Oceanic procedures » Flight planning
- All flights which generally route in an eastbound or westbound direction should normally be flight planned so that specified ten degrees of longitude (20°W, 30°W, 40°W etc.) are crossed at whole degrees of latitude; and all generally northbound or southbound flights should normally be flight planned so that specified parallels of latitude spaced at five degree intervals (65°N, 60°N, 55°N etc.) are crossed at whole degrees of longitude. (N.B. For those flights that generally route in an eastbound or westbound direction, it is important that the latitude crossings of ALL oceanic ten-degree meridians be included as waypoints in the flight plan submitted to ATC. Even where "named" significant points are close to these "prime" meridians of longitude it is not appropriate to omit the ten-degree crossings from the ATC Flight Plan.).
- There is a total of two ways to file your coordinates in your flight plan. One is degrees only (7 characters) and the other is degrees and minutes (11 characters). Please see below how to use them.
- Degrees only (7 characters)
Two figures describing latitude in degrees followed by "N" (North) or "S" (South), followed by three figures describing longitude in degrees followed by "E" (East) or "W" (West). Where necessary make up the correct number of figures by insertion of zeros (e.g. 46N050W).
- Degrees and minutes (11 characters)
Four figures describing latitude in degrees and tens and units of minutes followed by "N" (North) or "S" (South), followed by five figures describing longitude in degrees and tens and units of minutes followed by "E" (East) or "W" (West). Where necessary make up the correct number of figures by insertion of zeros (e.g. 4620N05005W).
- Common errors
- It is often observed that a mixture of the above is used e.g- 46N05450W, 5455N030W, and also only 5 characters e.g 4540N. These are not acceptable formats.
- During the hours of validity of the OTS, operators are encouraged to flight plan as follows:
- in accordance with the OTS; or
- along a route to join or leave an outer track of the OTS; or
- on a random route to remain clear of the OTS, either laterally or vertically.
- Nothing in the paragraph above prevents operators from flight planning through/across the OTS. However they should be aware that whilst ATC will make every effort to clear random traffic across the OTS at published levels, re-routes or significant changes in flight level are likely to be necessary during most of the OTS traffic periods.
- Outside of the OTS periods operators may flight plan any random routing, except that during a period of one hour prior to each OTS period the following restrictions apply:
Eastbound flights that cross 30°W less than one hour prior to the incoming/pending Westbound OTS (i.e. after 1029 UTC), or Westbound flights that cross 30°W less than one hour prior to the incoming/pending Eastbound OTS (i.e. after 2359 UTC), should plan to remain clear of the incoming/pending OTS structure.
NAT Tracks / TMI number
ATC Flight Plans
- Operators may include step climbs in the flight plan, although each change of level during flight must be requested from ATC by the pilot.
- Flights which are planned to remain entirely clear of the OTS or which join or leave an OTS Track (i.e. follow an OTS track for only part of its published length), are all referred to as Random Flights.
- For turbojet aircraft the Speeds/Mach Number planned to be used for each portion of the flight in the NAT Region should be specified in Item 15 (route) of the flight plan.
The proposed speeds should be reflected in the following sequence:
- cruising True Airspeed (TAS) prior to oceanic entry;
- oceanic entry point and cruising Mach Number;
- TAS subsequent to oceanic exit.
- Flight Plan Route example EGLL-KJFK:
N0485F340 CPT UL9 KENET UN14 PEMOB UN30 BANBA DCT DINIM/M083F360 DCT 50N020W 48N030W 47N040W 45N050W DCT VODOR/N0493F380 DCT RAFIN N50F BRADD PLYMM PARCH1
(DINIM = Oceanic Entry Point, VODOR = Oceanic Exit Point)