VOLUME 12 INTERNATIONAL AVIATION
CHAPTER 4 PART
Section 3 Part
B Operations SpecificationsEn Route Authorizations and Limitations
3.1.1 Purpose. This section provides the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) policy requirements and aviation
safety inspector (ASI) guidance associated with the standard Part B (En Route Authorizations and Limitations) operations specifications (OpSpec)
paragraphs and their templates available for issuance to each foreign air carrier or foreign person operating under Title 14 of the Code of Federal
Regulations (14 CFR)
3.1.2 Scope. This section is applicable to all FAA Flight Standards Service (FS) personnel and International Field
Offices (IFO) having responsibilities associated with part
air carrier activities and international aviation operations.
Note: Advisory circulars (AC) referenced throughout this section provide guidance for compliance with specific
regulations. They define acceptable means, but not the only means, of accomplishing or showing compliance with regulations.
3.1.3 Program Tracking and Reporting Subsystem (PTRS) Activity Codes.
a) Operations: 1326, 1327.
b) Maintenance: 3315, 3316.
c) Avionics: 5315, 5316.
3.1.4 Regulatory References. All regulatory references in this section are found in 14 CFR unless otherwise indicated.
3.2 DEFINITIONS. See
Volume 12, Chapter 1, Section 1,
Definitions, Abbreviations, and Acronyms, for information associated with this section.
3.3 PART B OPSPECS.
Note: FAA policy associated with part
B OpSpecs may be immediately accessed by clicking on the appropriate following paragraph number:
OPSPEC B035CLASS I NAVIGATION EN ROUTE IN U.S. AIRSPACE USING AREA OR LONG‑RANGE NAVIGATION SYSTEMS
(OPTIONAL FOR FOREIGN AIR CARRIERS OPERATING TO THE UNITED STATES).
a) General. The FAA authorizes an operator to conduct Class I navigation within the United States using an Area Navigation
(RNAV) system or long-range navigation system (LRNS) in accordance with part
issuance of OpSpec B035. The RNAV system or LRNS must be installed in accordance with approved data and be operational except in accordance with an
approved minimum equipment list (MEL). The airplane make, model, and series (M/M/S) and the manufacturer and model of the RNAV system or LRNS
authorized for this type of navigation must be listed in B035, Table 1, Aircraft and Navigation Equipment. Only a single navigation system needs to
b) Criteria Acceptable to the FAA. The FAA issues B035 for en route navigation using RNAV or LRNS operations in accordance
with, but not limited to, the following:
1) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Doc 9613, Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) Manual.
2) Joint Aviation Authority (JAA) Temporary Guidance Leaflet (TGL) Number 10, Airworthiness and Operational Approval for
Precision RNAV Operations in Designated European Airspace.
3) If adopted by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), equivalent standards to AC
Airworthiness Approval of Positioning and Navigation Systems, and AC
Instrument Flight Procedure Service Provider Authorization Guidance for Space-based Instrument Flight Procedures.
4) For Q-routes, if adopted by the CAA, equivalent standards to AC
U.S. Terminal and En Route Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations.
Note: Principal inspectors (PI) must coordinate all acceptable criteria other than that specified in subparagraphs b)1)
and 2) with the International Program Division, who will coordinate with the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division, as appropriate.
c) Foreign Air Carrier Actions. A foreign air carrier applying to the FAA for the issuance of B035 must provide the
responsible IFO with evidence that the State of the Operator has approved the foreign air carrier for this operation. The approval must include:
1) A statement from the State of the Operator’s CAA stating:
• That the foreign air carrier is
approved for en route navigation using RNAV or LRNS in accordance with XXXX (e.g., ICAO Doc 9613) criteria;
• That the aircraft and aircraft
equipment are eligible and approved for en route navigation using RNAV or LRNS; and
• That the flightcrews are trained
in procedures for en route navigation using RNAV or LRNS.
2) RNAV system or LRNS make and model (M/M), and part number(s) approved.
3) Any other pertinent information.
