported as a position report.
      2. Position reports are to be made via ADS, CPDLC or Voice communication in that order of preference.
      3. Aircraft with an active ADS connection must make a CPDLC position report when crossing the IFR boundary (inbound) to ensure CPDLC connectivity.
    6. Anchorage Arctic FIR
      1. Flights crossing the Anchorage Arctic FIR along 141W between 72N and 90N must file their 141W crossing point as a route element in field 15 of the ICAO flight plan.
      2. All waypoints filed in Field 15 of the ICAO flight plan (route field) must be reported as a position report.
    7. Houston Oceanic FIR
      1. Position reports and the ability to communicate at any point of the route of flight is vital to the air traffic safety and control process. When flight planning, users are responsible to ensure that they will be capable of compliance. Inability to comply is in violation of ICAO requirements. The communication requirements for IFR flights within the Houston Oceanic Control Area are:
        1. Functioning two-way radio communications equipment capable of communicating with at least one ground station from any point on the route;
        2. Maintaining a continuous listening watch on the appropriate radio frequency; and
        3. Reporting of mandatory points.
      2. The following describes an area in the Houston CTA/FIR where reliable VHF air-to-ground communications below FL180 are not available:
        1. 26 30 00N 86 00 00W TO 26 30 00N 92 00 00W;
        2. TO 24 30 00N 93 00 00W TO 24 30 00N 88 00 00W to;
        3. TO 24 00 00N 86 00 00W TO BEGINNING POINT.
        4. Communications within this area are available for all oceanic flights via HF.

          NOTE-

          The attention of pilots planning flights within the Houston CTA/FIR is directed to the communications and position reports requirements specified in the following ICAO Documents: Annex 2, Paragraphs 3.6.3 and 3.6.5; Annex 11, Paragraph 6.1.2; DOC 4444 Part 2 Paragraph 14; and DOC 7030 CAR Paragraph 3.

  6. Satellite Voice (SATVOICE) Communication Services for Air Traffic Control (ATC)
    1. The FAA provides Inmarsat and Iridium SATVOICE services for air-to-ground and ground-to-air calls directly with Oakland, New York, and Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC) and New York and San Francisco RADIO. The FAA's SATVOICE services are supplemental to HF voice communication services.
    2. The pilot must limit direct SATVOICE contact with ATC to distress and urgency situations, or when other means are not available, and communication is essential.
    3. When unable to communicate on HF, the pilot may conduct normal and routine communications with ATC via New York RADIO or San Francisco RADIO on SATVOICE.
    4. The aircraft SATVOICE equipment must be approved in accordance with Advisory Circular 20-150, Airworthiness Approval of Satellite Voice (SATVOICE) Equipment Supporting Air Traffic Service (ATS) Communication.

      NOTE-

      Portable satellite phones are NOT approved for normal and routine ATC communications.

    5. The operator must use the SATVOICE equipment in accordance with ICAO Doc 10038, Satellite Voice Operations Manual (SVOM), with emphasis on the following:
      1. If the flight intends to use SATVOICE capability, the operator must file the appropriate designator (that is, M1, M2, or M3) in Item 10, and the ICAO aircraft address (that is, hexadecimal code) in Item 18 of the flight plan.

        REFERENCE-

        Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 5, Air Traffic Procedures

      2. The operator must establish procedures to ensure the flight maintains voice communications (that may include SATVOICE and any required HF SELCAL checks) with every ATS unit along the route of flight.
      3. When using SATVOICE, the pilot must follow RTF conventions identical to HF/VHF communications in accordance with applicable standards and regulations pertaining to aeronautical communications.
      4. Satellite service providers have assigned ICAO priority level 2/HGH/Q12 Operational high (second highest) to calls between aircraft and Air Navigation Service Providers. The pilot must verify the priority of the call and act only on ATC clearances/instructions from SATVOICE calls with priority level 2/HGH/Q12, and if in doubt terminate the call and initiate a new call for confirmation.
      5. The pilot must answer SATVOICE calls when contacted either by the ARTCC or RADIO facility.
    6. The SATVOICE short codes for ARTCCs and RADIO are in accordance with TBL ENR 7.1-2.

