The fifty-third meeting of the North Atlantic Implementation Management Group (NAT IMG/53) was held in Prestwick, United Kingdom, from 22 to 25 October 2018. Twenty-five (25) participants from eight States (Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) and ICAO attended the meeting.
One of the main objectives of the meeting was to review whether the prerequisites established by NAT SPG/53 for an operational trial to use Space-Based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (SB ADS-B) to support Advanced Surveillance-Enhanced Procedural Separation (ASEPS) (NAT SPG Conclusion 53/5) had been met in order for the trial begin in March 2019. The Group determined that the prerequisites had either been met or a process was put in place to ensure that they would be met.
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Another important topic was the assessment of the operational effect of the implementation of Performance Based Communications Surveillance (PBCS) on 29 March 2018 to review the "lessons learnt" as well as to re-examine issues related to the NAT Organised Track System (OTS) restrictions to determine whether the transition period could be ended in March 2019 to allow for full implementation of PBCS.
The meeting agreed on a number of actions to support improvement of data link performance in the NAT Region. The Group also agreed to recommend to the NAT SPG that the NAT data link mandate be expanded to require all data link equipped aircraft in the NAT Region to be RCP 240 compliant by the year 2025. The meeting approved a Concept of Operations as well as an implementation plan for NAT Operations Without a Fixed Assigned Speed (OWAFS). This application will permit operators to fly at more fuel efficient speeds. The meeting also reviewed and updated many of the NAT Regional documents that are managed by the NAT Systems Planning Group (NAT SPG).