Jan. 26, 2022
The ICAO European and North Atlantic Office has published the updated NAT Doc 007, North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual V.2022-1, and an accompanying 52-page document explaining the changes.
Among the changes is the deletion of MNPS airspace, “which does not exist anymore,” and all subsequent references to it. In 2016 ICAO redesignated it NAT HLA, high level airspace between FL 280 and FL 420 within designated oceanic control areas. Related to this is a new abbreviation, OWAFS – Operations Without an Assigned Fixed Speed. Oceanic clearance procedures are unchanged, and a fixed Mach number continues as part of the oceanic clearance, but the new Doc 007 removes the requirement in the NAT.
Chapter 3 notes that with OWAFS, “flight crews can expect ATC to issue the clearance RESUME NORMAL SPEED when traffic permits after oceanic entry.” Chapter 8 notes this is not automated in OCAs, and crews should request it if not offered. With the implementation of OWAFS, Chapter 16 updates the Mach number technique used to manage longitudinal separation between aircraft on the same track.
This change makes all aircraft eligible to request a RESUME NORMAL SPEED clearance that allows the crew to select a cost index speed instead of the assigned fixed Mach number in both ATS surveillance and non-surveillance airspace. This clearance requires ATC notification of speed changes of plus or minus Mach .02 from the last assigned Mach number.
There is a new table of contents for Doc 007’s 17 chapters and 11 attachments, but ICAO has tweaked and renumbered rather than rewritten the content of each of them. Examples are the removal of MNPS Airspace references and the addition of OWAFS and RESUME NORMAL SPEED clearances.
In Chapter 1, Lateral Navigation, Equipment, Doc 007 removes the additional requirements for aircraft with RNP 10 and RNP 4 approvals to operate with 50 nautical mile separation in New York Oceanic East. It also deleted dated information in the Trials and Future Development section. In Chapter 2, Organized Track System, Doc 007 offers new examples of “Daytime Westbound and Night Time Eastbound NAT Track Messages and Associated Track Systems.”
In discussing HF communications in Chapter 6, section 6.1.10 replaced radio operators “listening” to more than one frequency to maintaining “continuous air-ground communication” on multiple frequencies. Likewise, section 6.1.22 now requires crews to “maintain a continuous air-ground communication watch” of the assigned frequency when using HF, SATVOICE, or CPDLC. Figure 6-1 now depicts “Reykjavik Control Direct Controller Pilot VHF Coverage at FL 300.” Section 6.3 requires crews to make position reports at significant points listed in their flight plans.
Section 16.6.6 adds a note that the data link mandate requires aircraft to have and operate CPDLC and ADS-C when operating at and between FL 290 and FL 410. The new section 16.6.31 addresses dispatcher/pilot considerations for enroute diversions. Attachment 7 deletes Permanent Military Operations Area ELK FL50 and Below, where maritime surveillance aircraft conducted daily weather flights. Attachment 8 includes Chart Att 8-1, 0depictinmg North Atlantic ATS Surveillance Coverage with and without VHF voice communication.