ENR 1   General rules and procedures

ENR 1.1  General rules

1. APPLICABILITY OF ICAO ANNEX2 RULES OF THE AIR AND ANNEX 11 - AIR TRAFFIC SERVICES, AS TRANSPOSED IN COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) NR 923/2012, OF 26 SEPTEMBER (SERA IR REGULATION).

The air traffic rules and procedures applicable to air traffic in Lisboa FIR and Santa Maria Oceanic FIR conform with Annex 2 and 11 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation as transposed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) NR 923/2012, of 26 September (SERA IR Regulation) and the Procedures for Air Navigation Services-Rules of the Air and Air Traffic Management (DOC 4444 - ATM) and the Regional Supplementary Procedures (DOC 7030) applicable to the EUR and NAT Region, except when otherwise indicated hereunder; where applicable references are made to the relevant ICAO publications.

2. RNAV OPERATIONS

2.1 LISBOA FIR- (LPPC)

Mandatory carriage of RNAV equipment and route network designators

Aircraft, other than State Aircraft (Military/Police/Customs) operating in the Upper Airspace within Lisboa FIR (including all RNAV 5 routes in the Lower Airspace) shall be equipped with as a minimum, RNAV 5.

All routes in the Upper Airspace are RNAV 5 routes; All routes in the Lower Airspace are conventional routes, except  Z219 (RNAV 5), Z220 (RNAV 5), Z222 (RNAV 5), Z226 (RNAV 5),Z227 (RNAV 5), R72 (RNAV 5) and A44 (RNAV 5) that are RNAV 5 routes.

Routes R72 (RNAV 5) and A44 (RNAV 5) maintain in an interim basis the conventional route designators

2.2 SANTA MARIA FIR - (LPPO)

To be developed

3. COMMUNICATIONS PROCEDURES

3.1 GENERAL

An aircraft operating as a controlled flight shall maintain continuous air-ground voice communication watch on the appropriate communication channel of, and establish two-way communication as necessary with, the appropriate ATC unit, except as may be prescribed by the appropriate ATS authority in respect of aircraft forming part of AD traffic at a controlled AD.

3.2 COMMUNICATION PROCEDURES

Read-back of clearances and safety-related information:

  1. The flight crew shall read back to the air traffic controller safety-related parts of ATC clearances and instructions which are transmitted by voice. The following items shall always be read-back:
    1. ATC route clearances;
    2. Clearances and instructions to enter, land on, take off from, hold short of, cross, taxi and backtrack on any runway;
    3. Runway-in-use, altimeter settings SSR codes, newly assigned communication channels, level instructions, heading and speed instructions; and,
    4. Transition levels, whether issued by the controller or contained in ATIS broadcasts.
  2. Other clearances or instructions, including conditional clearances and taxi instructions, shall be read-back or acknowledged in a manner to clearly indicate that they have been understood and will be complied with.

Note: If the level of an ACFT is reported in relation to standard pressure 1013.2 hPa, the words “Flight Level” must precede the level figures. If the level of an ACFT is reported in relation to QNH /QFE, the figure must be followed by the word “Feet”.

The word “Heavy” (ACFT type with a MTOW of 136 000 kg or more) shall be included immediately after the ACFT call sign in the initial radio-telephony contact with ATS units.

4. COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE

If two-way communication is lost with an aircraft, the controller shall determine whether or not the aircraft's receiver is functioning by instructing the aircraft on the channel so far used to acknowledge by making a specified manoeuvre and by observing the aircraft's track, or by instructing the aircraft to operate IDENT or to make SSR code and/or ADS-B transmission changes.

If a communication failure precludes compliance with Section 3.1 (Communications Procedures - General) above, the crew shall comply with the communication failure procedures of ICAO Annex 10, Volume II (5.2.2.7), and with such of the following procedures as appropriate except

  1. When prescribed in the SID/STAR description communications failure procedures published for each aerodrome in the appropriate AD section; and
  2. When forming part of the AD traffic at a controlled AD, shall keep a watch for such instructions as they may be issued by visual signals;
  3. When flying within the Santa Maria FIR, excluding the Santa Maria TMA and Azores aerodromes, comply with the NAT communications failure procedures (see ENR 1.1.4.2 below).

4.1 AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATION FAILURE – LISBOA FIR AND SANTA MARIA TMA (EXCLUDING AERODROME TRAFFIC)

As soon as it is known that two-way communication has failed, ATC shall maintain separation between the ACFT having the communication failure and other ACFT based on the assumption that the ACFT will operate in accordance with the provisions below (VMC or IMC).

a) VISUAL METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (VMC)

Except as provided for IMC (see below), a controlled flight experiencing communication failure in VMC shall:

or if considered advisable, complete an IFR Flight in accordance with following paragraph.

b) INSTRUMENT METEOROLOGICAL CONDITIONS (IMC)

A controlled IFR flight experiencing communication failure in IMC, or where it does not appear feasible to continue in accordance with VMC (see above) shall follow the procedures shown below:

Set transponder to Code 7600;

In airspace wherean ATS surveillance system is not used in the provision of ATC pilots shall maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 20 minutes following the aircraft's failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

In airspace where an ATS surveillance system is used in the provision of ATC, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 7 minutes following:

  1. the time the last assigned level or minimum flight altitude is reached; or
  2. the time the transponder is set to Code 7600; or
  3. the aircraft's failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point;

whichever is later, and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

Note 1: The period of 7 minutes is to allow the necessary ATC and coordination measures.

Note 2: With regard to changes to levels and speed, the filed flight plan, which is the flight plan as filed with an ATS unit by the pilot or a designated representative without any subsequent changes, will be used.

When being radar vectored or proceeding offset according to RNAV without a specified limit, proceed in the most direct manner possible to rejoin the current flight plan route not later than the next significant point, taking into consideration the applicable minimum flight altitude, except when prescribed in the SID/STAR description communications failure procedures published for each aerodrome in the appropriate AD section.

Note: With regard to the route to be flown or the time to begin descent to the arrival AD, the current flight plan, which is the flight plan, including changes, if any, brought about by subsequent clearances, will be used.

Proceed according to the current flight plan route to the appropriate designated navigation aid serving the destination AD and, when required to ensure compliance with paragraph below, hold over this aid until commencement of descent;

Commence descent from the navigation aid specified in the previous paragraph at, or as close as possible to, the EAT last received and acknowledged or, if no EAT has been received and acknowledged, at, or as close as possible to, the ETA resulting from the current flight plan;

Complete a normal instrument approach procedure as specified for the designated navigation aid; and

Land, if possible, within 30 minutes after the ETA specified in antepenult paragraph or the last acknowledged EAT whichever is later.

