To keep operators up to date on the many procedures and requirements of flying in the North Atlantic Track (NAT) system, ICAO has issued revised NAT Document 007 “North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual.” The manual notes that because the airspace of the North Atlantic is “the busiest oceanic airspace in the world,” strict adherence to procedures is required to ensure safe aircraft separation.
The majority of North Atlantic flights are on tracks designated NAT High-level Airspace (NAT HLA) between FL285 and FL420 inclusive. To ensure adequate airspace capacity and provide for safe vertical separations, RVSM is applied throughout the NAT region. Hence, the bulk of the document provides information for aircraft operating agencies, flight crews, and dispatchers planning and conducting operations in or above the NAT HLA. It also offers guidance to the state regulators responsible for the approval, certification, or licensing of such aircraft operators, flight crews, or dispatchers.
An extensive list of the specific revisions, which are described as “editorial and minor amendments,” sets the stage. But understanding the basic document and its revisions can be as complex as the airspace to which it applies. As such, international business aviation operations information provider OpsGroup has provided a chapter-by-chapter summary of the more important revisions within the 174-page manual.