FAA Aligns North Atlantic Nav Ops with ICAO Specs

 - August 28, 2017, 11:32 AM

Rules covering Part 91 operations of U.S.-registered aircraft over the North Atlantic have been updated to remove obsolete material and align with ICAO standards covering the North Atlantic Track (NAT) minimum navigation performance specifications (MNPS). Revisions to Part 91 are required because the ICAO NAT Region is transitioning from the decades-old MNPS navigation specification to a more modern performance-based navigation (PBN) specification. 

On Sept. 29, 2016, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in which it proposed several amendments to Part 91 to improve the alignment between FAA regulations and ICAO standards relevant to operations over the North Atlantic and in other ocean areas. This included requiring PBN specifications to operate in NAT high level airspace by January 2020. Accordingly, the FAA proposed to remove all mention of MNPS in Part 91.

The FAA did not receive any comments on the NPRM and thus all the amendments as proposed were adopted, in addition to some minor technical changes. For example, the contact information for the relevant ICAO unit has been updated. Also, in preparing the final rule, the FAA discovered that it had not proposed to remove the reference to 91.705, “Operations within the NAT MNPS Airspace,” which this final rule does remove. The new rules go into effect on October 23.