Gulf of Mexico (GoMex) RNAV Routings

For flights to and from the United States, Mexico, and onwards

New Gulf of Mexico RNAV routes have been implemented requiring aircraft to have RNP 10 (as a minimum) or RNP 4. This will allow 50 nautical mile lateral separation between authorized aircraft.

Qualified aircraft can fly these routes with single long range navigation systems (S-LRNS). There are provisions in place for non-RNP 10 (or RNP 4) aircraft. Not all airways within the Gulf of Mexico require RNP10 (or RNP 4) authorization.

Objectives

  • Apply 50 NM lateral separation between aircraft authorized RNP 10 (minimum) or RNP 4 in airspace outside radar coverage.
  • Have 100% of GoMex flights conducted by operators/aircraft authorized for RNP 10 or RNP 4 operations by the appropriate State authority.
  • Accommodate the operation of the small percentage of flights not authorized RNP 10, as necessary.
  • Continue the policy that aircraft equipped with a Single Long-Range Navigation System (S-LRNS) can qualify for RNP 10 operations in the Gulf of Mexico. See FAA Notice and DGAC Circular in Section 6 for details.

Area airways currently affected

Operators are expected to obtain RNP 10 (minimum) or RNP 4 authorization from the appropriate State authority for operations within the GoMex region, however NonRNP 10 aircraft are being accommodated, traffic permitting and with prior coordination with the local ATC units. Aircraft equipped with a Single Long Range Navigation System qualify for RNP 10 for Gulf of Mexico operations only. This is a joint FAA, SENEAM and DGAC Mexico project.

Airways

UL209
UL214
UL333
UM215
UM219
UM345
UM575
UM580
UT26
UT29
UT31
UT35
UT40
UT45
Y240

A766
A770
L207
L208
L209
L214
L333
M215
M219
M345
M575
M580
UA766
UA770
UL207
UL208

Operational Policies and Procedures

Note: Operators must file the route designators applicable in Monterrey and Merida airspace and those applicable in Houston and Miami Oceanic airspace. For example, the HIGH altitude route segment between Tampico (TAM) and CLONN in Monterrey airspace must be filed as UM575 and the segment between CLONN and Tibby (TBD) in Houston airspace must be filed as M575.

In the Gulf of Mexico, the FAA does not differentiate between HIGH and LOW routes while SENEAM does Flight Planning Requirements

  • Operators shall make ICAO flight plan annotations in accordance with this paragraph and, if applicable, using the provisions for accommodation of NonRNP 10 Aircraft.
  • ICAO flight plans are required to operate on oceanic routes and areas in the Houston Oceanic CTA/FIR, the Gulf of Mexico portion of the Miami CTA/FIR, the Monterrey CTA and Merida High CTA
  • When filing an ICAO flight plan under "NEW" ICAO FPL 2012 provisions, to inform ATC that they have obtained RNP 10 or RNP 4 authorization and are eligible for 50 NM lateral separation, operators shall:
    1. Annotate ICAO Flight Plan Item 10a (Equipment) with the letter "R" and
    2. Annotate Item 18 (Other Information) with, as appropriate, "PBN/A1" for RNP 10 aircraft or "PBN/L1" for RNP 4 aircraft (no space between letters and numbers).
  • 50 NM lateral separation will only be applied to operators/aircraft that annotate the ICAO flight plan in accordance with this policy
  • Operators that have not obtained RNP 10 or RNP 4 authorization shall not annotate ICAO flight plan Item 18 (Other information) to indicate RNP 10 or RNP 4 capabilities, but shall follow the practices below.

