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 (FANS 1/A ready and able).

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 CPDLC 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.

With these upcoming changes in 2020 — as well as the onslaught of change that 2019 brought to pilots and operators traversing the great expanses of the North Atlantic — we thought it would be a good time to bring some new NAT guides and charts to you! So to figure out where you are welcome on the NAT, depending on what equipment and training you have, check out our full guides 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.

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