Welcome to vNorwegian's Oceanic Guide! This guide is a medium to advanced guide to help VATSIM, IVAO and other virtual pilots plan their flights and cross the Atlantic Ocean in the most realistic way possible. Although most info throughout this guide is from official ICAO documents, some info might have been edited to fit our virtual operations better.

All data in this guide is meant to be used throughout the whole NAT HLA (North Atlantic High Level Airspace). However, there are minor differences between e.g Shanwick/Gander and Reykjavik/Bodø.

Throughout the examples in this guide, all blue text is ATC and all red text is the pilot.


The airspace of the North Atlantic (NAT), which links Europe and North America, is the busiest oceanic airspace in the world. In 2012 approximately 460,000 flights crossed the North Atlantic and that volume of traffic continues to increase. Direct Controller Pilot Communications (DCPC) and ATS Surveillance are unavailable in most parts of the NAT Region. Aircraft separation, and hence safety, are ensured by demanding the highest standards of horizontal and vertical navigation performance/accuracy and of operating discipline.

The NAT HLA consists of Gander (CZQX), Shanwick (EGGX), New York (KZWY), Santa Maria (LPPO), Reykjavik (BIRD (+BGGL)) and Bodø Oceanic FIRs.
North Atlantic High Level Airspace, NAT HLA

Glossary of terms

A few shortened words used throughout this guide.
Note that "NAT" does not mean "North Atlantic Track", but only "North Atlantic".
NATNorth Atlantic
NAT HLANorth Atlantic High Level Airspace (formerly NAT MNPSA)
OACOceanic Area Control Centre
OCAOceanic Control Area
Oceanic Entry PointThe point on the FIR boundary where the aircraft enters the first oceanic control area
Oceanic Exit PointThe point on the FIR boundary where the aircraft leaves the last oceanic control area
OTSOrganised Track System
SELCALSelective calling
SLOPStrategic Lateral Offset Procedures
TMITrack Message Identification
UTCCo-ordinated Universal Time