Provisions for Accommodation of Aircraft Not Authorized RNP 10 or RNP 4 (NonRNP 10)

  • All GoMex operators are expected to obtain RNP 10 authorization in order to maximize the benefits of operating within this region. NonRNP 10 aircraft will be accommodated, however, using the practices detailed below.
  • Provisions for Accommodation of NonRNP10 Aircraft (Aircraft Not Authorized RNP 10 or RNP 4). Operators of NonRNP10 aircraft shall follow the practices detailed below.
    When filing an ICAO flight plan under NEW ICAO FPL 2012 provisions, operators of NonRNP10 aircraft shall annotate ICAO flight plan Item 18 as follows:
    First remark, if possible: "RMK/NONRNP10" (no space between letters and numbers).
    • Prior to departure (no earlier than two hours prior), the operator shall call the Houston Center Operational Supervisor at +1-281-230-5552 with:
      1. Call sign
      2. Estimated time of entry into the Houston Oceanic Control Area.
      3. Planned route of flight through Gulf of Mexico airspace
    • Pilots of NonRNP10 aircraft that operate in GoMex CTA's shall report the lack of authorization by stating "Negative RNP 10"
      1. on initial call to ATC in a GoMex CTA; or
      2. when approval status is requested by the controller.
  • NonRNP10 operators/aircraft may file any route at any altitude in a GoMex CTA. They will be cleared to operate on their preferred routes and altitudes as traffic permits. 50 NM lateral separation will not be applied to NonRNP10 aircraft.
  • NonRNP10 aircraft should plan on completing their climb to or descent from higher FLs within radar coverage, if possible.

FAA RNP 10 & RNP 4 Authorization Policy & Procedures

Important Note: RNP 10 is the minimum "navigation specification" for 50 NM lateral separation. RNP 4 is an operator option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are RNP 10 policies applicable to all Gulf of Mexico routes and airspace?

NO. RNP 10 policies are not applicable to routes in the Gulf of Mexico that are defined by ICAO standard Navigation Aids (VOR, DME, NDB)
(e.g., UB646 that traverses the Merida, Havana and Miami CTAs. In addition, RNP 10 polices are not applicable to the Gulf of Mexico "Q-routes" in the Houston, Jacksonville and Miami CTAs).

When an aircraft previously authorized RNP 10 loses its RNP 10 capability due to an aircraft system malfunction, should PBN/A1 be deleted from Item 18 of the ICAO flight plan?

YES. In these circumstances, PBN/A1 should be deleted in the ICAO flight plan filed for that flight and in addition, RMK/NONRNP10 should be filed in Item 18 (as the first Remark, if possible).

For a NonRNP 10 aircraft, if there is a long time period between departure and the ETA for the Houston FIR (e.g., 10 hours), does Houston Centre still want notification two hours in advance of departure.

YES. Houston has designed its internal procedures to keep this data on sector by using the UTC date and the aircraft ETA to cross the FIR boundary.

If an aircraft loses RNP 10 capability prior to entry into a Gulf of Mexico Control Area, what action should be taken?

When the degradation occurs, the pilot should notify the controller to amend the aircraft flight plan to show that the aircraft is no longer RNP 10 capable. The pilot should be prepared to tell the controller what part of the flight plan needs to be changed, including the remarks section. When the flight reaches either Miami, Houston, Merida or Monterrey Area Control Centers, the pilot should state "Negative RNP 10" on initial call or when asked by the controller.

Acronyms and Terminology

RNP 10 versus RNAV 10 Terminology

"RNP 10" has the same meaning and application as "RNAV 10". The ICAO Performance-based Navigation (PBN) Manual (ICAO Doc 9613), Volume II, Part B, Chapter 1 (Implementing RNAV 10, Designated and Authorized as RNP 10) explains that the term "RNP 10" was in use before the publication of the ICAO PBN Manual and the manual has "grandfathered in" its continued use when implementing an RNAV 10" navigation specification.

ATS - Air Traffic Services

CAR - Caribbean Region

CTA - Control Area

DGAC - Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC Mexico)

FIR - Flight Information Region

NACC - ICAO North American, Central American and Caribbean Regional Office (Mexico City)

RNAV 10 - Area Navigation 10

RNP 10 - Required Navigation Performance 10

SAM - South American Region

SENEAM - Serviciós a la Navegacion en el Espacio Aéreo Mexicano (ATS Provider for Mexico)

S-LRNS - Single Long-Range Navigation System