U.S. operators with older minimum navigation performance specifications (MNPS) approvals have until December 31 to get these updated if they want to keep flying in the North Atlantic Track (NAT). According to a recent FAA national policy notice, more than 1,000 Part 91 operators have not yet obtained an amended operations specification management letter of authorization (LOA) B039. Most Part 91K, 135, and 121 operators have already obtained the required approvals, the agency said.
These requirements have been in effect for nearly two years under rulemaking aimed at aligning the NAT system with ICAO standards and to transition from the old MNPS to the more modern performance-based navigation (PBN) specification. This included requiring PBN specifications to operate in NAT high-level airspace (HLA), FL285 to FL420 inclusive, by January 2020.
Operators applying for a B039 LOA have to provide FAA aviation safety inspectors (ASIs) with additional evidence of compliance with NAT HLA requirements, “particularly with regard to required navigation performance (RNP) 10 and flight crew training,” said the notice. “ASIs should not assume operators with the NAT/MNPS LOA B039 already have the aircraft equipage, operating procedures, and training in place.”
Additionally, ASIs should not issue an amended B039 LOA “without first confirming the Part 91 operator has incorporated the new contingency procedures in the applicable operator handbooks, flight manuals, etc.” International flight information provider OpsGroup emphasized that “operators will also need to make sure they also have a B036 LOA for “oceanic and remote continental navigation using multiple long-range navigation systems.”