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Civil Aviation Authority
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02 FEB

Implementation of High Level Airspace (HLA) in Bodø Oceanic Control Area


At its 48 Meeting in 2012, the NAT Systems Planning Group (NAT SPG) decided to transition from Minimum Navigation Performance Specification (MNPS) operations to Performance-based Navigation (PBN) operations in the ICAO NAT Region, in due observance of global requirements.

At its 51st meeting (June 2015), the NAT SPG agreed that the NAT MNPS airspace shall be re-designated as the NAT High Level Airspace (NAT HLA) as of 4 February 2016.

Norway has decided to implement High Level Airspace (HLA) in that portion of the NAT region containing Bodø Oceanic Control Area (OCA).

The change will take place on 4 February 2016.


For rules on operation in the NAT region, reference is made to the following documents:
ICAO Annex 2 - 5.1.1;
ICAO Annex 6, Part I - 4.2, 7.2 and Chapter 3, Note 1;
ICAO Annex 6, part II - Section 3;
NAT DOC 7030;

In addition, the following applies when conducting flights within this airspace:


1: Area of applicability

The HLA airspace is the volume of airspace between FL285 and FL420 within the Oceanic Control Areas of Santa Maria, Shanwick, Reykjavik, Gander, Bodø and New York Oceanic, excluding the area west of 60°W and south of 38°30’N.


2: Method of application

2.1.1 All flights within NAT HLA Airspace must have an NAT HLA MNPS approval of either the State of Registry of the aircraft, or the State of the Operator. Approval for NAT HLA MNPS operations will require the checking by the State of Registry or State of the Operator, of various aspects affecting navigation performance. These aspects include: the navigation equipment used, together with its installation and maintenance procedures; plus the crew navigation procedures employed and the crew training requirements.


2.1.2 Aircraft not meeting the requirements of 2.1.1 above shall not be allowed to operate in HLA airspace.


2.1.3 When granting approval for operations in HLA airspace, States of Registry shall ensure that in-flight operating drills include mandatory navigation cross-checking procedures which will identify navigation errors in sufficient time to prevent the aircraft inadvertently deviating from the ATC-cleared route. Guidance on procedures are detailed in NAT Doc 007 “North Atlantic Operations and Airspace Manual”.


2.1.4  Adequate monitoring of flight operations in the NAT Region shall be conducted in order to assist in the assessment of continuing compliance of aircraft with the lateral navigation capabilities specified in NAT DOC007.

Note - Monitoring will be conducted in accordance with the appropriate guidance material issued by ICAO.


2.1.5 An operator who experiences reduced navigation performance shall inform air traffic control (ATC) as soon as practicable.


2.1.6  Aircraft not approved for operation in HLA airspace may be cleared by the responsible ATC unit to climb or descend through HLA airspace provided:

  1. the climb is completed within the usable coverage of selected VOR/DMEs or NDBs and/or within ATS Surveillance coverage of the ATC unit issuing such clearance and the aircraft is able to maintain Direct Controller/Pilot Communication (DCPC) on VHF, and
  2. MNPS approved aircraft operating in that part of the HLA airspace affected by such climbs or descents are not penalised.

Non-MNPS approved aircraft may also be cleared to climb or descend through HLA airspace for the sole purpose of landing at or departing from an airport which underlies HLA airspace but which does not have serviceable short range navaids, ATS Surveillance or DCPC.


2.1.7  While not a specific element of NAT MNPS approval, pilots and operators are reminded that for flights over the NAT, ICAO SARPS Annex 6, Part 1, Chapter 6, requires carriage of Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs). It should be further noted that new specifications for these beacons to operate exclusively on frequency 406 MHz (but with a 121.5 MHz search and rescue homing capability) have been in effect since January 2005. New aircraft have been required to be so equipped since 2005.


3: Compliance with minimum navigation performance specification.

For flights intending to operate within HLA airspace during any portion of their flight, the letter "X" shall be inserted after the letter "S" in Item 10a of the flight plan, indicating that the flight has been certificated as complying with the MNPS.


The content of this AIC will be published in the Norwegian AIP at the amendment in May 2016.