RNP-10 and RNP-4 airspace exists between Flight Level 290 and 410 in the following areas:
Pacific Organized Track System (PACOTS)
Northern Pacific Oceanic (NOPAC)
Central East Pacific (CEP)
Routes in the European-South American Corridor;
Routes between Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru;
The West Atlantic Route System (WATRS) and parts of the San Juan and Miami Oceanic Control Areas;
Some routes connecting Australia, Asia, and Europe; and
The Gulf of Mexico, where single long-range navigation system (S-LRNS) RNP 10 is authorized; i.e., the Houston oceanic control area (CTA)/flight information region (FIR) and the portion of the Miami CTA/FIR overlying the Gulf of Mexico, Monterrey CTA, and Merida High CTA within the Mexico FIR/upper control area (UTA).
RNP-10 airspace reduces the lateral separation on certain oceanic routes/areas from 90 NM to 50 NM between aircraft, and in some airspace to 30 NM (when RNP-4 and FANS 1/A+ equipped and authorized).
RNP-10 lateral separation (50 NM) may be applied within the Oakland OCA/FIR between RNP-10 approved aircraft. RNP-10 approval is required for all PACOTS and for all aircraft operating within the CEP at FL290 through FL410. Non-approved aircraft can expect FL280 and below or FL430 and above, traffic permitting.
RNP-4 lateral separation (30 NM) may be applied within the Oakland OCA/FIR between RNP-4 approved aircraft with FANS equipment. Operators must have the B036 LOA issued by the FAA in order to take advantage of the reduced lateral separation.
Gulf of Mexico
In Gulf of Mexico airspace, aircraft not authorized for RNP-10 or RNP-4 operations are required to follow specific procedures for requesting operation in this airspace. See the FAA's AIP ENR 7.4.
Submitting an Application to the FAA (LOA B036)
The FAA inspector is required to determine that each individual aircraft is qualified for operation in RNP-10 or RNP-4 airspace. The authorization process includes an evaluation of aircraft equipment capability (navigation and communications), operating procedures, and pilot knowledge.
The operator may be required to attend a pre-application meeting at the appropriate FAA office prior to submitting an application to discuss the RNP approval process, review the contents of a compliant application, and to discuss the conditions for removal of the approval.
The operator must show that the aircraft is equipped with the appropriate navigation and communications equipment and submit for FAA review operating practices and procedures. The pilot is also required to submit a sample flight plan with navigation log, ETP calculations and plotting chart in the airspace he/she is requesting approval in.
The FAA’s assigned Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) independently determines that the pilot meets the knowledge requirements for operating in the airspace requested. This could be accomplished by accepting a training certificate without further evaluation, evaluating the training center before accepting the training certificate, via a simple statement that the pilot is knowledgeable in RNP operating practices and procedures, or the FAA inspector may test the operator’s pilot to ensure adequate knowledge. There is wide variation in requirements depending on the individual inspector and the international flying experience of the pilot.
RNP applications are processed by the operator’s local FSDO, but a regional navigation specialist at an FAA NextGen office (AFS-400) conducts a more in-depth review of the submitted documents. The FAA’s review process for RNP and NAT HLA has become more streamlined. But the FAA scrutiny is now more detailed and intensive.