March 29, 2019

New oceanic contingency procedures took effect March 28 for operators in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) North Atlantic (NAT) region, including New York oceanic airspace.

According to a new Information for Operators (InFO 19004) from the FAA, three NAT air navigation service providers will start trials as early as March 28 of new separation minima using space-based ADS-B surveillance technology. Those Advanced Surveillance–Enhanced Procedural Separation (ASEPS) minima, which allow aircraft to fly closer to each other, conflict with established oceanic contingency procedures, prompting ICAO to develop new contingency procedures to ensure compatibility.

The new procedures were published in ICAO’s NAT Ops Bulletin 2018_005 Rev 01, “Special Procedures For In-Flight Contingencies In Oceanic Airspace,” and in the Feb. 28 issue of the FAA’s Notices to Airmen Publication under the headline, “Procedures For In-Flight Contingencies In The New York Oceanic CTA/FIR During ASEPS Trial.”

NAT Ops Bulletin 2018_004 gives guidance to NAT operators on material they should include in pilot and dispatcher training programs and operations manuals to prepare them for NAT operations under ASEPS. The bulletin includes a description of a limited expansion of the performance-based communication and surveillance tracks.

“NBAA strongly urges members that fly in the North Atlantic region to ensure their flight operations teams are knowledgeable about these important changes,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s senior manager for flight operations and regulations.

The changes to contingency procedures apply only to NAT airspace, not to Pacific or other regions. A single ICAO standard for contingency procedures is expected in November 2020.

Read InFO 19004.

Read NAT Ops 2018_005.