Note 1: Pilots are reminded that the ACFT may not be in an area of SSR coverage.

Note 2: As evidenced by the MET conditions prescribed therein, Item a) “VMC” relates to all controlled flights, whereas item b) “IMC” relates only to IFR flights

Note 3: The provision of ATC service to other flights operating in the airspace concerned will be based on the premise that an aircraft experiencing communication failure will comply with the rules mentioned in section IMC.

4.2 AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATION FAILURE – SANTA MARIA FIR (EXCLUDING THE SANTA MARIA TMA AND AZORES AERODROMES)

The NAT communications failure procedures are published in ICAO DOC 7030 (NAT), paragraph 9.3, as summarized below, and are applicable in the Santa Maria FIR when:

  1. All long range communication systems are inoperative (HF, SATVOICE and CPDLC); and
  2. The aircraft is outside of the VHF coverage area (see GEN 3.4.3, Theoretical VHF coverage graphic); and
  3. No communication relayed through any adjacent ATC/RADIO facility or another aircraft station is successful on the 121.5MHz VHF guard frequency nor on the inter-pilot 123.45MHz VHF frequency.

Additionally to the common NAT procedures, if so equipped, the pilot of an aircraft experiencing a two-way radio communications failure shall operate the secondary radar transponder on identity (Mode A) Code 7600 and Mode C.

4.2.1 If loss of communications is encountered prior to entering the NAT, the pilot should:

  1. follow the radio communication failure procedures of the airspace in which the aircraft is operating; ;
  2. if the pilot elects to continue the flight, enter oceanic airspace at the Oceanic Entry Point at the level and speed resulting from the execution of the radio communication failure procedures of the adjacent airspace; and
  3. follow the procedures in 4.2.2 below.

4.2.2 If loss of communications is encountered or continues after entering the NAT, the pilot should: 

  1. maintain the current flight plan until reaching the Oceanic Exit Point; and,
  2. not make any route, flight level or speed changes before the Oceanic Exit Point unless a change is deemed necessary by the pilot-in-command to ensure the safety of the aircraft.

4.2.3 Aircraft with a destination within the NAT Region should follow the procedures in 4.2.2 above until reaching the top of descent point and should thereafter follow globally applicable procedures in accordance with PANS-ATM 15.3.3 b) 4) – 7).

5. EMERGENCY SEPARATION

EMERGENCY SEPARATION PROCEDURE

If, during an emergency situation, it is not possible to ensure that the applicable horizontal separation can be maintained, emergency separation of half the applicable vertical separation minimum will be used:

When emergency separation is applied ATC shall advise pilot that emergency separation is being applied and inform her/him of the actual minimum used. Additionally, all flight crews concerned shall be provided with essential traffic information.

6. REDUCED VERTICAL SEPARATION MINIMUM - RVSM

6.1 LISBOA FIR RVSM AREA

The airspace within the Lisboa FIR between FL290 and FL410 inclusive, as described in ENR 2.1.1 is EUR RVSM airspace

Within this airspace, the vertical separation minimum shall be:

  1. 300 metres (1000FT) between RVSM approved aircraft;
  2. 600 metres (2000FT) between:
    1. Non-RVSM approved State Aircraft and any other aircraft operating within the EUR RVSM airspace;
    2. Formation flights of State aircraft and any other aircraft operating within the EUR RVSM airspace
    3. Non-RVSM approved aircraft and any other aircraft operating within Lisboa FIR RVSM Transition Area as described in ENR 1.1-6.2.

6.2 LISBOA FIR RVSM TRANSITION AREA

This transition area, within Lisboa FIR RVSM Airspace and described in ENR 2.1.2, permits non-equipped/approved traffic to cross RVSM airspace;
Within this airspace, the vertical separation minimum shall be:

  1. 600 meters (2000FT) between Non-RVSM traffic and all other aircraft operating within this area.

6.3 SANTA MARIA FIR RVSM AREA

The Airspace within the Santa Maria FIR between FL290 and FL410 inclusive, as described in ENR 2.1.5.1 is NAT RVSM airspace. Within this Airspace, the vertical separation minimum shall be:

  1. 300 metres (1000FT) between RVSM approved aircraft;
  2. 600 metres (2000FT) between any Non-RVSM aircraft and any other aircraft when both aircraft are operating within the NAT RVSM Airspace.

NOTE 1: RVSM State approval is mandatory. An ATC Clearance by itself does not constitute approval to enter RVSM Airspace.

NOTE 2: The Pilot of the aircraft must advise Santa Maria OAC on initial contact of any in-flight deterioration in navigation capability. Also if any deterioration in navigation capability occurs within Santa Maria FIR, the Pilot must advise immediately Santa Maria OAC.

7. APPLICATION OF HORIZONTAL SEPARATION MINIMA IN NON-SURVEILLANCE ATS OPERATIONS WITHIN SANTA MARIA FIR

The minimum horizontal separation applied between aircraft in non-surveillance operations within Santa Maria FIR is published in the following documents:

  1. ICAO Doc 4444 PANS ATM, chapter 5; and
  2. ICAO Doc 7030 SUPPS (NAT), chapter 6.

Additional information and guidance can be found in the ICAO NAT Doc 008 Application Of Separation Minima (NAT Region). The electronic version of the document is available on the ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office public website: www.icao.int/EURNAT/, “EUR/NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”.

For information on minimum horizontal separation between aircraft in surveillance ATS operations, see ENR 1.6.8.

8. NORTH ATLANTIC HIGH LEVEL AIRSPACE SPECIFICATIONS (NAT HLA)

The airspace within the Santa Maria FIR between FL290 and FL410 inclusive, as described in ENR 2.1 is NAT HLA, coincident with Santa Maria’s RVSM Airspace. Any flight intending to fly across Santa Maria FIR between FL290 and FL410 inclusive must have State Approval for both NAT HLA MNPS and RVSM (see also items f. and g. below, for exceptions).