Note: The FAA and PIs are not responsible for evaluating a foreign air carrier’s training program. Air carrier
training programs are evaluated and approved by the State of the Operator CAA. PIs may accept equipment eligibility that has been determined eligible
and approved by a foreign air carrier’s CAA when it is also documented by the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) or other FAA-recognized means.
d) PI Actions. After the Principal Operations Inspector (POI) and Principal Avionics Inspector (PAI) have reviewed all of
the documents provided by the foreign air carrier and agree that the foreign air carrier has been authorized by the State of the Operator CAA in
accordance with acceptable criteria to the FAA, B035 may be issued.
e) Q-Routes. Q-routes can be flown using Global Positioning System (GPS) or distance measuring equipment (DME)/DME/Inertial
Reference Unit (IRU). In some cases, sufficient ground-based navigation sources are inadequate/unavailable to support DME/DME/IRU operations. When
this occurs, the route must be annotated “GNSS REQUIRED.” Q-route procedures require the aircraft’s track-keeping accuracy remain
bounded by +/- 2 nautical miles (NM) for 95 percent of the total flight time. Unless the RNAV route specifically requires GPS or Global Navigation
Satellite System (GNSS) equipage, aircraft on the RNAV route must be within air traffic control (ATC) radar surveillance and communication (except
for operations in Alaska).
f) Technical Standard Orders (TSO). RNAV aircraft is equipped in accordance with:
1) For the lower 48 states Q- or T-routes, one of the following:
i. TSO-C145, Airborne Navigation Sensors Using the Global Positioning System Augmented by the Satellite
Based Augmentation System (SBAS);
ii. TSO-C146, Stand-Alone Airborne Navigation Equipment Using the Global Positioning System Augmented
by the Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS); or
iii. TSO-C196, Airborne Supplemental Navigation Sensors for Global Positioning System Equipment Using
2) For Q-routes in Alaska, any of the three TSOs listed above (same as those for the lower 48 states).
3) For T-routes in Alaska, per Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 97, Special Operating Rules for the Conduct of
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Area Navigation (RNAV) Operations Using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in Alaska, either of the following:
i. TSO-C145; or
Note: B035 does not include Q-routes in the Gulf of Mexico, as those are not in U.S. sovereign airspace.
g) Y- or T-Routes. Y-routes are RNAV routes between Florida and Puerto Rico through the area known as the West Atlantic
Route System (WATRS). They were previously referred to as T-routes, but the letter T is now being used exclusively for terminal operations. Although
FAA ATC provides Air Traffic Services (ATS) in the WATRS, this is international airspace (not U.S. sovereign airspace) and, as such, the FAA does
not issue OpSpecs. A foreign air carrier who wants to operate in this airspace should consult the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) for
requirements and get approval/authorization from their CAA.
h) Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico is in international waters. Oceanic airspace is divided into oceanic control areas
(OCA) and delegated to a controlling authority bordering that region. The division among authorities is done by international agreement through the ICAO.
1) For the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. air traffic controls the northern part of the Gulf, Mexico’s air traffic controls
the southern portion, and Cuba’s air traffic controls the eastern tip. All operators must be approved by their State of the Operator (per ICAO
Annex 6) to transit any part of the world (to include the Gulf of Mexico) safely.
2) Operators are responsible for reviewing and complying with the AIP of each State. Following is a link to the U.S. AIP
on the Air Traffic Plans and Publications website at
Information about conducting operations on Q-routes in the Gulf of Mexico, including equipment eligibility requirements, can be found in the Notices
to Airmen Publication (NTAP) available at
OPSPEC B051EN ROUTE VISUAL FLIGHT RULES (VFR) LIMITATIONS AND PROVISIONSLARGE AIRPLANES (OPTIONAL).
a) Applicability. OpSpec B051 is issued to foreign air carriers who are authorized to conduct en route VFR operations
using reciprocating- or turbopropeller-powered large airplanes. The purpose of B051 is to provide a higher level of safety in international air
service or international air transportation operations by imposing certain restrictions and limitation above those that would normally be imposed by part
These restrictions and limits are in accordance with those imposed on similarly situated U.S. operators operating under part
B051 imposes the following additional limitations and restrictions on foreign air carriers:
1) Limits VFR en route operations to VFR station-referenced Class I navigation (for guidance on VFR station-referenced
Class I navigation, see
Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 3).
