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Following previous questions on position reporting:

Does Air Traffic Control somehow react to pilots submitting position reports, are they acknowledged or even repeated by ATC?

What is the exact phraseology of such an acknowledgement / confirmation (voice, CPDLC, and ADS-C)?

Edit & Update: The background of this question is commercial oceanic operations. As pointed out in the answers, there are multiple different position reports. This question mainly focuses on oceanic position reports via voice & CPDLC.

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There are different types of position reports. (Although based on your previous questions I think you mean North Atlantic position reports.)

  • Report downwind
  • Report when over waypoint XXXXX
  • Report when reaching FL XXX.

For those a "roger" from the ATC suffices when they get the report from the pilot in a non-radar environment.

But when it's a long position report during an oceanic crossing over a noisy HF frequency, here the ATC will read back all of it. The pilot will match it to the report they just trasmitted, and if it matches, the pilot will say, "read back correct."

That's why in the days before FANS 1/A it took up to 45 minutes for one report to be completed error free (that and waiting for one's turn). You can listen to such exchange with Gander Radio on YouTube here on a flight from Europe to the US.

Here's what ICAO Annex 10 says:

5.2.1.9.2.3.1 PANS.— An aeronautical station should acknowledge position reports and other flight progress reports by reading back the report and terminating the read back by its call sign, except that the read back procedure may be suspended temporarily whenever it will alleviate congestion on the communication channel.

An 'aeronautical station' is the one with the 'radio' suffix, e.g., Santa Maria Radio over the Atlantic.

The document for the VHF/HF North Atlantic communication (for the ATC side of things) is elusive for some reason (hence the video). But the SATCOM one (ICAO) is easily found. When submitting reports over satellite telephone, the ATC will acknowledge / read back the message/report:

4.2.2.2 When receiving a SATVOICE call, the controller should:

d) acknowledge message; read back the message or selected contents, as required (...)

Oceanic radio example (but not North Atlantic):

From the South African AIP with regard to 5.2.1.9.2.3.1 for an oceanic report over the radio:

NOTE: the following example illustrates the application of this procedure

(Network station acknowledging receipt of position report)

Aircraft:
Johannesburg Oceanic Springbok Six Zero Wun - Wun Ait Ait Six Wun

Station:
Springbok Six Zero Wun - Johannesburg Oceanic - Go Ahead

Aircraft:
Springbok Six Zero Wun - Overhead UBVER At Wun Six - Flight Level Wun Ait Zero - Estimating EXAKO At Wun Too Tree Ait

Station (Acknowledging):
Springbok Six Zero Wun - Oceanic Copies UBVER At Wun Six - Flight Level Wun Ait Zero - Report At EXAKO Next

Aircraft (Denoting Correctness Of Readback):
Report At EXAKO Next Springbok Six Zero Wun

Short answer:

Will ATC read back / acknowledge the oceanic position report?

  • HF/VHF/SATCOM - Yes
  • ADS-C - No, as long as the system is logged on
  • CPDLC - No, according to ICAO GOLD document page A-37.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, @ymb1, this is what I was hoping for. Indeed, I am looking into oceanic operations. I have added more precision to the original question. $\endgroup$ – Stefan Feb 9 '18 at 6:17
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I controlled non-radar airspace for about 2.5 years.

On your end, we’ll probably just say “roger.” We may add instructions to report a future point, or a control instruction.

On our end, we would be using that information for any required separation. For example, we may update a flight strip with your groundspeed, recalculate how we anticipate bring traffic across that same point, or change how we are protecting airspace or altitudes according to where you are. It varies depending on the environment and traffic, but the general concept is ATC is protecting the entire block from where we last knew you were - your previous position report or where you were last in radar contact - and your next reporting point. Your position report allows us to modify that protected area.

But little to none of that information will be relayed to the pilot, unless it is operationally necessary. Even then, it will probably just be in the form of a control instruction.

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Note this answer is from a GA point of view


When you give a position report as a GA pilot in uncontrolled airspace, your transmission is acknowledged by ATC, often repeating back to you your actual position in the case of a Radar controller.

For example, a typical R/T conversation near where I fly may be as follows - this is typical of my first contact with an area Radar controller having changed onto frequency from my departure airport:

G-CD: Farnborough Radar North, Golf Alpha Bravo Charlie Delta, Request Traffic Service
FR: Golf Charlie Delta, Pass your message
G-CD: Golf Charlie Delta PA28 2 POB VFR, Routing Elstree to Turweston, 2200 feet 1016 London QNH. Currently abeam Bovingdon heading 270
FR: Golf Charlie Delta Sqwark 5020 QNH 1017 Radar contact 2 Miles East of Chesham, Traffic Service
G-CD: Sqwark 5020 1017 QNH

Note the emphasised section. I had given an approximate position to the controller to allow them to identify me. They have used that information along with my transponder code to exactly identify me on their screen, and read back to me my exact location.

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