Pacific Organised Track System (PACOTS)
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The Pacific Organised Track System (PACOTS) is a flexible set of aircraft route tracks that primariliy link commercial air transport gateways of Japan and Southeast Asia and the gateways of Hawaii and the North American West Coast, as well as those in Texas.
Ever increasing trans-Pacific air traffic has resulted in the need to use the available airspace more efficiently. To achieve that goal, the Pacific Organized Track System (PACOTS) has been developed. The track routings are established on a daily basis to take advantage of the best wind conditions for trans-Pacific routes which service traffic transiting from the North American West Coast and Hawaii to Japan and South East Asia and return. Tracks are spaced using RNP10 criteria at a minimum of 50nm. Whilst on the tracks, the minimum longitudinal separation, using mach number technique, is 10 minutes.
PACOTS tracks can be established within the Fukuoka, Oakland Oceanic and Anchorage FIRs and ATS routes normally designated as NOPAC routes may be incorporated into the PACOTS depending upon prevailing wind conditions. The tracks are developed twice daily by the Japanese Air Traffic Management Centre (ATMC) in coordination with Oakland ARTCC. Eastbound tracks are valid from between 0500Z and 1000Z (depending on origin) to 2100Z (with specified crossing time windows for 160E) and are given a numeric designator. The opposite direction westbound tracks are valid from 1900Z to 0800Z (with specified crossing time windows for 160E) and are designated alphabetically.
The planners may develop more or fewer tracks based on user needs, significant weather, military activity or other limitations. The basic number of tracks and their designators are as follows:
- Hawaii to Japan: 2 (designated A, B...)
- North America to Japan: 5 (designated C, D, E, F...)
- North America to South East Asia: 4 (designated H, I, J...)
- Japan to North America: 5 (designated 1, 2, 3....)
- Japan to Hawaii: 2 (designated 11, 12...)
- South East Asia to North America: 2 (designated 14, 15...)
There can also be defined PACOTS tracks between Texas and Japan which are designated as tracks M (eastbound) and 8 (westbound). Here is a link to the current PACOTS track information.
- Pacific Airway Manual - Enroute Data - Pacific