  1. NAT HLA MNPS / RVSM State Approvals are mandatory. An ATC Clearance by itself does not constitute approval to enter NAT HLA / RVSM Airspace
  2. The Pilot of the aircraft must advise Santa Maria OAC on initial contact of any in-flight deterioration in navigation capability. Also if any deterioration in navigation capability occurs within Santa Maria FIR, the Pilot must advise immediately Santa Maria OAC.
  3. In accordance with the MNPS to PBN Transition Plan for the ICAO North Atlantic Region, with effect from 04 February 2016, the airspace formerly known as the “North Atlantic Minimum Navigation Specifications Airspace” (MNPSA), was designated as the “North Atlantic High Level Airspace” (NAT HLA).
  4. ICAO Annex 6 allows for a “minimum navigation performance specification” to be regionally specified in Regional Supplementary Procedures Doc 7030, therefore, it has been determined to maintain reference to a “MNPS” in the NAT Region within NAT Doc 7030. Thus, approvals initially issued to operate in the NAT MNPSA are referred to as “NAT MNPS” approvals and approvals issued to operate in the NAT HLA are referred to as “NAT HLA MNPS” approvals.
  5. MNPS approvals granted before 04 February 2016 will continue to be valid for NAT HLA operations, however, those issued before 01 January 2015 and based on the “6.3 NM” MNPS standard will no longer be accepted beyond January 2020.
  6. Traffic operating exclusively in airway UN741 (segment NELSO – ROSTA – NORED – EDUMO) is not subject to an Oceanic Clearance from Santa Maria OAC, thus no formal NAT HLA MNPS approval is required (see ENR 2.2.3).
  7. Traffic flying to/from Azores Islands is allowed to operate in the NAT HLA, when the oceanic portion of the planned route is contained inside the Santa Maria FIR ATS Surveillance airspace and VHF coverage, typically via MANOX, NAVIX or IRKID direct 350000N 0200000W or 360000N 0200000W direct Azores Islands, for aircraft equipped with SSR Mode S/ADS-B transponders and certified installation of equipment providing it the ability to navigate along the cleared track.
  8. More detailed information on NAT HLA and RVSM in the NAT Region can be found in the NAT DOC.007 (North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual), available at www.icao.int/EURNAT (NAT Documents).

9. NORTH ATLANTIC DATA LINK MANDATE (NAT DLM)

The airspace within the Santa Maria FIR, as described in ENR 2.1, is NAT DLM airspace between FL290 and FL410 inclusive, as per NATSPG Conclusion 49/11, excluding the airspace where ATS surveillance is provided by means of radar, MLAT and/or ADS-B, coupled with VHF voice communications (see chart in ENR 1.6.12 THEORETICAL SSR/MLAT/ADS-B SURVEILLANCE COVERAGE AREA- SANTA MARIA FIR), provided the aircraft is suitably equipped (transponder/ADS-B extended squitter transmitter).

The following flights will be permitted to flight plan to enter the Santa Maria FIR NAT DLM airspace:

  1. Flights equipped with and prepared to operate FANS 1/A (or equivalent) CPDLC and ADS-C data link systems as defined in ICAO Doc 7030 SUPPS (NAT), paragraphs 3.4 and 5.4; and
  2. Non-equipped flights that file STS/FFR, HOSP, HUM, MEDEVAC, SAR, or STATE in Item 18 of the flight plan. (Depending on the tactical situation at the time of flight, however, such flights may not receive an ATC clearance which fully corresponds to the requested flight profile).

Note: See Special Flight Planning Requirements for Santa Maria FIR in ENR 1.10 for descriptors to include in the FPL to indicate FANS 1/A equipment and capabilities.

Any aircraft not equipped with FANS 1/A (or equivalent) systems may request to climb or descend through the NAT DLM airspace. Such requests, as outlined below, will be considered on a tactical basis:

  1. Altitude reservation (ALTRV) requests will be considered on a case by case basis (as is done today regarding NAT minimum navigation performance specifications [MNPS] airspace), irrespective of the equipage status of the participating aircraft.
  2. If a flight experiences an equipment failure AFTER DEPARTURE which renders the aircraft unable to operate FANS 1/A (or equivalent) CPDLC and/or ADS-C systems, requests to operate in the NAT DLM airspace will be considered on a tactical basis. Such flights must notify ATC of their status PRIOR TO ENTERING the airspace.
  3. If a FANS 1/A data link equipment failure occurs while the flight is OPERATING WITHIN NAT DLM AIRSPACE, ATC must be immediately advised. Such flights may be re-cleared so as to avoid the airspace, but consideration will be given to allowing the flight to remain in the airspace, based on tactical considerations.
  4. If a flight experiences an equipment failure PRIOR to departure which renders the aircraft non-DLM compliant, the flight should re-submit a flight plan so as to remain clear of the NAT regional DLM airspace.

10. STRATEGIC LATERAL OFFSET PROCEDURE (SLOP)

The Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure (SLOP) is a Standard Operating Procedure throughout the North Atlantic (NAT) Region. This procedure mitigates collision risk and wake turbulence encounters. Pilots conducting oceanic flight within Santa Maria FIR with automatic offset programming capability are recommended to fly lateral offsets of up to 2 NM of the centre line.

SLOP conforms to direction in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Air Traffic Management (PANS-ATM, Doc. 4444, 16.5) and is subject to the following guidelines:

  1. An aircraft may fly offsets right of centreline up to a maximum of 2 NM;
  2. Aircraft without automatic offset programming capability must fly the route centreline.
  3. offsets left of centreline are not permitted
  4. Aircraft able to perform offsets in tenths of nautical mile should do so as it contributes to risk reduction.
    It is recommended that flight crews of aircraft capable of programming automatic offsets should randomly select flying centreline or an offset. In order to obtain lateral spacing from nearby aircraft (i.e. those immediately above and/or below), flight crews should use whatever means are available (e.g. ACAS/TCAS, communications, visual acquisition, GPWS) to determine the best flight path to fly;
  5. An aircraft overtaking another aircraft should offset within the confines of this procedure, if capable, so as to minimize the amount of wake turbulence for the aircraft being overtaken. Flight crews may contact other aircraft on the air-to-air channel, 123.450 MHz, as necessary, to coordinate the best wake turbulence mutual offset option;
  6. Pilots may apply an offset outbound after the Oceanic Entry Point and must return to centreline before the Oceanic Exit Point.
  7. Position reports transmitted via voice should be based on the waypoints of the current ATC clearance and not the offset positions.
  8. Aircraft transiting Santa Maria Oceanic Surveillance Area may remain on their established offset positions.

There is no ATC clearance required for this procedure and it is not necessary ATC to be advised.

11. REPORT LEAVING, REPORT REACHING PROCEDURE

The early discovery of altitude deviations is extremely important to the overall safety of Operations. It has been discovered that pilots frequently refers the required reports of leaving and reaching flight levels until the next routine communication. This has led to instances where aircraft have flown at the incorrect flight level for long durations. This is not acceptable from a system safety standpoint. While the actual number of vertical errors is relatively small, the fact that some of these errors continue undetected (and therefore uncorrected) for long durations, has resulted in an unacceptable situation.

