When the French Controllers go on strike, which is often, the airspace surrounding France becomes of high interest to international operators, especially the North-South routes within Shanwick’s airspace.

There are three very useful routes if you happen to be flying North-South. With the changes in February this year from MNPS to HLA, the normal confusion over what is required to operate on T9, T16, and T213 (‘The Three Sisters’), has increased further. Let’s try to get all the specifics in a row.

Map of the Tango Routes:

Tango Route Map T9 T16 T213

 

 

Tango 9 LASNO-BEGAS
The most popular of the three – often chock full of holiday traffic between Northern Europe and the Canaries. Requirements:

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • At least one LRNS/Long Range Nav System
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Tango 213 TAMEL-BERUX

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Tango 16 OMOKO-NAVIX

  • HF Radio. One is sufficient.
  • An Oceanic Clearance. Get it from Shanwick at least 30 minutes before you arrive at the boundary, 60 minutes is the best target time, or Santa Maria if you’re going north.
  • Two LRNS/Long Range Nav Systems
  • HLA Approval if you want to fly above FL285.

Key Points:

  • You probably won’t get the level that you want – either because the airway itself is busy, or because you’re crossing a bunch of East-West NAT Traffic. If the rest of your Flight Plan shows FL380, plan FL320 for most of the Tango portion – especially T9.
  • You need a HF radio to enter Shanwick FIR, period. There are no exceptions.
  • You need HLA Approval to use the routes at FL290 and above, same goes for RVSM.

Operating Tips:

  • You can make an Oceanic request by Data-link (ACARS), Clearance delivery – 127.65 VHF, 123.95 VHF or via HF (Frequencies vary on the day, but 5598 is normally a safe bet).
  • If you get a low Flight Level for the Oceanic Route, Shanwick are happy for you to check in again closer to the boundary and see if higher is now available.
  • Entering the Oceanic Airspace, make a full position report: Position and time /flight level / Next position and estimate for that point / Following position
  • Don’t make a full exit position report when you enter domestic airspace, just callsign and “Approaching LASNO, FL370”. Exception: Santa Maria likes one.
  • Shanwick and Santa Maria are outside the IFPS zone, so copy flight plans to EGGXZOZX and LPPOZOZX – failure to do so will delay getting an oceanic clearance.
  • No contact on HF? Relay on 123.45, or Sat Phone EGGX 423201 or EIAA 425002.

NAT HLA Approvals

  • If you have an existing MNPS approval, it’s good until 2020.
  • If you need a new HLA approval, then you’ll need RNP4/RNP10.
  • Individual Crew need training in international procedures and HLA, as part of the process.

From Shannon ATC

Thanks to Shannon ATC for adding this useful information for crews operating on the Tango Routes:

  • EICK Departures via T9/T213/T16 should get their  Oceanic clearance prior to departure – ask the Tower 45 minutes ahead of time.

  • All other EI/Irish departures can request clearance when airborne. For info, the earlier crews request their clearance the better, as it means they are more likely to get a better level and it allows ATC to plan for getting the aircraft to that level.

  • Important: Due to the risk of two aircraft using the same squawk leading to a mis-ident, Northbound traffic entering SOTA via T9, LASNO or T213, TAMEL should squawk 2000 at least 10 minutes prior to the Irish boundary.