The worldwide impact of COVID-19 is evident throughout the entire aviation community. Some of the more notable trends have included the grounding of aircraft, the emptying of airspaces, and the push to support humanitarian efforts. According to our sources at Gander Oceanic, the North Atlantic has seen an 85-90% reduction in traffic. As a result of these measures, Phase 2C of the North Atlantic Data Link Mandate has been suspended until 30 June 2020.
As you may recall, this latest phase of the North Atlantic Data Link Mandate (NAT DLM) issued in January 2020 mandated the use of FANS CPDLC and ADS-C between FL290 and FL410 over the region. However, due to the relaxation in the mandate, aircraft that are not yet equipped with FANS CPDLC and ADS-C will be able to operate between those altitudes throughout EGGX (Shanwick), BIRD (Reykjavik), CZQX (Gander) and LPPO (Santa Maria) Flight Information Regions throughout the duration of the NOTAMs.
To reflect these changes within our tools, ARINCDirect has changed the prompts usually seen when planning a route over the North Atlantic. Our flight-planning tools, designed to suggest routing based on an aircraft’s equipment, will still prompt users to double-check the track messages for more guidance.