Coming soon to an FMS near you will be a new standard message from Oceanic ATC: “Confirm Assigned Route”.
If you’ve operated on the ‘half-tracks’ in the NAT recently, you’ll have seen this. So, what’s it all about?
Short and simple: with the half-tracks, the potential for Nav Errors are now (quite a lot, perhaps) higher than before. Waypoints are that bit more complicated, and 5030N 30W is a little too similar to 50N 30W.
So, to prevent you reading back the clearance correctly and then screwing up the route in the FMS, Shanwick (and Gander from 01DEC16) will ask you via datalink “What are you planning to fly?” once you enter the Ocean.
All you have to do is ack the message, scroll through your route and check it looks OK, and send it back down to them. If it’s the same as your clearance, then that’s that. If not, or you don’t reply, you’ll get an additional telegram from Shanwick.
Each aircraft has a different FMS of course, so the good people at NATS have issued AIC 071/16 to help you – it covers the A320-340, 350/380, and 75,/76, 77. If you fly a business jet, one of those should be pretty similar to yours. And if you’re operating something a little older, keep the radio operators in Ballygirreen and Gander happy with a full position report.
Reference: Iceland AIC 12/16.