In practical terms, pilots are requested to:

  1. Report leaving a flight level as soon as you begin your climb or descent;
  2. Similarly, report reaching a flight level as soon as you are level;
  3. In RVSM Airspace, provide the reports even if ATC has not specifically requested them.

12. DEPARTURE MESSAGES IN LISBOA FIR

Departure messages for controlled IFR flights entering Lisboa FIR from EUR states shall not be exchanged between Lisboa ACC and other ACC in the EUR Region, unless, when specifically requested.

13. NAT ORGANIZED TRACK WITHIN SANTA MARIA FIR

13.1 INFORMATION REQUIRED FROM OPERATORS

All operators conducting flight operations in the Santa Maria Oceanic FIR, North of 37N, shall provide information to the Santa Maria Oceanic Area Control Centre regarding the tracks likely to be requested by turbo-jet aircraft during the peak traffic periods.

The Westbound peak traffic information, if received by Santa Maria OAC not later than 2330 UTC, shall be taken into consideration when determining the eventual necessity of implementing Day Organized Tracks and establishing its coordinates through the NAT Regions.

13.2 NAT OTS MESSAGES

Day Tracks within Santa Maria FIR, whenever implemented, will be included in the Shanwick OTS message, while Night Tracks, whenever implemented, will be included in the Gander OTS message.

14. SPECIAL PROCEDURES FOR IN-FLIGHT CONTINGENCIES IN SANTA MARIA FIR

The NAT Special Procedures for In-Flight contingencies are published in the following documents:

  1. ICAO DOC 4444 - Pans ATM paragraph 15.2
  2. ICAO DOC 7030 - NAT Supplementary procedures

15. OCEANIC CLEARANCES PROCEDURES IN SANTA MARIA FIR

15.1 GENERAL:

Oceanic Clearances are required for all flights within NAT controlled Airspace (at or above FL55).

The table below depicts the requirements for requesting an oceanic clearance before entering Santa Maria Oceanic Control Area, taking into account the previous ATC units and the boundary entering waypoints/coordinates (see also ENR 6.01-9):

Pilots should always endeavour to obtain Oceanic Clearance prior to entering Santa Maria Oceanic Control Area; however if any difficulty is encountered the pilot should not hold while waiting for the clearance, unless so instructed by ATC.

Oceanic Clearances may be requested via the Santa Maria Oceanic Clearance Delivery (OCD) data link service (see ENR 1.1.19 for details on datalink services) or via the available voice services on VHF, HF or SATVOICE (see ENR 2.1.5 for details on frequencies and SATVOICE numbers).

All Pilots are reminded that the Oceanic Clearance is valid only from Santa Maria’s FIR boundary entering point. In order to comply with the Oceanic Clearance, if any route, speed or level change is required before the boundary entry point, it is mandatory to make a prior request with the Control Centre in charge of the flight to obtain the proper clearance to comply with cleared profile.

Flights from Lisboa FIR (DEMOS, VERAM or Madeira sector) shall inform Lisboa ATC of the flight level and entry point in the Santa Maria FIR, as contained in the Oceanic Clearance. In case any doubt arises concerning the Oceanic Clearance flight level or entry point, clarification may be provided either by Lisboa ATC or Santa Maria ATC.

Flights departing from Madeira Islands entering Santa Maria OCA via IRKID or ABALO are exempted of being levelled at oceanic entry point as long as prior authorization is obtained from Lisboa ATC or Santa Maria ATC.

Flights departing from Azores Islands will receive the Oceanic Clearance in a three step process. The appropriate Tower must be informed of the intended flight level for oceanic crossing and will issue an initial flight level clearance. After departure, Santa Maria Radar will assure the climb to the approved final level. The pilot will only receive the oceanic route and speed clearance later on, usually through Santa Maria Radio on HF.

Pilots are reminded that while outside of Santa Maria FIR and whilst in contact with Santa Maria Radio, it is mandatory to maintain two way communications with the Control Centre/Radio Station in charge of their flight.

Flights using Data Link Services for Oceanic Clearance Request and Reception, are required to establish voice contact with Santa Maria Radio for Radio Check on appropriate HF/VHF frequencies or on SATVOICE (see ENR 2.1.5 for details on frequencies and SATVOICE numbers), as soon a clearance confirm message is received on board.

For many year, it has been a requirement for operators in the NAT Region to obtain a specific Oceanic Clearance to operate within the region. This procedure was introduced to enable safe and efficient handling of the large volume of traffic that operated within the NAT procedural oceanic airspace utilizing HF voice communications and large separation standards.

Significant technological advancements in Communication, Navigation and Surveillance have enabled NAT ANSPs to improve safety and services in the NAT Region and further reduce separation minima.

The NAT Systems Planning Group agreed that technology development has reached a point where the oceanic clearance to operate within oceanic airspace will no longer be issued to flight crews prior to reaching Oceanic Entry Point.

However, crews are still required to submit a Request for Clearance message (RCL message) before entering the NAT Region.

More detailed information regarding recommended practices in the NAT Region can be found in the NAT DOC.007 (North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual), available at http://www.icao.int/EURNAT (EUR and NAT Documents; NAT Documents and NAT OPS Bulletins).

Request for Clearance (RCL message) for flights entering the NAT Region through Santa Maria FIR shall be submitted via the Santa Maria Oceanic Clearance Delivery (OCD) data link service (see ENR 1.1.18 for details on datalink services) or via the available voice services on VHF, HF or SATVOICE (see ENR 2.1.5 for details on frequencies and SATVOICE numbers).

All operators shall submit their Request for Clearance (RCL message) at least 40 minutes before the ETO for the Santa Maria OCA boundary.

Flights departing from aerodromes located in Lisboa FIR, which are close to Santa Maria OCA boundary, shall submit the Request for Clearance (RCL message) as soon as possible after departure.

Flights departing from Azores are exempted from submitting an Request Clearance (RCL message) to Santa Maria OAC. Standard departure clearance procedures shall be applied by the crew and Aerodrome Control Tower.

The RCL message shall include:

In response to an RCL message, there will be no Oceanic Clearance message sent via ACARS OCD or voice, flight crew must fly what is loaded in the FMS or as amended by ATC. The following message will be sent by Santa Maria OAC, via ACARS OCD or voice, as applicable:

RCL RECEIVED BY LPPO. FLY CURRENT FLIGHT PLAN OR AS AMENDED BY ATC

The information in the RCL message will be processed as follows:

Flights using ACARS OCD data link service for submitting the RCL message are not required to establish voice communications with Santa Maria RADIO before the FIR boundary, except if specifically instructed to do so.

