Regional South America

International Operations Manual

Eddie sez:

Regional differences from the ICAO standard can be found in ICAO Document 7030 and your Jeppesen Airway Manual. Both of the sources, however, can be out of date. See Regional Introduction for ideas about getting up-to-date information.

As countries around the world update navigation systems and procedures, it becomes increasingly important to speak with somebody who has been to the airport recently or have a contact in country with local knowledge. As we say in the military, there is no substitute for boots on the ground.

Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.

Last revision:




Figure: SAM Region, from Eddie's notes.

This region is moving from a mix of navigation requirements to the system of Performance Based Navigation outlined in ICAO Document 9613. Current navigation requirements are available on Jeppesen Airway Manual Air Traffic Control pages and Chapter 4 of each region covered by ICAO Document 7030.

RNAV 10 (RNP 10)

[ICAO Doc 7030, §SAM, ¶] RNAV 10 (RNP 10) Area of applicability:

  • For flights on designated controlled oceanic routes or areas within the Canarias FIR (southern sector), Dakar Oceanic, Recife and Sal Oceanic FIRs a lateral separation minimum of 93 km (50 NM) may be applied.
  • For flights in the EUR/SAM corridor (Canarias (southern sector), Dakar Oceanic, Recife and Sal Oceanic FIRs), a longitudinal separation minimum of 93 km (50 NM) derived by RNAV may be applied between RNAV-equipped aircraft approved to RNP 10 or better, in accordance with the provisions of the PANS-ATM,

More about this:Required Navigation Performance-10 (RNP-10).

WGS-84 Compliance

All of South America appears to be WGS-84 compliant. More about this: World Geodetic System 84 (WGS-84).


[ICAO Doc 7030, §SAM, ¶4.2.]

  • The RVSM of 300 m (1,000 ft) shall be applicable in that volume of airspace between FL 290 and FL 410 inclusive in the following FIRs: Antofagasta, Amazonas, Asuncion, Atlántico to the northwest of the line joining the coordinates 01°39′32′′S / 030°13′45′′W and 02°23′39′′N / 027°48′58′′W, Barranquilla, Brasilia, Bogota, Comodoro Rivadavia to the west of the meridian 054°W, Cordoba, Curitiba, Ezeiza to the west of the meridian 054°W, Georgetown, Guayaquil, La Paz, Lima, Maiquetia, Mendoza, Montevideo to the west of the line joining the coordinates 34°00′00′′S / 050°00′00′′W and 36°22′00′′S / 054°00′00′′W, Panamá, Paramaribo, Puerto Montt, Punta Arenas, Recife, Resistencia, Rochambeau and Santiago.
  • RVSM shall also be applicable in either all, or part of, the following FIRs: Canarias* (Southern Sector), Dakar Oceanic,* Sal Oceanic,* Recife and Atlántico (EUR/SAM corridor portion).

More about this: Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM).

Altimeter Procedures

All countries use QNH.

Special Routings

Atlantic Ocean Random Routing RNAV Area (AORRA)

[Jeppesen Airway Manual, Air Traffic Control, State Rules and Procedures, South America, Brazil, Rules and Procedures, 22 Nov 2013]

  • The Atlantic Ocean Random Routing RNAV Area (AORRA) is the volume of airspace between FL290 and FL410 inclusive within the Atlantico, Comodoro Rivadavia, Ezeiza, Johannesburg Oceanic, and Montevideo FIR. (See En route Chart).
  • Flights operating within the AORRA shall enter and exit AORRA via charted gates.
  • In cases where there is no fixed route structure, Standard Instrument Arrival (STAR) or Standard Instrument Departure (SID), soon after entering/leaving the AORRA that supports the origin/destination of a specific flight, aircraft may enter/leave the AORRA out of the gates.
  • Aircraft may track via a flight plan preferred track between these gates. Prior to entering or after exiting the AORRA at a particular gate, aircraft are to comply with the fixed route structure associated with that particular entry or exit point or as instructed by ATC, and are required to flight plan accordingly.
  • ADS/CPDLC will be utilized in AORRA airspace by suitably equipped service providers to provide this kind of communication and/or surveillance to aircraft equipped with FANS 1/A Functionalities. Operators are to note that in some sectors of the random routing air space, ADS/CPDLC is the primary form of communication, with HF as secondary means of communication.
  • No aircraft shall flight plan to operate in the AORRA airspace unless it is RPN10 certified to operate in this airspace by the State of Registry or the State of operator as the case may be, except in limited circumstances.

ICAO Differences

Each country departs in some ways with the ICAO standard and common US practices. Pilots should always refer to the Jeppesen Airway Manual, Air Traffic Control, State Rules and Procedures pages for each country on their itineraries for differences with ICAO Standards, Recommended Practices and Procedures. More about this: US versus ICAO.

The following are a sampling of some of the differences, there are many more. You should check the Jeppesen Airway Manual State pages for every country you takeoff, overfly, or land.

Approach Ban

Some countries in the South America region modify or publish an exception to ICAO Approach Ban procedures, prohibiting takeoff, continuing en route, starting an approach, or continuing an approach if the destination weather is below minimums. You need to know the rule for your destination before takeoff. For example:

  • [Jeppesen Airway Manual, Air Traffic Control, State Rules and Procedures, South America, Ecuador, 30 Jul 2004] Except in the case of an emergency, ATC will not authorize an aircraft to initiate an instrument approach when reported meteorological conditions are below published minimums for the instrument approach procedure to be used at an airport. In the case where meteorological conditions are reported below published minimums after the approach procedure is authorized by ATC and after the pilot has initiated the approach procedure, the pilot may complete the procedure until reaching the Descent Altitude (DA) or the Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA). If visual contact with the runway is made prior to or upon reaching the DA, or MDA by the missed approach point, the pilot will notify ATC that the runway is in sight and will receive clearance for landing. Departure will not be authorized when meteorological conditions are below published take-off minimums.

More about this: Approach Ban.

Lost Communications

Many countries have exceptions to ICAO standard lost communications procedures, as listed in their individual Jeppesen Airway Manual, Emergency, State Rules and Procedures pages.

More about this: Lost Communications.

Some countries impose non-standard speed limits on arriving and departing aircraft at controlled airports.

Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure

Some countries employ Strategic Lateral Offset Procedures (SLOP) over domestic airspace. For example:

  • [Jeppesen Airway Manual, Air Traffic Control, State Rules and Procedures, South America, Chile, 13 Sep 2013] The strategic lateral offset procedures (SLOP) is allowed in airway UL 302 between ELASA and IREMI fixes, AWY UL 780 between SULNA and SORTA fixes and in AWY UL 401 between ANPUK and ESDIN fixes.

More about this: Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure (SLOP).

Note that Brazil does not publish an allowance to use SLOP over domestic territory.

ICAO Doc 7030 - Regional Supplementary Procedures, International Civil Aviation Organization, 2 2008

ICAO Doc 9613 - Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Manual, International Civil Aviation Organization, 2008

Jeppesen Airway Manual