N 8900.518


National Policy

Effective Date: 7/18/19



Cancellation Date: 7/18/20



Operations in North Atlantic Airspace: Expiring Letters of Authorization (LOA) and New Contingency Procedures

1.    Purpose of This Notice. This notice serves to remind General Aviation Safety Assurance office managers and aviation safety inspectors (ASI) of an impending deadline affecting Letter of Authorization (LOA) B039, Operations in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA), for Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 91. This notice also requests action to notify operators holding expiring LOAs and of the existence of new contingency procedures for operations in North Atlantic (NAT) airspace.

2.    Audience. The primary audience for this notice is General Aviation Safety Assurance office and International Field Office (IFO) managers and ASIs assigned oversight of part 91 operators. The secondary audience includes the Safety Standards and Foundational Business offices.

Note:  While the requirements highlighted in this notice also apply to 14 CFR parts 91 subpart K (part 91K), 121, 125, and 135, most of those operators have obtained an amended operations specification (OpSpec)/management specification (MSpec) B039 based on the most recent template revision. However, as is mentioned in subparagraph 4a, because a significant number (more than 1,000) of part 91 operators have not yet obtained an amended LOA B039 based on the current template, the target audience for this notice is part 91.

3.    Where You Can Find This Notice. You can find this notice on the MyFAA employee website at Inspectors can access this notice through the Flight Standards Information Management System (FSIMS) at Operators can find this notice on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) website at This notice is available to the public at

4.    Background.

a.    FAA Notice N 8900.366, OpSpec/MSpec/LOA B039, Operations in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA), published on June 10, 2016, announced a mandatory revision to all B039 templates (previously titled “Operations in North Atlantic Minimum Navigation Performance Specifications (NAT/MNPS) Airspace”). Guidance in the notice is now incorporated into inspector guidance for B039 in FAA Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4, Part B Operations Specifications—En Route Authorizations and Limitations. The notice announced not only a change to the LOA title to “Operations in North Atlantic High Level Airspace (NAT HLA),” but also significant changes to the content of the LOA, among them that LOA B036, Oceanic and Remote Continental Navigation Using Multiple Long-Range Navigation Systems (M-LRNS) or LOA B054, Oceanic and Remote Continental Navigation Using a Single Long-Range Navigation System, is now a prerequisite for issuing LOA B039. The notice also announced a deadline of December 31, 2019, to complete the transition to LOA B039 based on the latest template revision, 030. Effective January 1, 2020, operators holding the old NAT/MNPS LOA B039 may not fly in the NAT HLA. The notice included, in paragraph 7, a recommendation that Flight Standards offices develop appropriate reissuance schedules in order to avoid excessive workload as the deadline approaches. As of the date of this notice, a significant number of part 91 operators continue to hold previous template revisions of the NAT/MNPS LOA B039.

b.    The Technical Programs Branch (AFS-260) in the Air Transportation Division (AFS-200) has created a custom query in the Web-based Operations Safety System (WebOPSS) for all part 91 operators with LOA B039 issued. The query includes the effective date of LOA B039 and the revision and status of the template on which the LOA was issued. For those LOA B039 operators, the effective date and template status of their LOA B036 is also displayed, if issued. The Principal Operations Inspector’s (POI) name and email are displayed, if available. The query is sorted by default by the former region, office, then by missing or old LOA B036, then by the LOA B039 template revision and status. Part 91 operators with the latest LOA B036 and B039 revisions will appear at the bottom of the list for each office. The report is available to all ASIs and FAA support personnel with access to WebOPSS. In WebOPSS, navigate to “Tools”—“Reports”—“Custom.” On the “WebOPSS HQ Reports” page, select “Custom Reports”—“Part B - En Route”—“91 B039 and B036 Issuance.”

5.    Action. General Aviation Safety Assurance office and IFO managers should identify part 91 operators with LOAs issued by their office who still hold the NAT/MNPS LOA B039 based on previous revisions of the template.

a.    Between Now and January 1, 2020. ASIs should attempt to contact those operators and inform them of the impending deadline for transition to the current LOA B039 template. ASIs should advise operators not to delay further in requesting an amended LOA B039 for NAT HLA. Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 4 identifies the requirements for issuing the current LOA B039. The requirements for operations in NAT HLA differ somewhat from those for operations in the former NAT/MNPS. Now, operators applying for LOA B039 have to provide ASIs with additional evidence of compliance with NAT HLA requirements, particularly with regard to the navigation specification (Required Navigation Performance (RNP) 10 is now required) and flightcrew training. ASIs should not assume operators with the NAT/MNPS LOA B039 already have the aircraft equipage, operating procedures, and training in place for the current NAT HLA LOA B039.

b.    Beginning on January 2, 2020. ASIs should follow guidance in Order 8900.1, Volume 3, Chapter 18, Section 2, Paragraph 3-711B, Mandatory Changes (as this is a mandatory template change), to archive any LOA B039 not issued using the most recent template revision (030).

6.    Additional Action Regarding New NAT Contingency Procedures. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the FAA issued new contingency procedures for use in NAT airspace, changing the lateral offset to 5 nautical miles (NM). Pilots use these contingency procedures when they must deviate from their assigned route (e.g., because of emergency or weather) before they can obtain a revised clearance from air traffic control (ATC). The FAA issued Information for Operators (InFO) 19004, New North Atlantic (NAT) Contingency Procedures Applicable in New York Oceanic Airspace, on the new procedures on March 21, 2019. The FAA also published a notice on the procedures in the Notice to Airmen Publication (NTAP) (Part 2, International NOTAMs, Section 2, International Oceanic Airspace Notices) beginning with the February 28, 2019, edition. The ICAO NAT Office published the new contingency procedures in NAT OPS Bulletin 2018_005 Rev 01, Special Procedures for In-Flight Contingencies in Oceanic Airspace, effective March 28, 2019. Although InFO 19004 was focused on airline operators, the new contingency procedures are in fact applicable to all operators flying throughout the NAT region (all altitudes), to include the entire New York oceanic control area (OCA) (i.e., NY OCA East and West). These new procedures are critical to operations in the busy NAT HLA. We request that the General Aviation Safety Assurance office and IFO managers inform part 91 operators of the new contingency procedures. Additionally, ASIs should not issue an amended LOA B039 without first confirming the part 91 operator has incorporated the new contingency procedures in the applicable operator handbooks, flight manuals, etc. The Flight Operations Group, Section D (AFS-410D) has specialists situated throughout the country, with whom ASIs should coordinate prior to issuing/re-issuing LOA B039 (refer to Order 8900.1, Volume 4, Chapter 12, Section 1, Issue a Letter of Authorization). Until the Operations Approval Portal System (OAPS) accommodates issuance of LOA B039, use the appropriate Special Area of Operation (SAO) Tracker to facilitate this coordination.

7.    Summary. The following summarizes the main points of this notice:

    LOA B039 template revision 030 (or subsequent revision) will be the only version valid after December 31, 2019.

    LOA B036 or LOA B054 is now a prerequisite to LOA B039 and RNP 10 navigation specification is now required for LOA B039.

    NAT contingency procedures have been changed, effective March 28, 2019.

    Coordinate with specialists in AFS-410D (via the SAO Tracker) prior to issuing/re-issuing LOA B039.

8.    Disposition. We will not incorporate the information in this notice into Order 8900.1 before this notice expires. Direct questions concerning the information in this notice to the Flight Technologies and Procedures Division (AFS-400) at 202-267-8790.


/s/ Robert C. Carty

Deputy Executive Director, Flight Standards Service