2) Requires that VFR fuel requirements meet those of ICAO Annex 6.
3) Imposes minimum VFR flight altitudes, which are greater than those required by part
4) Imposes minimum visibilities.
5) Requires that the flightcrew have completed training on VFR station-referenced Class I navigation in accordance with
their approved training program.
b) Prerequisites. Before issuing B051 to a foreign air carrier, the POI will ensure the following:
1) The foreign air carrier has a VFR station-referenced Class I navigation training program for flightcrew members approved
by the State of Operator.
2) The foreign air carrier has the necessary radio navigation equipment installed to conduct VFR station-referenced Class I
navigation in accordance with
Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 3.
c) Standard Cruising Altitudes. The standard cruising altitudes prescribed in B051 subparagraph (b)(4) may not always
support VFR altitudes on certain routes. An example of this may be when there are recommended lower altitudes (other than listed in B051) on
standard routes for part
as published in local airport or State directories.
d) Nonstandard Text Requests. The POI, with International Program Division concurrence, may prescribe other minimums for
any route or part of a route where the safe conduct of the flight requires other altitudes. If the foreign air carrier is able to show that it is
just as safe to fly at lower altitudes, after considering the character of the terrain, the quality and quantity of meteorological services, the
navigational facilities available, and other flight conditions, they may apply for a nonstandard B051 prescribing VFR routes and procedures for
specific operations. The procedures to apply for such a nonstandard B051 are described below. The foreign air carrier shall submit all nonstandard
OpSpecs requests to the POI.
1) The request must contain enough supporting information, such as:
• A statement of why the foreign air
carrier cannot comply with the specific subparagraph;
• The airports and routes specific
to the operation;
• The comparable level of safety;
• Pertinent navigational equipment;
• The type of aircraft;
• Company procedures that ensure the
safety of flight; and/or
• Any other supporting documentation.
2) Further, the request must include a copy of B051 with the proposed nonstandard language inserted appropriately at the
end of the OpSpec.
OPSPEC B056VISUAL FLIGHT RULES (VFR) LIMITATIONS AND PROVISIONSSMALL AIRPLANES AND HELICOPTERS (OPTIONAL).
a) Applicability. The FAA issues OpSpec B056 to foreign air carriers who are authorized en route VFR operations using
small airplanes and/or helicopters. For additional detail, refer to the available template in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS).
b) Purpose. The purpose of B056 is to provide a higher level of safety in international air service or international
air transportation operations by imposing certain restrictions and limitations above those that would normally be imposed by part
and that are in accordance with those imposed on similarly situated U.S. operators operating under part
En route operations may be operated under the VFR requirements of part
except as described in the boilerplate language of WebOPSS.
1) Fuel requirements. No foreign air carrier may begin a flight operation under VFR in:
i. An airplane, unless, taking into account both the meteorological conditions and any delays that
are expected in flight, the airplane carries sufficient fuel and oil to ensure that it can safely complete the flight.
ii. A helicopter, unless, taking into account both the meteorological conditions and any delays that
are expected in flight, the helicopter carries sufficient fuel and oil to ensure that it can safely complete the flight.
c) Type of Navigation. The ASI will select several options for the type of VFR navigation for B056 in “Select
Data” based on the guidance in
Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 3.
d) Prerequisites. Before issuing B056 to a foreign air carrier, the POI will:
1) Ensure that the State of the Operator authorizes the foreign air carrier for VFR Class I navigation using
“Station Referenced” and/or “Pilotage.”
2) Ensure that, if the State of the Operator authorizes station-referenced VFR Class I navigation, the State of the
Operator prohibits VFR pilotage operations; or if the requirements in
Volume 4, Chapter 1, Section 3 indicate
that station-referenced VFR navigation is indicated, then the foreign air carrier must have the necessary radio navigation equipment installed to
conduct VFR station-referenced Class I navigation in accordance with above guidance.