ENR 7.6 North Atlantic (NAT) Oceanic Clearance Procedures
- New York ARTCC issues Oceanic Clearances to eastbound aircraft entering North Atlantic High Level Airspace.
- Due to continuing safety concerns associated with the non-adherence to, or incorrect execution of, Oceanic Clearances and tactical reroutes, the FAA evaluated its current method of issuing an Oceanic Clearance by New York ARTCC. This analysis identified several procedural changes that could be made to the method by which an Oceanic Clearance is issued in order to improve safety.
- These procedural changes do not eliminate the issuance of any portion of the Oceanic Clearance and satisfy the requirements contained in Nat Doc 007, North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual, Chapter 5, Oceanic ATC Clearances. It is not the intent to remove any altitude or speed confirmation; only the re-issuing of the cleared route has been eliminated.
- There are three components to an Oceanic Clearance: (1) route; (2) altitude; and (3) speed. New York ARTCC will use multiple methods to comply with the NAT requirement to issue the three elements of an Oceanic Clearance.
Aircraft entering the New York ARTCC Oceanic CTA from a FAA facility:
- The airport clearance which an aircraft receives on the ground at its departure aerodrome is considered to be the route portion of the Oceanic Clearance. Altitude and speed assignment will occur prior to entry into the New York ARTCC Oceanic CTA.
- As is the current operating procedure, unsolicited en-route route, altitude or speed amendments may occur due to changing traffic situations. At all times, the last assigned route, altitude and speed are to be maintained and should be considered the new oceanic profile.
Having received all three components, the requirement to receive an oceanic clearance will have been met.
For example - An aircraft has filed an FPL from MDSD to EDDF. This would take the flight from the Santo Domingo FIR, through the Miami FIR and then the New York FIR before entering Santa Maria. The airport clearance provided on the ground at MDSD would fulfill the route requirement of the Oceanic Clearance. Once airborne and in the Miami FIR, final speed and altitude assignment will be given after the flight is coordinated between Miami and New York.
North American (NAM) region departures:
- Aircraft departing airports close to an oceanic boundary will receive the route portion of their Oceanic Clearance from Clearance Delivery. At most major airports in North America, the route portion is up-linked to the flight deck using the Pre-departure Clearance (PDC) method. This is an automated means to transmit the flight plan on file with air traffic control directly to the flight crew. At airports without the use of PDC, clearances are relayed via voice.
- Once airborne and within United States offshore RADAR airspace, aircraft will be assigned an oceanic altitude and Mach number. The oceanic altitude may or may not be the aircraft current cleared altitude.
Caribbean/South American (CAR/SAM) region departures:
- For aircraft originating from airports within the CAR/SAM region, New York ARTCC will utilize the procedures outlined in 5.6 of NAT Doc 007 to fulfill the requirements of the route portion of an oceanic clearance. Once airborne and within United States offshore RADAR airspace, the aircraft will be assigned its oceanic altitude and Mach number.
Piarco FIR traffic:
- Aircraft originating from airports within the CAR/SAM region and not entering a United States offshore RADAR sector will not be included in these changes at this time.
- Piarco will continue to use existing procedures for these aircraft.
Canadian FIR traffic:
- Aircraft originating from airports within the NAM region and not entering a United States offshore RADAR sector will not be included in these changes at this time.
- Moncton ACC and Gander ACC will continue to use existing procedures for these aircraft.
- If a route, speed or altitude change en-route is desired, then aircraft should make a request from the ATC unit in which they are operating. At all times, the last assigned route, altitude and speed are to be maintained.
- In conjunction with this procedure, operators are encouraged to file in Item 15 of the FPL the coordinates of a track in lieu of the track identification letter (e.g. NATU).
- Operators are reminded of the requirement to file an FPL and any subsequent changes with New York Oceanic at KZWYZOZX, along with any other ATC facilities that may require such filing.