Region IV: North Atlantic

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FAA Changing Separation Minima in New York Oceanic Airspace

September 16, 2013

Beginning Dec. 10 at approximately 7 a.m. EDT, the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) will begin applying 30 NM lateral and 30 NM longitudinal separation minima for appropriately authorized and equipped RNP-4 certified aircraft throughout the New York Oceanic Control Area (CTA). Additionally, 50 NM longitudinal separation minimum will be applied for appropriately authorized and equipped RNP-10 certified aircraft. New York ARTCC will continue to accommodate aircraft that are not eligible for 30 NM lateral / 30 NM longitudinal separation minima throughout the CTA. Lateral, longitudinal and vertical separation minima for these aircraft will not change.

Enabling Technologies

The FAA's ability to implement these separation minima reductions is a result of the use of two technologies – FANS-1/A Aircraft Systems and Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Porcedures (ATOP)/Ocean21 Ground Automation System.

  • Aircraft FANS-1/A communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) capabilities, are required in order for 30 NM lateral, 30 NM longitudinal and 50 NM longitudinal separation minima to be applied.
  • The FAA Ocean21 system with integrated communication, surveillance and air traffic management is required for application of 30 NM lateral, 30 NM longitudinal and 50 NM longitudinal separation in oceanic airspace where the FAA provides Air Traffic Services (ATS). Ocean21 provides oceanic air traffic controllers with a set of automated decision support tools to assist in aircraft separation assurance, coordination, flight data management and controller-pilot communication. Ocean21 enhanced ATS automation capabilities are enabled by integrating Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C) and conventional position reports, system-maintained electronic flight data, controller-pilot data link communication (CPDLC), flight data message processing, automated interfacility and intrafacility coordination, automated conflict prediction and reporting (CPAR), graphic dynamic situation display to the controller and interactive electronic flight strips, aircraft labels and aircraft position symbols.

Communications, Navigation & Surveillance Requirements

Application of any of these minima is dependent on the two aircraft of a pair meeting specific requirements for CNS. The combination of RNP values, specified communications capability and necessary surveillance and the associated separation minimums are given in the following table.

Separation Minimum Navigation Requirement Communications Requirement Surveillance Requirements
50 NM longitudinal RNP-10 CPDLC Position report at least every 27 minutes (at least every 32 minutes if both aircraft are approved for RNP-4 operations)
30 NM longitudinal RNP-4 CPDLC ADS-C position report at least every 10 minutes
30 NM lateral RNP-4 CPDLC ADS-C-based lateral deviation event contract with 5NM lateral deviation from planned routing set as threshold for triggering ADS report of lateral deviation event

Requirements for Aircraft and Operators

For aircraft/operators to be eligible for application of 30 NM lateral, 30 NM longitudinal and 50 NM longitudinal separation, the following requirements must be met:

  • The aircraft and operator must be authorized by the State of the Operator or the State of Registry, as appropriate, for RNP-10 or RNP-4 for the application of 50 NM longitudinal, or RNP-4 for the application of 30 NM longitudinal and 30 NM lateral operations.
  • The aircraft must be equipped with a minimum of two approved long range navigation systems that will enable the aircraft to maintain the required navigation performance for the duration of flight in the applicable airspace.
  • The aircraft must be equipped with a FANS-1/A package (or equivalent) that includes satellite CPDLC and ADS-C that meet the standards of RTCA Document 258 (Interoperability Requirements for ATS Applications using ARINC 622 Data Communications Standard).
  • CPDLC communications (satellite based for 30 NM lateral and 30NM longitudinal separation minima) and ADS-C surveillance must be conducted in accordance with the ICAO Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD), as amended, and maintained for the duration of the flight in the applicable FIR.
  • Pilots and, if applicable, dispatchers must be trained on policies and procedures applicable to 50 NM longitudinal, 30 NM longitudinal and 30 lateral separation requirements including the use of satellite CPDLC and ADS-C in oceanic airspace.

Resources for Operator Authorizations

RNP-10 or RNP-4 Authorization

U.S operators are required to obtain operational authorization prior to filing flight plans indicating RNP-4 or RNP-10 navigation capabilities. U.S. FAA guidance on the process and procedures for operational authorization can be found in the following documents:

FAA RNP-4 Job Aid - Operator Application to Conduct RNP-4 Operations (291 KB, Word)

PBN RNP-4 Job Aid - Operator Application to Conduct RNP-4 Operations (296 KB, Word)

FAA RNP-10 Job Aid - Operator Application to Conduct RNP-10 Operations (311 KB, Word)

PBN RNP-10 Job Aid - Operator Application to Conduct RNP-10 Operations (320 KB, Word)

FAA Order 8400.33 - Procedures for Obtaining Authorization for RNP 4 Oceanic/Remote Area Operations (113 KB, PDF)

FAA Order 8400.12 - Required Navigation Performance (RNP-10) Operational Authorization (414 KB, PDF)

Data Link Operational Authorization

U.S operators are required to obtain operational authorization prior to using FANS 1/A data link systems. U.S. FAA guidance on the process and procedures for operational authorization and aircraft data link system approval can be found in the following documents:

AC 20-140 - Guidelines for Design Approval of Aircraft Data Link Communication Systems Supporting Air Traffic Services (ATS) (1.05 MB, PDF)

AC 120-70 - Operational Authorization Process for Use of Data Link Communication System (215 KB, PDF)

For More Information

FAA Notice - Implementation of 50 NM Longitudinal, 30 NM Longitudinal and 30 NM Lateral Separation Minima in the New York Oceanic Flight Information Region (FIR) (280 KB, PDF)