Simple question - Oceanic control

AirborneJFO

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
169
0
16
Westbury, NY
I figured I'd ask the question because it has me curious...

Who has positive control or responsibility of the airspace when aircraft are in the middle of the Atlantic and how are corridors managed? Is it an international deal or a series of patchwork "ARTCCs" from different places, i.e. U.S., Bermuda, Azores, Portugal.

Or is it something totally different.
 

klkm

Senior Member
Jun 26, 2008
213
1
18
ZNY's Oceanic control extends to 40W above 46N over ZNY is Gander Oceanic to 30W where Shanwick Control starts. Shanwick is a mixture of Irish and Scottish control, to the East of 40W is Santa Maria, Portugal controllers. The south is controlled by San Juan and Piarco (Trinidad and Tobago controllers).

The oceanic airspace is covered using ICAO rules, and varies depending on what portion of airspace you are in. ZNY is covered by WATRS+ airspace in the Caribbean which has different rules and separation minimums then MNPS airspace which starts basically at 67W but varies. The airspace above Bermuda in a 180 mile radius is controlled by ZNY using domestic radar procedures, in accordance with the 7110.65. The airport itself is controlled by Bermuda with an operating control tower.

VHF radio coverage is used around Bermuda, and in the Atlantic and Joboc radar sectors which extend about 150 miles off the coast. After that point communications are accomplished through HF radio via relay through New York ARINC, and also CPDLC (basically text messaging directly with the pilots). Positive control over the ocean is provided with a computer system known as ATOP or Ocean 21. Position reports are gathered through either HF, CPDLC or ADS and updated on a display to show the relative position of the aircraft (except in ADS cases where you can see updates on demand and in quicker intervals). The system can predict conflicts up to 2 hours in advanced and utilizes a traffic probe to issue clearances that will not be in conflict with other aircraft.

Each of the FIR's involved pass non-radar estimates for the aircraft's position on to the next facility usually at a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the aircraft reaching the boundary. These estimates are entered in and a traffic search is done to ensure there is no conflicting traffic. The radar sectors at ZNY also pass estimates to enter the non-radar airspace. In general in the Caribbean North is Even altitudes and Southbound is Odd altitudes, going East or West is a free for all, depending on the time of day and how the tracks are flowing all altitudes could be used in either direction.

Basic Oceanic non-radar separation:

Longitudinal:
10 minutes @ same mach
Rule of 11:
minimum of 6 minutes if faster in front by 5 machs or greater
7 minutes for 4 machs
8 minutes for 3 machs
9 minutes for 2 machs

15 minutes crossing

Lateral Separation:

50 miles RNP4/10 in WATRS+ airspace
60 miles Supersonic aircraft above FL275 or RNP10/4 equipped in MNPS airspace
90 miles non RNP10 or 4 equipped West of 55W
120 miles East of 55W non RNP10/4
 

AirborneJFO

Senior Member
Aug 9, 2009
169
0
16
Westbury, NY
wow, thanks....some good details. I also looked at the Facility Guide for ZNY that's posted on here and it mentions some of the places we've both mentioned in Area F.

Reminds me of the days when I used EPLRS & FBCB2...lol.

Have fun with google/wiki on that, I don't feel like explaining badly what they are.