January 8, 2013
On January 10, 2013, at 0630 UTC, new RNAV routes will take effect for crossing the Gulf of Mexico. Two ATS routes will be maintained. Aircraft entering GoMex airspace at or after 0630 UTC are expected to file and fly the new GoMex route structure, including the new “Lima” and “Mike” RNAV routes. This will allow the application of 50 NM lateral separations for qualified aircraft, authorized for RNP 10 (minimum) or RNP 4.
Operators are to indicate in their ICAO flight plan whether or not they are PBN Approved. In Item 10, an “R” will indicate PBN approval. In Item 18, “PBN/A1” will indicate RNP 10 approval while “PBN.L1” will signify RNP 4 approval. If an operator is not approved for at least RNP 10, “RMK/NONRNP 10” should be included in Item 18.
However, aircraft whose navigation computers have not been updated with the new GoMex routes may file direct between the stand-alone waypoints identified in the Transition Routes. At or after 1500 UTC, only Route 2 (A766) and Route 3 (A770) will be available to aircraft unable to fly the RNP routes. If alternative routes are needed, operators must call the appropriate Area Control Center prior to departure.
Operators not qualified for RNP 10 should call the Houston Operational Supervisor at 1-281-230-5552 with in two hours of departure. Be prepared to provide a call sign, the route of the flight, and an ETA to enter Houston FIR. Pilots must also state “Negative RNP 10” on the initial call to GoMex ATC Center and any time a status is requested by a controller.
For more information on the plans, policies, and procedures of 50 NM lateral separation and RNAV routes, visit the FAA page on the Gulf of Mexico navigation projects.