Right now, if you’re operating anywhere in the NAT Region between FL350-390, you’re mandated to use datalink services. Simply put, you must be equipped with CPDLC and ADS-C.

But with Phase 2C of the North Atlantic Datalink Mandate due to come into effect on 30 Jan 2020, CPDLC will be required between FL290-FL410 throughout the entire NAT region.

There are a few exceptions to this:
– Everything north of 80°North
– New York Oceanic East FIR (was previously all of NY Oceanic)
Tango Routes T9, and new route T290 that will be introduced on the same day the mandate goes into effect. The other Tango routes (T213, T13, T16) will all require datalink.
– ATS Surveillance airspace, where surveillance service is provided by means of radar and/or ADS-B, coupled with VHF. These areas are shown below in green, although note that if any of the NAT Tracks go into these, you won’t be exempt while on that Track!

Some of the Blue Spruce Routes will also be exempt from the datalink mandate. You only need a single LRNS plus normal short-range navigation equipment (VOR, DME, ADF) to fly these, plus your HLA approval. When the next phase of the datalink mandate takes effect in Jan 2020, there will be a corridor of airspace between Canada and Iceland (the same area as the current Blue Spruce Routes) which will remain open for aircraft not equipped with CPDLC.

Note: ADS-B is required over Greenland in the area shown below, north of a line from: GUNPA – 61N007W – 6040N010W – RATSU – 61N020W – 63N030W – 62N040W – 61N050W – SAVRY. The southerly Blue Spruce Route between Canada and Iceland does not enter this area.

Beyond Jan 30, aircraft without datalink can request to climb/descend through datalink mandated airspace, but will only be considered on a “tactical basis” by ATC.

Flights that file STS/FFR, HOSP, HUM, MEDEVAC SAR, or STATE in Field 18 of the FPL, will continue to be permitted to flight plan and fly through datalink mandated airspace, but may not get their requested flight levels.

To figure out where you are welcome on the NAT, depending on what equipment and training you have, check out our NAT guides and charts here.

For more details about the datalink mandate, check out the ICAO NAT Bulletin in full here.


David Mumford

David Mumford

Opsgroup team member. International flight ops news hound.

One Comment

  • Michael says:

    We just (1st of February 2020) made a ferry flight with an old C550, not CPDLC and ADS-B equipped on the blue spruce route. Planned routing has been Keflafik – Narsarsuaq – Goose Bay. We tried to get FL430 for cruise – no chance. It will be refused by Gander and you will be forced to stay at FL270 or below.

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