Flight Plan : Track Z

Hey IFC

I have a question.

Earlier I spotted an aircraft flying near me on the expert server while I was cruising. Out of curiosity, I tapped the plane, to find out where it was going, however I noticed a way point on the pilots flight plan called ‘Track Z’

I’m not sure what this is, could someone explain to me ?

😀😀

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Was the airplane crossing the Atlantic Ocean?

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That is the North Atlantic Track Z, or track Z / NATZ for short.

NAT’s are routings across the north atlantic ocean that are updated daily, to facilitate aircraft flying “across the pond” with the most favorable winds on their journey. This also makes it easy for ATC to seperate using either longitudinal, latitudinal seperation (but that’s advanced).

Despite being updated daily, they share the same lettering. Westbound NAT tracks start with the letter A and forward, and eastbound tracks start with the letter Z and go backwards.

To see the current NAT tracks, go to this website. :)

If you’ve got any more questions about NAT tracks, or oceanic procedures tag and ask me!

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Yes, they were

As said above it is a NAT

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Thank you very much for the information, it was very helpful:) Do you know how I can apply these to my flight plan inside infinite flight?

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That’s interesting. I wasn’t aware that NAT tracks are in IF yet, though I think there was a small reference to it on twitter by Laura or the official IF twitter of it possibly being in development.

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Yeah, I thought it was unusual, never seen it before

I believe this is a beta tester you’ve seen using them. You can’t right now, but this means you may be able to in a future update!

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Most likely can be a beta tester testing it

not speculation

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As Leron said, I didn’t know NAT’s were implemented yet.

However, implementing them now does not make much sense, as they are phasing out the NAT system now. ADS-B and ADS-C is so precise, that they are not needed anymore.

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Yes, it must be :)

Well thank you for the reply, I appreciate it :)

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Never heard of this before to be honest, is this confirmed?

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If you scroll down to the bottom of the article I have linked below, it does talk about ADS-B and ADS-C becoming mandatory on A/C, however I’m not too familiar with the topic so I’m not fully sure what it means and if NAT is being phased out.

Article : https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/North_Atlantic_Operations_-_Airspace

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The end is not confirmed, but it will happen as ADS-B gets more precise and ADS-C is implemented broadly.

The OTS (Organized Track Structure) which creates the NAT Tracks relies on position reports due to the lack of radar coverage across the ocean, creating a virtual ~60nm (1 degree of latitude) spacing for each aircraft. Due to the increase in traffic, that is just not efficient enough. However with sattelite and IRIDIUM-based ADS-B recievers, that’s no longer a problem.

@Leron_Gundlur What you’re describing there is something related called RLAT/RLatSM, which makes ADS-B and CPDLC mandatory. That, and a trial system called OWAFS is a part of the transition to the free routing system.

NATS has a target deadline of 2025 to get rid of the NAT-OTS system and transition to the free routing ideal. :)

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Very interesting, thank you!

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I’ve seen this before. Was always curious to know what that was. Now I know!

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Guess it was a beta tester, as the oceanic tracks feature has just been confirmed by IF on Instagram

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fyi, they just announced it. oceanic tracks. see the post below :)

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