Pilots are reminded that while outside of Santa Maria FIR and whilst in contact with Santa Maria RADIO, it is mandatory to maintain two way communications with the Control Centre/Radio Station in charge of their flight.

15.2 ADHERENCE TO OCEANIC CLEARANCE

As a Key part of ensuring the overall safety in the NAT Region, Pilots are reminded of the importance of strict adherence to the Oceanic Clearance. The NAT Oceanic Clearance provides separation from all known aircraft at the Oceanic Entry Point. This separation can only be assured if all aircraft enter Oceanic Airspace in accordance with their Oceanic Clearance.

Pilots are reminded that once in possession of the Oceanic Clearance, whenever the flight’s current flight level or Oceanic Entry Point is not coincident with those stated on the Oceanic Clearance; it is of extreme importance for the overall safety situation to timely request the appropriate clearance from the ATC unit in charge of the flight.

In practical terms:

  1. Flights must enter Santa Maria OCA at the cleared oceanic flight level (see paragraph ENR 1.1.16.1, exemption granted to flights departing Madeira Islands entering Santa Maria OCA via IRKID or ABALO);
  2. Flights must enter Santa Maria OCA at the cleared oceanic Entry Point;
  3. Flights must maintain the assigned Mach Number;
  4. If a Pilot cannot comply with any part of the Oceanic Clearance, ATC must be informed immediately;
  5. Pilots must ensure that their aircraft performance enables them to maintain the cleared Oceanic Flight Level for the entire oceanic crossing;
  6. If a Pilot realizes that the aircraft is not able to reach or remain at a cleared flight level, ATC must be informed immediately.

15.3 REQUESTS FOR OCEANIC CLEARANCE

15.3.1 Flights entering Santa Maria OCA from an adjacent FIR, taking into account paragraph 14.1 above and chart ENR 6.01-9 (Air Traffic System, Santa Maria Oceanic FIR (LPPO))

All operators shall request their Oceanic Clearance at least 40 minutes before the ETO for the Santa Maria OCA boundary.

Flights departing from aerodromes located in Lisboa FIR, which are close to Santa Maria OCA boundary, shall request Oceanic Clearance as soon as possible after departure.

The request for the Oceanic Clearance shall include:

  1. The Oceanic Entry Point and estimated time;
  2. The requested MACH number and flight level at the Oceanic Entry Point and;
  3. The highest acceptable flight level which can be maintained at the OCA entry and,
  4. Optionally, any other information deemed important by the crew.

All flight crews shall carefully monitor the estimated time for the OCA entry point stated when making the Oceanic Clearance Request, advising ATC for any difference of 3 minutes or more, except if providing position reports via ADS-C. Failing to comply with the accurate estimated time may result in re-clearance to a less economical flight profile.

15.3.2 Flights Departing from Azores

The pilot shall request ATC Clearance from the appropriate Tower, providing the following information:

  1. The intended flight level for oceanic crossing;
  2. The requested Mach Speed (if operating with a turbojet) and;
  3. The highest acceptable flight level which can be maintained for the oceanic crossing and,
  4. Optionally, any other information deemed important by the crew.

15.4 Delivery Of Oceanic Clearances

15.4.1 General

The reply to an Oceanic Clearance request made through data link will normally be made also via data link (see ENR 1.1.19 for details on datalink services). Whenever a problem or doubt arises, the Oceanic Clearance will be issued or confirmed via voice.

15.4.2 Oceanic clearance delivery for aircraft in NAT tracks

Santa Maria OAC will issue an Oceanic Clearance for aircraft flying on NAT Tracks using the track letter, flight level and Mach number, without the current NAT Track message identification number.

Pilots are expected to include the NAT Track Message Identification number in the read back of the Oceanic Clearance. If the Track Message identification number is included on the read back there is no requirement for the pilot to read back the NAT Track coordinates.

If any doubts exist as to the Track Message Identification number or the NAT Track coordinates the pilot should request the full Track coordinates.

Similarly, if the pilot cannot correctly identify the Track Message Identification number, Santa Maria will read the cleared NAT Track coordinates in full and request a full read back of those coordinates.

The Oceanic Clearance may be issued beyond NAT Track limit and may include ATS route designators (ex: A637, A705, B646, B891, R513, R514, etc.). When ATS route designators are included as part of the Oceanic Clearance, there is no requirement for the pilot to read back the significant points that make up the ATS route.

Example of ATC issued clearance: Santa Maria Control clears RZO351 to [ABCD] via Track G BDA B646 GRATX. After passing GRATX, FPL route to destination. From KOMUT maintain flight level three five zero, Mach decimal eight zero.

Example of pilot read back: Santa Maria Control clears RZO351 to ABCD via Track G BDA B646 GRATX. After passing GRATX, FPL route to destination. From KOMUT maintain flight level three five zero, Mach decimal eight zero, TMI [xyz]

15.4.3 Oceanic Clearance Delivery for aircraft in random routes

Santa Maria OAC will issue an Oceanic Clearance for aircraft flying on random routes, specifying the full route details, flight level and Mach number.

Flights that operate partially along a published NAT Track are considered as random routes.

ATS route designators may be included as part of the Oceanic Clearance route details (ex: T16, A637, A705, B646, B891, R513, R514, etc.).

Pilots are to read back the full details of the Oceanic Clearance as received although when ATS route designators are included as part of the Oceanic Clearance, there is no requirement for the pilot to read back the significant points that make up the ATS route.

15.4.4 Oceanic Clearance Delivery for aircraft departing from Azores

The appropriate Tower will issue an ATC departure clearance. The cleared flight level at this stage will usually be different from the requested flight level for the crossing.

After departure, Santa Maria Radar will issue the climb clearance to the flight level approved by Santa Maria OAC.

The detailed oceanic route and Mach Number clearance shall be transmitted only at a later stage, usually by Santa Maria Radio on HF. Pilots are to read back the full details of the route and speed clearance as received although when ATS route designators are included in the clearance, there is no requirement for the pilot to read back the significant points that make up the ATS route.

16. OPERATIONS WITHOUT ASSIGNED FIXED SPEED (OWAFS) WITHIN SANTA MARIA FIR

16.1 GENERAL

All aircraft, regardless of FANS equipage, will be eligible for the application of OWAFS in both ATS surveillance and non-surveillance airspace.

Oceanic clearance procedures remain unchanged. A fixed Mach will continue to be part of the oceanic clearance.

