The FAA has released details of a new ADS-B-based oceanic airspace trial that started October 26 with the goal of reducing longitudinal separation between participating aircraft in the Oakland air route traffic control center’s oceanic control area. The in-trial procedure (ITP), which applies to climbing and descending aircraft, is designed to prove that more aircraft will be able to fly at their requested altitudes using the ADS-B reduced separation standards.
A number of conditions must exist during the trial period in order for controllers to apply reduced separation standards. Once aircraft have been identified as a participating in the ITP, their crews must be in contact with ATC via controller pilot data link communications (CPDLC). The speed differential between ITP aircraft cannot exceed 0.06 Mach, while differential altitude cannot exceed 2,000 feet. Trial aircraft must be traveling in the same direction, already maintaining an assigned altitude and not cleared for any sort of route deviation.
If the trial is successful, the FAA may use the ADS-B ITP as an enhancement to the standard Ocean 21 software currently in use by Oakland center in oceanic airspace.