A Complete Manual for Conducting International Flight Operations

Oceanic Clearance & Procedures

Oceanic Clearance & Procedures

Oceanic clearances are required for ALL oceanic operations. The challenging aspect is determining whether the initial clearance received on the ground also constitutes an oceanic clearance.

Oceanic Clearance Examples

Example 1:  An aircraft departing from the U.S. to Hawaii will receive the following clearance, and the initial clearance received on ground WILL also constitute an Oceanic Clearance.

“N74GG cleared to PHKO via Dinty, as filed, climb and maintain 8,000 expect FL400 10 minutes after departure, departure frequency is 127.72, squawk 1271."

Example 2:  An aircraft departing from Gander receives a similar clearance, however the initial clearance received on the ground WILL NOT constitute an Oceanic Clearance.

“N74GG cleared to EGGW via direct Rikal, as filed, climb and maintain 8,000 expect 400 10 minutes after departure, departure frequency is 135.5, squawk 1431."

Obtaining an Oceanic Clearance

Pilots shall also be aware that if an oceanic clearance is not part of the clearance received on the ground, the flight crew will be required to receive a clearance at least 40 minutes prior to the oceanic entry point.


In determining how to obtain a clearance, pilots should reference State AIP’s, Jeppesen’s reference pages or the appropriate oceanic chart. For airports that are situated close to oceanic boundaries, it may be necessary to obtain a departure clearance prior to departure by way of phone or a discrete frequency. This would apply to Irish airfields, UK airfields, and French airfields west of 0 degrees longitude, for example. As part of receiving a clearance, it may also be necessary to file the estimated time for crossing the oceanic boundary. Pilots shall be aware of this requirement as well as the necessity to reach the boundary within 3 minutes of the ETA in the filed flight plan.

Receiving an Oceanic Clearance

When receiving an oceanic clearance, the following shall apply:

  1. Both pilots shall be in the cockpit, with headphones donned, to verify the clearance is copied and acknowledged correctly.
  2. Once the clearance is received, the following symbology should be used for the flight:
    1. The waypoint number is entered against the relevant waypoint coordinates to indicate that the waypoint has been entered in the FMS.
    2. The number is circled to signify that entry of the coordinates in the FMS has been double-checked by the other crewmember (lat / long should be verified).
    3. The circled number is ticked to signify that the distance information has been double checked.
    4. The circled number is crossed out to signify that the aircraft has passed the waypoint.
  3. Once received, verified, and entered into the FMS, the CLEARED route should be verified against the PLANNED route. If there are any changes to the clearance, the Journey Log should be updated accordingly in the presence of both crewmembers.


Revision date: July 29, 2015

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