NAT Doc 007 – New Edition

By Mark Zee


A new version of NAT Doc 007 has been published today (July 4th, 2024).

NAT Doc 007 is the main go-to guidance doc for ops over the North Atlantic. All the specifics about how to operate your aircraft safely through the complex airspace of the region are here. As of this morning, the latest version is NAT Doc 007 2024 Amendment 4. Download a copy.

Click to download NAT Doc 007 Amd 4 (PDF)


What’s changed?

For this particular update, not a lot. The changes relate to the language around the new RCL process, and what to expect back from ATC once you send your RCL. This is part of the Oceanic Clearance Removal project.

Earlier in the year, the new RCL response included the language “RCL RECEIVED BY [ANSP]. FLY CURRENT FLIGHT PLAN OR AS AMENDED BY ATC

That turns out to have been creating confusion, so the RCL response will now just say:

These changes are in section 6.2.26 onwards.


What’s the latest with the RCL/OCR project?

Santa Maria and Iceland have made the change, so entering that portion of the NAT HLA does not require an Oceanic Clearance. You do still have to send an RCL in the same way as if you were requesting an Oceanic Clearance, but once sent, and you get an ACK – that’s it. For more on the new process, read about Oceanic Clearance Removal.

Gander, Shanwick, and Bodø have postponed their change to December 4th, 2024. This means that for now, nothing has changed – you get an old-school Oceanic Clearance in the same way you always did – with an RCL, or via voice.


So there are two kinds of RCL then?

Yep. For Gander, Shanwick, and Bodø, RCL means Request Clearance. You send this message, then wait to get your Oceanic Clearance back, usually via an OCL message on datalink.

For Iceland and Santa Maria, RCL means RCL Message. This is a “Check-In” of sorts, but the format is the same as the old meaning of RCL.

Confused? You’re not alone. But by Christmas, all will be easier – once everyone is on the same page. Play “Clearance or No Clearance” to help get things straight.


The hole in NAT Doc 007

There’s one problem with NAT Doc 007 – we’re in limbo land until Christmas. All of the guidance relates to how to send an RCL in a post-Clearance world. But for the next 5 months, most of us still need an Oceanic Clearance, and there’s no information on how to actually get one.

In the previous version of NAT Doc 007, Chapters 5 and 7 related to the Oceanic Clearance process, but those have been deleted. So, here’s a copy of the old NAT Doc 007 from 2023, which details that process.


Can we help?

If you have a question about this or need some help, just write us a note and we’ll do our best:




More on the topic:

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Mark Zee

Mark Zee

Founder of OPSGROUP, and a former airline pilot, ATCO and flight dispatcher. Based in Christchurch, New Zealand. Email me at


  • JRB says:

    Can you point to the reference regarding RCL only being available by HF for EGGX along 45N (PITAX – BEGAS)?


  • Jim Mardis says:

    6 Tricky Areas of the NAT

    1st. Entering the NAT thru the GOTA. Must use OEP’s within the GOTA ( AVPUT, CLAVY, EMBOK, KELTA, etc) and not fixes on the Montreal CTA (IKMAM, GRIBS, MIBNO, etc). See Gander Datalink Crew Procedures Manual for OEPs.

    2nd. Entering NAT from Florida thru NY OCA then proceeding on M201, 202, 203 exiting into Canadian Domestic, Moncton, or Gander Domestic and then proceeding into Gander Oceanic airspace. You will need another Oceanic clearance from the Gander OEPs. Older version of NAT DOC 007, Gander Datalink Doc. Atlantic H/L 02 Orientation Chart

    Third. Entering the NAT from PIARCO ( Islands south of St Martin) into NY OCA; PIARCO will issue your clearance via voice airborne enroute to the NY OEP. If the Term cleared via Flight Plan Route Is used to abbreviate the clearance, the entire oceanic route must be read back from the OEP to the Exit Point. Old NAT 007, Jepp NAT Oceanic Clearance Procedures, Atlantic H/L 02 Orientation Chart, Abbreviated Clearances

    4th. Entering Shanwick OCA on the Southern Boundary at 45N degrees line (PITAX – BEGAS). You can only get your RCL by HF with Shanwick. If difficulty is encountered utilize Madrid Domestic to assist. Datalink OEPs for Shanwick are only on the Eastern Boundary from LUSEN to PASAS. PASAS is the only OEP on the 45N boundary that you can use Datalink. Atlantic H/L 02 Orientation Chart.

    Fifth. RATSU ( N61W010). RATSU has been delegated to Reykjavik. There are 3 fixes prior to RATSU that you will get your clearance from (BESGA, DEVBI, and BARKU). Reykjavik will issue RCLs from one of those points when within 20 mins of OEP. Old NAT DOC 007.

    6th. Southern Border of Reykjavik at 61N from RATSU to GUNPA; Obtain RCL Via Voice only from Iceland Radio on VHF 127.85 Primary or 129.62 or HF. ATLANTIC HL/02 Orientation Chart.

    Feel free to contact me about this or to edit as necessary. I think this would be a good publication.

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