Flights entering Santa Maria FIR from New York, Gander or Shanwick FIR’s are expected to be flying either a fixed Mach or flexiblean FMS cost index (ECON) speed, depending on the coordination conditions established between the ATS units.

After the aircraft enters Santa Maria FIR, ATC will strive to remove any existing speed restriction although speed control restrictions will be applied as needed, in accordance with ICAO Doc 4444 (paragraph 4.6).

Appropriate flight crew knowledge is required to ensure a thorough understanding of OWAFS policies and procedures especially in regard to responses to standard voice or CPDLC messages relating to speed assignments.

16.2 PROCEDURES

When an aircraft has been cleared on a fixed Mach speed:

i. Flight crews will not need to request a variable speed, ATC will offer a variable Mach when possible.

ii. Flight crew abides by ICAO Annex 2 (paragraph 3.6.2.2 b) Deviation from ATC assigned Mach number/indicated airspeed: the appropriate air traffic services unit shall be informed immediately.

If the aircraft then receives RESUME NORMAL SPEED (via CPDLC or Voice), the flight crew no longer needs to comply with a previously issued Mach. However, the flight crew shall advise ATC if, as the result of the RESUME NORMAL SPEED message, they intend to adjust their speed by plus or minus Mach 0.02 or more from their last assigned speed.

16.3 PHRASEOLOGY

The following standard phraseology shall be used between ATC and flight crew:

  1. To clear aircraft on a fixed speed:
    1. Voice: MAINTAIN MACH (number)
    2. CPDLC: SPDU-4/UM106: MAINTAIN (speed)
    3. ACARS data link oceanic clearance: Assigned Mach speed is required in oceanic CLX messages
  2. To remove the speed restriction:
    1. Voice: RESUME NORMAL SPEED
    2. CPDLC: SPDU-13/UM116: RESUME NORMAL SPEED
  3. iii. Response to a pilot inquiry in order to confirm the RESUME NORMAL SPEED instruction:
    1. Voice: NO [ATC] SPEED RESTRICTIONS
    2. b. CPDLC SPDU-14/UM169 (free text): NO SPEED RESTRICTION

17. POSITION REPORTING IN SANTA MARIA FIR

17.1 POSITION REPORT WAYPOINTS

Position report for flights on routes not defined by designated reporting points shall be made at thee significant route waypoints authorized by ATC on the Oceanic Clearance or on subsequent amended route clearances.Flight crew are expected to report the significant route waypoints loaded in the FMS or as amended by ATC.

17.2 VOICE POSITION REPORTS

All routine voice position reports should be transmitted to Santa Maria Radio which delivers them, as other messages from Aircraft, immediately and automatically as required to the relevant ATS units, Airline Operators and MET Offices.

Unless otherwise instructed by ATC, provided the conditions described below are fulfilled, the voice waypoint position report procedure is not required by the crew of:

  1. Flights with ADS-C Waypoint Position Report contract established with LPPO; and/or
  2. Identified flights in VHF contact with Santa Maria Radar, even when the next and ensuing waypoints are outside the surveillance area; and/or
  3. Flights that filled the ADS-B equipment descriptors B1 or B2 in item 10B of the ICAO FPL and ADS-B space based surveillance services are available.

However, flights wishing their position report to be relayed to the airline operations via AFTN may continue to transmit in HF or SATVOICE the position report to Santa Maria Radio.

INTERCEPT PROCEDURE

Pilots must be aware that, according to the Conclusion 33/16 of the 33rd Meeting of NATSPG, Santa Maria does no longer apply the intercept procedure recommended by ICAO and described on Annex 10 Vol. II, paragraph 5.2.3.1.2.

17.3 DATA LINK POSITION REPORTS

Santa Maria OAC accepts ADS-C Waypoint Position Reports. Additionally to Waypoint position reports, Santa Maria also accepts and processes periodic position reports.

CPDLC position reports are not accepted in Santa Maria FIR.

18. DATA LINK SERVICES WITHIN SANTA MARIA FIR

18.1 INTRODUCTION

Within Santa Maria Oceanic Control Area (OCA), several data link services for Air Traffic Control (ATC) purposes are available for suitable equipped aircraft. These services include the pre-FANS application Oceanic Clearance Delivery (OCD), as well as FANS1/A functions as Automatic Dependent Surveillance Contracts (ADS-C) and Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).

More detailed information regarding ADS-C/CPDLC may be found in the ICAO Doc 10037 Global Operational Data Link Document (GOLD) Manual, available at www.paris.icao.int (Documents; NAT Docs). More details on OCD can be found in the NAT OPS Bulletins.ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office public website: www.icao.int/EURNAT/, “EUR/NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”, “NAT OPS Bulletins” - ACARS Data Link Oceanic Clearance Flight Crew Procedures.

18.2 GENERAL DESCRIPTION

18.2.1 PRE FANS APPLICATIONS

The OCD is a data link service that allows pilots to submit theand controllers to exchange messages for Oceanic Request for Clearance Request and Oceanic Clearance Delivery(RCL message) and receive the response from the controllers using the ACARS network, according the specifications defined on the AEEC 623 and EUROCAE ED 106.

18.2.2 FANS 1/A APPLICATIONS

These applications will be available after the proper establishment of a logon to the Santa Maria OAC. ADS contracts and CPDLC connections are automatically initiated by ground systems after receiving the AFN logon initiated by flight crews or by automatic transfer from other ATS Unit.

FANS 1/A equipped aircraft are expected to make use of the datalink applications CPDLC and ADS-C either when flying within procedural oceanic or surveillance airspace.

18.2.2.1 ADS-C

ADS-C is a data link service for use by Santa Maria OAC in which aircraft automatically transmits via an air-ground data link, aircraft position-related data derived from on-board navigation and position fixing systems.

Santa Maria OAC establishes the following ADS contracts with each aircraft within its area of responsibility.

Additionally, whenever necessary, it is possible to make an ADS Demand report, which provides the controller with the aircraft’s current position, level and speed.

ADS-C flights transiting the Santa Maria OAC surveillance area are expected to maintain the ADS-C contracts established by ATC.

18.2.2.2 CPDLC

CPDLC is a data link service that allows FANS 1/A equipped aircraft the exchange of data link messages between pilots and controllers. Communications can be conducted via a defined message element (a message element whose content and format are pre-determined) or via a free text message element, usually referred as a free-text message (a message element whose content is variable, i.e., composed by the sender). Pilots shall not use a free-text message if a standard message exists for the purpose of the required communication.

CPDLC communications is available either for flights within Santa Maria OAC surveillance area where voice VHF DCP communications exists or within procedural oceanic airspace where voice communications are assured through Santa Maria Radio.

