Air Traffic Operation

Santa Maria Oceanic

Santa Maria Oceanic manages the airspace over the East Atlantic between 40W and landfall with the Lisboa Fir, Canarias Fir and from 17N to 45N. The Oceanic Control Area extends from GNG/MSL up to Flight Level 660. Flight Information Service may be available for flights outside these levels!

Santa Maria flight service station (FSS) is an air traffic facility which provides aircraft pilot briefings regarding current weather and possible hazards along the route of flight. A FSS may also give oceanic clearences, en-route communication services and visual flight rules (VFR) and search and rescue (SAR) assistance.

Santa Maria uses the callsign LPPO_FSS, frequency 127.900 MHz or 132.070 MHz. West of 40W is covered by New York Oceanic, callsign NY_JBC_FSS, frequency 125.920 mhz. North of 45N are controlled by Gander, callsign CZQZ_FSS, frequency 131.70 mhz and Shanwick, callsign EGGX_FSS frequency 131.80 mhz.

Flight plans not following any predefined NAT Track shall include coordinates as waypoints.
Flights flying predominantly from east to west or vice-versa, shall use even coordinates based on 10 degrees scale on longitude, and any latitude coordinates as needed.

eg. 38N020W 39N030W 41N040W
incorrect eg. 38N018W 38N021W 39N023W

Flights flying predominantly from north to south or vice-versa, shall use even coordinates based on 5 degrees scale on latitude, and any longitude coordinates as needed.

eg. 40N020W 35N022W 30N027W
incorrect eg. 40N020W 38N021W 34N023W

Note: Flight plans not following those description over Santa Maria FIR or omit refecence points as entery point overflying and exit points, will be kindly invited to descend to a safe flight level according to the controller on duty. Desrigarding this information the controller on duty have no choice then inform Vatsim Supervisor.
Direct flight all over Santa Maria Fir not Allowd, If pilots need information regarding overflying routes, call a controler and ask for help

Oceanic Clearences

It is of the responsibility of the pilot to get the Oceanic Clearence, having such to make its request at least 40 minutes BEFORE entering in the oceanic region. In case that it does not obtain the Oceanic Cleanrence, it must immediately get a domestic re-clearence to remain itself out of the area of oceanic control.


Aircraft entering, operating within, or leaving the Oceanic Control Area of Santa Maria will transmit their position reports in accordance with the following table, except if otherwise instructed by Santa Maria OAC:

Sections 1 and 3 20W; 40W 20W; 30W; 40W 20N; 25N; 30N;
35N; 40N; 45N
Abbreviated 30W 25W; 35W

When passing for each point in the flight plan, the pilot must make a Position Report.
In oceanic regions, the position reports are made of 10 in 10 of longitude or 5 in 5 of latitude, as the direction of the flight and in accordance with the following criteria:

1 - Any flight to be operated predominantly east/west will have to report its position when entering and leaving the FIR, and every 10
2 - Any flight to operate north/south predominantly will have to report its position when entering and leaving the FIR, and every 5
3 - The oceanic control centers can ask for any flight that it has reported in one any intermediate point if to consider necessary. For former: 25W, 35W.

Selcal (SELective CALl)

This procedure is implemented in VATSIM using a private message including the "SELCAL" word. When a pilot gets this message must contact the current oceanic ATC as soon as possible.

This procedure is used to prevent that the pilot passes long hours listening to the ATC, expecially in HF frequencies, where the statical noise is very strong. In case that the controller needs to speak with the pilot, he will send the SELCAL code of the airplane, making to sound in cockpit a
sonorous and/or luminous alarm, giving indication to the pilot of whom its presence to the radio is necessary. Each airplane has its own pre-defined SELCAL, never being able to be modified.

The Selcal works with the sending of 2 groups of 2 tones, each one different one of the other, chosen of a pre-defined stack of frequencies inside of the audible specter. The used frequencies are not harmonics, thus reducing interferencies.

Each tone corresponds to a caracther. They are A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, P, Q, R, S.

The SELCAL is subject to these rules:

The fisrt tone must be lower than the second: eg: AB, FS, EG (never GE, SF or BA)
There can't be the same tone twice: eg: CS-CD (is an invalid selcal - C repeats it self)

SELCAL Examples:
1. CS-JL
2. KS-GR
3. HS-LQ
4. CG-BS
5. BF-PQ

The pilot must indicate its SELCAL to the first contact with the oceanic center.

Minimum Navigation Performance System

This regulation is used only under RVSM airspace and inside conventional areas, making order to the minimum longitudinal and lateral separation.
Airplanes on the same route: 10 minutes longitudinal and 60 miles lateral
Airplanes on diferent but crossed routes: 15 minutes longitudinal and 60 miles lateral.

NAT Tracks

View here the text version of all NAT Tracks for today.

Reduced Vertical Separation Minima

Vertical Reduced Separation Minima (Splittings) is implemented including the Flight Levels 310 trought 390. This allows separations of 1000 feet for airplanes that fly in NATs. Airplanes to cross the Atlantic, and that they are not characterized for RVSM separations, will be lead the lower flight levels than 290 or higher than 410.

Eastbound Levels are Odd (290/310/330/350/370/390/410)
Westbound Levels are Even (300/320/340/360/380/400)

Operation with Transponder

Except in cases of radio lost the pilot must keep transponder in: Mode A/c, Code 2000 all directions
When entering in a control area on radar, the pilot will receive instructions for new transponder code.

Air Traffic Operation Santa Maria OCA
Santa Maria Radar
Lajes Air Base
Oceanic Environment
Oceanic Procedures
Oceanic Checklist
Air Traffic Services Airspace
Nat Track
RVSM Altitudes