      TBL ENR 7.1-2
      SATVOICE Short Codes for ARTCCs and RADIO Facilities

      Oceanic Control Area (OCA)

      ATC Direct
      (only for distress, urgency,
      other means not available)

      ATC via RADIO Facility
      (when unable to communicate on HF)

      ARTCC

      SATVOICE
      Short Code

      RADIO Facility

      SATVOICE
      Short Code

      New York East

      New York ARTCC

      436695

      New York RADIO

      436623

      New York West

      New York ARTCC

      436696

      Oakland

      Oakland ARTCC

      436697

      San Francisco
      RADIO

      436625

      Anchorage

      Anchorage ARTCC

      436602

  7. Air-to-Air Frequency
    1. Houston, San Juan and Miami FIRs
      1. Frequency 123.45 MHz is the approved air-to-air VHF channel within the above FIRs. This frequency will be used for flights operating over remote and oceanic areas out of range of VHF ground stations to exchange necessary operational information and to facilitate the resolution of operational problems.
      2. Frequency 123.45 MHz replaces the previously published frequencies used within the Houston, San Juan, and Miami FIRs. This change is necessary to comply with Amendment 74 to ICAO Annex 10, Volume II, which designated 123.45 as the global standard VHF air-to-air frequency.
  8. Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure (SLOP) While Within FAA-Controlled Oceanic Airspace and the Anchorage Flight Information Region (FIR)
    1. These procedures have been developed in accordance with ICAO Document 4444 Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Air Traffic Management, paragraph 16.5.
    2. It has been determined that allowing aircraft conducting oceanic flight to fly lateral offsets, in increments of .1 nautical mile (NM) up to a maximum of 2 NM right of centerline, will provide an additional safety margin and mitigate the risk of conflict when non-normal events, such as aircraft navigation errors, altitude deviation errors, and turbulence-induced altitude-keeping errors occur.
    3. These procedures are authorized in FAA controlled oceanic airspace, Anchorage FIR, and the airspace surrounding the island of Bermuda, the airspace controlled by the Honolulu Control Facility (HCF) and the airspace controlled by the Guam Combined Center Radar Approach Control (CERAP
      1. Pilots should apply an offset outbound after reaching their cruising flight level and retain the offset until the top of descent, unless local ATC dictates otherwise.
      2. For flights departing Hawaii, pilots should apply SLOP upon reaching their initial cruise flight level and they are within 70 NM of entering the Oakland Oceanic Control Area.
      3. For flights arriving Hawaii, pilots should discontinue SLOP no later than 70 NM after entering HCF airspace, or when receiving radar vectors from HCF, whichever occurs first. Pilots of Hawaiian inter-island flights must not use SLOP.
      4. Aircraft transiting Bermuda airspace, HCF airspace, or Guam CERAP airspace may remain on their established offset.
      5. Aircraft flying in the Anchorage FIR may apply SLOP as follows:
        1. Throughout the entire Anchorage Arctic FIR.
        2. In those portions of the Anchorage Domestic and Anchorage Oceanic FIRs (including offshore control areas) which are more than twelve miles offshore.
        3. Over the land area of the Alaska Peninsula west of 160° West longitude.
    4. These procedures provide for offsets within the following guidelines: Along a route or track there will be 21 positions that an aircraft may fly: on centerline or at increments of .1 NM (for example, .1, .2, .3, .4 ….. 1.8, 1.9, 2.0) right of centerline out to a maximum offset of 2 NM. Offsets must not exceed 2 NM right of centerline. The intent of this procedure is to reduce risk (add safety margin) by distributing aircraft laterally across the 21 available positions.
      1. Pilots must fly the track centerline if their aircraft does not have automatic offset programming capability. Pilots of aircraft unable to offset at .1 NM increments should fly on the track centerline, or at the 1.0 NM or 2.0 NM positions right of centerline when using SLOP.
      2. Pilots should also fly one of the available offset positions described above to avoid wake turbulence. Pilots should use whatever means available to determine the best offset to fly. An aircraft overtaking a lower altitude aircraft on the same routing should offset within the confines of this procedure, if capable, so as to create the least amount of wake turbulence for the aircraft being overtaken.
      3. Aircraft should not offset to the left of center line nor offset more than 2 NM right of center line. Pilots may contact other aircraft on VHF frequency 123.45, as necessary, to coordinate the best wake turbulence offset option.

        NOTE-

        It is recognized that pilots will use their judgment to determine the action most appropriate to any given situation and have the final authority and responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft.

      4. There is no ATC clearance required for this procedure and it is not necessary that ATC be advised.