18.3 GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

In order to use the available data link services operators must be aware of the following requirements:

18.4 Connection information for Santa Maria FIR data link services

In order to establish connection to Santa Maria Oceanic Area Control Center (OAC) the following address information shall be used.

Airline operators must be aware that it’s their responsibility to make the necessary arrangements with the DSP that they have established the service access contract to forward the Media Advisory (MA) message from all aircraft on the fleet to other DSPs, in order to assure the proper internet working message routing between different DSPs

18.5 General Procedures

More detailed information on ADS-C/CPDLC procedures can be found in the GOLDICAO Doc 10037 Global Operational Data Link (GOLD) Manual and on OCD procedures can be found on the ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office public website: www.icao.int/EURNAT/, “EUR/NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”, “NAT OPS Bulletins” - ACARS Data Link Oceanic Clearance Flight Crew Procedures.

Flight crews should not ask Santa Maria Radio questions regarding the data link services status, or whether a downlink message has been received. Should Santa Maria OAC fail to receive an expected ADS-C report, a voice report will be requested.

18.5.1 AFN LOGON TIMING

For flights entering Santa Maria FIR from Madrid FIR, the crew is required to initiate the AFN LOGON as soon as operationally feasible prior the FIR boundary estimated time. All other adjacent FIRs to Santa Maria offer datalink services, either FANS 1/A or ATN B1, therefore the AFN LOGON transfer is expected to be done automatically, without crew intervention, or manually, after being instructed to do so by the responsible ATC unit. However, if this does not happen, the crew shall initiate a manual AFN LOGON to Santa Maria, as soon as operationally feasible, usually close to or upon crossing the FIR boundary entry waypoint. In all cases, ATC will instruct the crew as needed, if any AFN LOGON problem is detected.

18.5.2 RADIO OPERATOR RESPONSE TO INITIAL VOICE CONTACT FROM CPDLC FLIGHTS

In all circumstances, pilots are expected to make an initial voice contact with Santa Maria Radio, according to the procedures detailed in ICAO Doc 10037 GOLD Manual, Appendix B, paragraph B.4.3. (see also ENR 1.1.18.6 below).

18.5.3 UPLINK MESSAGE LATENCY MONITOR FUNCTION TIMER

18.5.3.1 Set Timer

18.5.3.1.1 The uplink message latency monitor function is designed to prevent pilots from acting on a CPDLC uplink message that has been delayed in the network. Upon entering Santa Maria Oceanic airspace, FANS 1/A equipped flights will receive a message advising crews to set the latency timer: “SET MAX UPLINK DELAY VALUE TO 300 SEC”.

18.5.3.1.2 When the pilot receives the uplink CPDLC message SET MAX UPLINK DELAY VALUE TO 300 SEC he/she shall;

i. Send a positive response to ATC as prompted by the avionics (ACCEPT [ROGER]) regardless of whether the aircraft supports the latency monitor.

Note 1: It is important that pilots respond to the SET MAX UPLINK DELAY VALUE TO 300 SEC uplink message to avoid having open unanswered CPDLC messages in the system. This also applies to aircraft that have deficient message latency monitor functionality or no such functionality at all.

Note 2: The ICAO Doc 10037 Global Operational Data Link (GOLD) Manual specifies that the pilot should append the response downlink with the free text message TIMER NOT AVAILABLE when the message latency monitor function is not available in the aircraft.

ii. If the aircraft is equipped with a correctly functioning message latency monitor, enter the specified uplink delay into the avionics in accordance with the aircraft procedures. Some avionics will automatically set the delay value in accordance with the uplink message and do not allow for a manual input.

Note 3: If an aircraft is instructed to log off and then log on again mid-flight, ATC may send the message SET MAX UPLINK DELAY VALUE TO 300 SEC again once the logon is completed.

18.5.3.2 CPDLC AMENDED ROUTE CLEARANCES AND CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE MESSAGE

Amended route clearances, more commonly referred as re-route clearances are often employed by ATC in order to accommodate the traffic demand at optimum levels. CPDLC reroute clearance uplink messages can be loaded directly into the Flight Management System (FMS), reducing the risk of waypoint insertion errors.

To further enhance safety mechanisms, Santa Maria introduced the CPDLC uplink message “CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE”. This message is part of the CPDLC message set and is technically referred to in the ICAO Document 10037 (Global Operational Datalink Manual, Appendix A) as uplink message number UM137. This uplink message provides the flight crew with a SEND prompt which when selected, downlinks via CPDLC the DM40 message containing the active route in the Flight Management System (FMS) to ATC without the need of using any FREE TEXT.

CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE is automatically sent to all FANS 1/A aircraft 3 minutes after entering Santa Maria Oceanic OCA or 20 minutes after departing an Azores aerodrome, whichever is applicable.

Additionally, the message may be uplinked a few minutes after a re-route clearance has received a WILCO reply to confirm that the FMS active route was updated in accordance with the re-route clearance.

The UM137 message may also be used under other circumstances on a tactical basis.

Upon reception of the downlinked message DM40 containing the FMS active route the Santa Maria Flight Data processing System (FDPS) automatically performs a conformance check against the route held in the FDPS.

The benefit of this process is that the Air Traffic Controller is alerted well in advance, of any differences between the profile in the active route of the FMS and the route being protected in the FDPS. This functionality is in addition to the ADS-C position report conformance checking and is intended to further enhance safety.

18.5.3.2.1 Flight crew response to a received CPDLC uplink re-route message.

All CPDLC re-route clearance uplinks display a LOAD prompt to the flight crew. As per the GOLD procedures, on receipt of a CPDLC re-route clearance the flight crew should LOAD the uplink into the FMS and review the clearance before sending a WILCO to ATC.

18.5.3.2.2 Flight crew response to a received CPDLC CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE uplink message.

Upon receipt of a CPDLC “CONFIRM ASSIGNED ROUTE” uplink message, the flight crew should follow the appropriate ATC response prompts to downlink the assigned route to ATC.

It should be noted that in some aircraft types there is an identified anomaly that inhibits the display of a SEND prompt and thus preventing the crew from responding correctly to the uplink. In this case the crew should respond with free text message “UNABLE TO SEND ROUTE”.

18.5.3.3 Delayed CPDLC Uplink Message

18.5.3.3.1 When a pilot receives a CPDLC uplink message with an indication that the message has been delayed the pilot shall:

i. Revert to voice communications to notify the ATS unit of the delayed message received and to request clarification of the intent of the CPDLC message; and

ii. Respond appropriately to close the message as per the instructions of the controller.

iii. The pilot must not act on the delayed uplink message until clarification has been received from the controller.

