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Chapter 10. Oceanic operations

Table of Contents
10.1. Authorised routes
10.2. Additional procedures
10.3. Contingency procedures

10.1. Authorised routes

In general, two HF radios and two LRNSs (LRNS=FMGC for A320 family) are required for oceanic operations. easyJet's A319s have no HF radios, and the A320s have only one. This limits oceanic operations to the “special routes” where less than the normal minimum communication and navigation equipment are required, which include T9 and the Blue Spruce Routes between Scotland, Iceland, Greenland and Labrador.

10.2. Additional procedures

10.2.1. FMGC programming

Extra care must be taken to ensure the coordinates of all waypoints are accurately entered in the FMGC. The second pilot should independently verify these coordinates, marking the waypoint on the OFP with a circled “O” to indicate that this has been done.

Track and distance between waypoints should also be checked against the OFP. Tick these items on the OFP to indicate that they have been checked.

10.2.2. HF/SELCAL

Do not operate the HF when refuelling or when in a hangar.

If HF is required, a SELCAL check should be carried out before entering oceanic airspace. This may be done on the ground through Stockholm radio.

10.2.3. Oceanic clearance

For T9, contact Shanwick Oceanic on 127.65 for oceanic clearance 40 minutes before Shanwick OCA boundary. If unable to contact Shanwick on VHF use NAT C HF frequencies from the Atlantic Orientation Chart or relay through domestic ATC.

For Blue Spruce Routes, contact Iceland Radio (127.85/126.55) 20 minutes before entering Reykjavic OCA; authorisation to enter Reyjavik OCA can also be sought from Scottish ATC if necessary.

Do not enter Shanwick OCA without clearance. Other OCAs may be entered whilst awaiting a delayed clearance.

The clearance request should include:

  1. Callsign

  2. Frequency being used (HF only)

  3. OCA entry point and ETA[6]

  4. Requested Mach number

  5. Requested level

  6. Next acceptable higher level

Coordinate with domestic ATC to be at the correct level and speed at the OCA entry point.

Reclearance will be required if it becomes apparent that the ETA to the OCA entry point is incorrect by more than 3 minutes.

10.2.4. Inside OCA


In general, 30 minutes after entry, squawk 2000 unless otherwise advised. Exceptions are:

  • In Reykjavic OCA, maintained squawk

  • In the Shanwick Oceanic Transition Area (SOTA), squawks will be given by Shannon ACC.

  • On T9, squawk 2000 Northbound 10 minutes after passing BEGAS or Southbound 10 minutes after passing LASNO.

123.45 and 121.5 should be monitored on VHF radios. HF does not need to be monitored if SELCAL is available.

Position reports

Position reports should be made overhead waypoints and/or at significant points listed in the flight plan. The format of a position report is:

  1. Callsign

  2. Frequency being used

  3. Waypoint and time

  4. Flight level

  5. Next waypoint and ETA[6]

  6. Subsequent waypoint

ATC must be notified if it becomes apparent that any passed ETA will be incorrect by more than 3 minutes.

For waypoints expressed as lat/long pairs, longitude minutes may be omitted for predominantly east-west flights and latitude minutes may be omitted for predominantly north-south flights.

Copy in ACC for adjacent OCAs when operating within 60nm of a common boundary (e.g. “SANTA MARIA copy SHANWICK, …”).

Navigation monitoring

Overhead each waypoint, confirm the coordinates of the next waypoint (mark it with a “\” to indicate this check has been done) and compare the track and distance to the next waypoint with the OFP and the navigation chart. Mark the overflown waypoint with an “X”.

Midway between waypoints, compare the actual winds to those on the OFP and in the weather brief.

Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure (SLOP)

When operating outside radar controlled airspace there are three positions, at pilot's discretion, that it is permissable to fly: centerline, 1nm right of centerline and 2nm right of centerline. No ATC clearance or notification is required.

Overtaking aircraft should select an offset that will cause the least wake turbulence for the overtaken aircraft.

The offset must be removed before the OCA exit point.

Level and Speed changes

Since longitudinal separation may be predicated purely on postion reports and Mach number, reclearance must be requested for any changes to either Mach number or level once inside the OCA.

10.3. Contingency procedures

10.3.1. Weather avoidance

Notify ATC and request clearance to deviate from track.

If ATC are not able to establish appropriate separation, they will advise the pilot of the conflicting traffic; responsibility for separation then rests with the pilot. In this case:

  • Alert nearby aircraft of intentions on the frequency in use, 123.45 or 121.5.

  • Turn on all available lights.

  • Deviate away from the organized track system if possible. If the deviation is greater than 10nm, change level according to the following table:

    Route centre line trackDirectionChange
    000° to 179°LeftDescend 300ft
    RightClimb 300ft
    180° to 359°LeftClimb 300ft
    RightDescend 300ft

    Return to assigned flight level within 10nm of track when rejoining.

10.3.2. En-route diversion

Whenever possible, obtain a revised clearance before initiating any action.

If this is not possible, leave the assigned track by turning at least 45° to establish on a 15nm parallel offset track. Once 10nm from the centerline, descend 500ft. Once established on the offset track, descend to a level below FL285 that differs from those normally used by 500ft. A diversion across the flow of traffic can then be commenced. If unable to descend below FL285, any level that differs by 500ft may be used. Keep nearby aircraft informed of position and intentions on 121.5 or 123.45.

If unable to initially maintain assigned flight level, minimise rate of descent when leaving original track then expedite to a feasible flight level which differs by 500ft from those normally used.

10.3.3. FMGC failure

Flight into MNPS airspace is permissable with a single FMGC failure. With the exception of a few notified routes, MNPS airspace should not be entered with dual FMGC failure.

If both FMGCs fail whilst inside MNPS airspace, ATC should be notified and a revised clearance sought. If this is not possible, navigate by plotting IR lat/long data on a suitable chart as described in EOM-C.

10.3.4. Comms failure

If failure occurs in domestic airspace prior to OCA entry, domestic diversion is recommended. It is, however, permissable to continue into the OCA in accordance with the last received and acknowledged oceanic clearance, or, if such a clearance has not been received, in accordance with the filed flight plan.

In the event of comms failure inside the OCA, continue in accordance with the last received and acknowledged oceanic clearance to the last specified oceanic route point and then revert to the flight plan and normal lost comms procedures.

[6] ETA should be expressed in hours and minutes.