My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow – NAT Ops Guide (Updated 2018)

By Declan Selleck


For the latest changes and updates on the North Atlantic, including our most recent Guides and Charts, use our NAT reference page at

Of all the hundreds of questions we see in OPSGROUP, one region stands out as the most asked about – the NAT/North Atlantic. So, we made one of our legendary guides, to get everything into one PDF.  It’s called “My first North Atlantic Flight is tomorrow” – and now we’ve updated it for 2018!


  • 1. What’s different about the NAT?
  • 2. Changes in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015
  • 3. NAT Quick Map – Gander boundary, Shanwick boundary
  • 4. Routine Flight Example #1 – Brussels to JFK (up at 5.45am)

  • 5. Non Routine-Flights: No RVSM, No RNP4, No HF, 1 LRNS, No HLA, No ETOPS, No TCAS, No Datalink – what you can do and where you can go
  • 6. Diversion Airports guide: Narsarsuaq, Sondy, Kef, Glasgow, Dublin, Shannon, Lajes, Fro Bay, Goose Bay, Gander, St. Johns
  • 7. Airport data
  • 8. Overflight permits – routine and special

  • 9. Special NAT procedures: Mach number technique, SLOP, Comms, Oceanic Transition Areas, A successful exit, Screwing it up, Departing from Close Airports
  • 10. North Atlantic ATC contacts for Shanwick, Gander, Iceland, Bodo, Santa Maria, New York – ATC Phone, Radio Station Phone, AFTN, Satcom, CPDLC Logon codes; and adjoining Domestic ATC units – US, Canada, Europe.
  • 11. NAT FPL Codes
  • 12. NAT Flight Levels
  • 13. Flight Plan Filing Addresses by FIR
  • 14. Links, Questions, Guidance

Excerpt from the Routine Flight #1:


Buy a copy ($20)   Get it free – join OPSGROUP

To get your copy – there are three options:

  1. OPSGROUP Members, login to the Dashboard and find it under “Publications > Guides”. All FSB content like this is included in your membership, or
  2. Join OPSGROUP with an individual, team, or department/airline plan, and get it free on joining (along with a whole bunch of other stuff), or
  3. Purchase a copy in the Flight Service Store!

More on the topic:

More reading:

Declan Selleck

Declan Selleck

Declan is a Flight Service Specialist with OPSGROUP.


  • Alex Fisher says:

    What possessed you to illustrate this piece with a Tu 114?

  • FSB says:

    Hey Marc,
    For sure. You can operate at FL400, and you don’t need CPDLC for that. Nor ADS-C. The only restriction would be that you can’t operate along the NAT Tracks. More questions? Email us at team at

  • Marc Schaufelberger says:

    Quick question, I am on an EASA aircraft without CPDLC, is it possible to do transatlantic crossings ABOVE FL390? Are there procedures or people with experience? Or is it impossible? I am having trouble finding the answer. Maybe someone can help me know. Happy landings

  • Brent Fishlock says:

    Hello Writers,
    This package looks very interesting and helpful. I am just about to start flying oceanic and I would really enjoy having a look at your hard work. I have enjoyed your site in the short time that I have been following it. Knowledge is power and since there is much to know in the NAT HLA then I hope you can provide me some excellent knowledge.
    Brent Fishlock

  • Thanks Chris! Very nice of you to say so. Thanks for recognising all the effort that goes into these guides, the team will be happy!

  • Chris Makaritis says:

    A truly useful guide to all pilots flying in the North Atlantic Region.
    Even if it’s not someone’s first time it’s always good to remember and refresh procedures we do not use on a daily basis.
    Your publication promotes safety and eliminates many doubts and misconceptions.

    Great job!

  • Hi Gerald,

    We’d be happy to send you a free copy, but missing your email – can you send it to us at

  • Gerald Tan says:

    Dear Ops Group Editors,

    I am writing to sincerely request for the NATS pdf guide “My first North Atlantic Guide is Tomorrow”.

    My company operates daily flights across the NATS but due to sizeable number of crew, some may not see this flight for many months or even years. Seeing some of the excerpts of information on this guide, it may prove to be useful for pilot sharing info groups. Naturally, this will directly boost the exposure of Ops Group.

    I hope this email is nice enough, if not, please consider it as my deepest appreciation for the efforts your team has tirelessly put in to make the piloting community safer and friendlier.

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