18.6 SAFETY RELATED ISSUES

Attention is called to flight crew that the use of data link services does not exempt the requirement of establishing voice communications with Santa Maria Radio at or before the FIR Boundary, whether on HF or VHF, even if a CPDLC connection is established.

The flight crew procedures published in ICAO Doc 10037, Appendix B.4.3 are applicable in Santa Maria area, except paragraph B.4.3.1.1.11 which is changed as follows:

To avoid misunderstandings in the communication process all communications initiated on CPDLC should be concluded via CPDLC and communications initiated via voice should also be concluded on voice. In cases of messages initiated via CPDLC that creates uncertainties or doubts the dialogue should be terminated with UNABLE and a new dialogue should be initiated via voice.

19. VOICE COMMUNICATIONS REQUIREMENTS IN SANTA MARIA FIR

To operate within Santa Maria Flight Information Region all aircraft are required to maintain two way voice communications on HF and VHF in accordance with the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) requirements defined by the state of the operator or of registration (see also GEN 1.5 Aircraft instruments, equipment and flight documents), with the exception of aircraft flying exclusively within the Santa Maria TMA, which are only required to maintain two way voice communications on VHF. SATVOICE capability is not mandatory but, if available, is accepted as a long range communications system for all routine, urgency and emergency communications.

Flights planning to operate outside VHF coverage may request waivers from the HF requirement provided the flight falls into one of the following categories:

Relief from the HF requirement may be granted upon prior coordination with Santa Maria OAC Manager or on duty Supervisor (see GEN 3.3.1 and 3.3.6) provided the aircraft has other long-range communication systems appropriate for route of flight.

20. SELCAL OPERATION WITHIN OR INBOUND SANTA MARIA FIR

In addition to the provisions contained in DOC 7030, pilots of aircraft operating in the NAT Region are reminded of the requirement to carry out a SELCAL check with the appropriate NAT Aeradio Station prior to entry into NAT Oceanic Airspace. This SELCAL check must be completed prior to commencing SELCAL watch.

SELCAL watch on the assigned HF frequency should be maintained even in areas of the Region where VHF coverage is available and used for air / ground communications.

In order to maximize the response time of flight crews to ATC VHF voice calls within Santa Maria OAC surveillance area, pilots should complete the SELCAL check prior entering the Santa Maria Radar VHF coverage area (see GEN 3.4.3 - Theoretical VHF Coverage graphic).

21. SATVOICE AIR / GROUND MESSAGE WITHIN OR INBOUND SANTA MARIA FIR

21.1 INTRODUCTION

A dedicated satellite voice telephone number for Santa Maria Radio Station has been programmed into the INMARSAT and IRIDIUM ground gateways, for use with the short codes configured the aircraft satellite voice equipment. This number is available H24 and shall be used as follows:

Capability to initiate Ground-to-Air SATVOICE calls from Santa Maria Radio Station is also available, both for INMARSAT and IRIDIUM customers and written copies of the communications are relayed as appropriate.

21.2 PROCEDURES

To call Santa Maria Radio Station the SATVOICE equipped aircraft shall dial one of the six digits short codes allocated to the Radio Station, which are 426302 and 426305.

Pilots and radio operators shall use current HF/RTF procedures and standard ICAO phraseology during the transmission / reception of any air-ground message.

If initial contact is made through SATVOICE voice, the radio operator will inform the primary and secondary HF frequencies to the flight and will require a SELCAL check, if available. This will allow the radio station to establish contact with the aircraft whenever necessary.

SATVOICE calls will be recorded and read back procedures for ATC messages will be applied.

Any SATVOICE call established with Santa Maria Radio Station can be transferred to any Santa Maria OAC ATC working position, if so required by the pilot or the controller.

Santa Maria Radio will be using the two letters SP in sub-field CSF as the frequency identifier in air-ground SATVOICE communications.

22. COMMUNICATIONS AIR-TO-AIR IN SANTA MARIA FIR

Frequency 123.45MHZ shall be used for the AIR-to-AIR communications for the exchange of operational information while conducting flights in the NAT Region.

23. SANTA MARIA OAC AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT OPERATIONAL CONTINGENCY PLAN

The Santa Maria OAC Air Traffic Management Operational Contingency Plan is published in the ICAO NAT Doc 006, Part 1, Chapter 4.

The electronic version of the document is available on the ICAO European and North Atlantic (EUR/NAT) Office public website: www.icao.int/EURNAT/, “EUR/NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”, “NAT Documents”.

24. TRANSMISSION OF SIGMET IN SANTA MARIA FIR

SIGMET concerning Santa Maria FIR are available by broadcast via VHF VOLMET and also via Shannon VOLMET (frequencies and hours of operation available in AIP Ireland, GEN 3.5).

Pilots of aircraft in flight will be advised to listen Shannon VOLMET broadcasts whenever a Santa Maria FIR SIGMET affecting a portion of their route is issued.

Whenever considered appropriate or at pilots request Santa Maria radio operators may also transmit the SIGMET.

25. FLIGHT OPERATIONS WITHIN AIRSPACES AFFECTED BY VOLCANIC ASH CONTAMINATION

To ensure continuous aircraft operations through Portuguese airspace likely to be affected by volcanic contamination, following principles shall apply:

Key principles

25.1 TERMINOLOGY

The following definitions of contamination are applicable in Portugal regarding operation of aircraft in airspace contaminated with volcanic ash.

These definitions are consistent ICAO EUR/NAT Volcanic Ash Contingency Plan (VACP) (ICAO EUR Doc 019/NAT Doc 006 Part II) and EASA Safety Information Bulletin (SIB) 2010-17R5.

25.2 SAFETY RISK ASSESSMENT APPLICATION IN PORTUGAL

25.2.1 Areas of ash contamination.

(1) In Portugal, Aircraft Operators will be allowed to make decisions based on their safety risk assessment in the forecast areas of low, medium and high ash contamination.

(2) Therefore, Portugal will allow operators to make decisions based on their safety risk assessment, as accepted by their respective State regulatory authority, in forecast areas of low, medium and high ash contamination.

25.2.2 Common safety risk assessment recognition.

(3) As part of its overall decision making process regarding the operation of aircraft in airspace forecast to be, or aerodromes known to be, contaminated with volcanic ash, Portugal will allow aircraft operators registered in other States to base their decisions on their safety risk assessment, as accepted by their State regulatory authority, in accordance with the above mentioned approach (see 22.2.1) to decision making in Portugal.