B747forever
Topic Author
Posts: 12879
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:32 am

This map shows the westbound Transatlantic tracks that flights are supposed to take today

http://www.turbulenceforecast.com/atlantic_westbound_tracks.php


However looking at the flight radar http://www.flightradar24.com/ I see a lot of flights that take a more northern route and avoid all of those tracks, especially true for west coast flights. So what flights follow those tracks, and those going to the west coast, what tracks do they follow, if any?
Work Hard, Fly Right
 
boeing767er
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:03 pm

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:55 am

Airlines have a choice when filing a flight plan.

The North Atlantic Tracks have been established to organise traffic between Europe and North America due to the complicated meteorological conditions. A jetstream running from roughly Alaska to North Eastern Europe prevents aircraft from flying fixed routings, as strength and location of this jetstream varies during the year.

It is basically a matter of great circle routings. Roughly estimated, all air traffic from France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland use NAT routings to destinations on the Eastern half of the USA and Canada. Like I just said, it is a matter of great circle routings.

Flights "outside" the opening hours of the NAT tracks (Tracks are established twice a day, once by Gander, once by Shannon), or if a NAT track is not suitable will file a random route. These are a bunch of coordinates put together in a flight plan. (For instance N55W010 N56W020 etc etc..)

Luc

[Edited 2011-06-24 04:56:27]
 
26point2
Posts: 832
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:01 am

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:43 pm

To add...N. Atl. Tracks are established up to FL410. Many biz jets fly higher than this and fly a random route that, while often similar to the track, is not exactly along the track.

Also, Europe-US West Coast great circle routing is well north of any NAT and they fly random routes.
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:42 pm

Quoting boeing767er (Reply 1):
once by Shannon

Strictly speaking, is that not Shanwick, a service run jointly from Shannon and Prestwick?
 
26point2
Posts: 832
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:01 am

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:14 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 3):
Strictly speaking, is that not Shanwick

Yes. You are right. Generally "Shannon" handles domestic airspace out to the oceanic entry/exit points at 15 degrees West, "Shanwick" handles Oceanic airspace beyond that to 30 degrees West.

At an international ops recurrent class the instructor asked the group "..raise your hand if you're been to Shanwick". A couple of guys shot their hands up. Funny.
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:57 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 4):

No big deal, it's just that I have ties to the Prestwick area but not to Shannon.

 
 
boeing767er
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:03 pm

RE: What Flights Follow Transatlantic Tracks?

Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:05 pm

Absolutely true, but I wanted to keep it simple, talking in terms so that everybody with some geographic knowledge could form a mental image   Strictly speaking it is indeed Shanwick.

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