Performance-Based Communication and Surveillance

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The North Atlantic (NAT) airspace is a capacity bottleneck and traffic is still increasing. New technologies and procedures such as Performance Based Communication and Surveillance (PBCS) are implemented in order to reduce the minimum lateral and longitudinal separation, hence increasing capacity in the NAT airspace.

Operators may benefit from increased route options and optimum flight level allocation in the NAT Region based on FOCA approval and the application of relevant PBCS requirements. The airspace usage optimisation of the NAT Region is based on additional tracks that are spaced by one-half degree of latitude within the core tracks of the NAT OTS from FL 350 to FL 390.


From 29 March 2018, flights will be required to indicate compliance with the Performance based Communication and Surveillance (PBCS) specifications in order to qualify and benefit from reduced lateral and/or longitudinal separation minima.

Operators that would like to benefit from increased route options and optimum flight level allocation in the NAT Region from 29 March 2018 are required to obtain FOCA approval.


Guidance Material and Forms

FOCA has created Guidance Material/Information (GM/INFO) «Performance Based Communication and Surveillance in the ICAO North Atlantic Region», where the criteria for PBCS and the requirements for operators are stipulated.

FOCA GM/INFO North Atlantic High Level Airspace (PDF, 805 kB, 17.09.2018)Operators acquiring the operations specification «NAT HLA» must be in compliance with the requirements concerning airworthiness, operational procedures and training of all involved personnel.

44.20 Operational Applications (PDF, 3 MB, 20.02.2019)Application for Operation Specification, Management Personal, CAMO, CAME changes

Background Information

Further Information

Specialist staff
Last modification 13.09.2018

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